their name from the cult description of Irvine Welsh's novels,
My Chemical Romance is emerging as one of the most promising young
bands in recent musical memory. Their sound, distinct and fresh,
pledges allegiance to everyone from Iron Maiden and The Misfits
to Morrissey and At The Gates.
in New Jersey, My Chemical Romance is an alternative pop/rock
and punk-pop band that has been compared to Thursday and, to a
lesser degree, Cursive. Many of their songs are loud, fast, hyper,
and aggressive, but My Chemical Romance's work also tends to be
melodic and pop-minded. Having a live show that explodes with
energy and leaves a footprint in the face of all things in it's
way, My Chemical Romance has spent 2003 trekking around the United
States numerous times and traveled to Europe to do a string of
dates in the UK, Germany, Holland, & Spain. This has given
the five lads a chance to further hone their skills and craft,
all the while connecting with fans on an international level.
It all seems like quite a feat for a little band from Newark,
of My Chemical Romance is a twisted voyage through many years
of grimy New Jersey suburbs. The five members have been very loose-knit
friends since their high school years. There were many incarnations
of local bands throughout that time, but never the combination
that left that feeling of satisfaction they were striving for.
As high school
ended, the band members were scattered in all different directions
in a search to find out what they would become. This left some
attending school, while others went instantly into full time jobs.
Over the years, the guys stayed in contact with each other. "I
was doing animation in New York City, living in my mother's basement,"
states Gerard, "and I was really starting to question the
direction of my life. So I called Matt, who'd been asking himself
a lot of the same questions. We decided we would get together
and play some music."
Romance got started in the early 2000s, when lead singer Gerard
Way and drummer Matt Pelissier decided to try writing some songs
together. The first tune that Way and Pelissier came up with was
called "Skylines and Turnstiles" (a title reflecting
the fact that Way had been working in New York City, where he
was in the animation field). Way and Pelissier both felt good
about the song, and Way asked guitarist Ray Toto if he would be
interested in working with them. My Chemical Romance's five-man
lineup was complete when Way, Pelissier, and Toto joined forces
with bassist Mikey Way (Gerard Way's brother) and guitarist Frank
Iero. With that lineup in place, the band started playing all
around the Northeast Corridor and made plans to begin working
on its first album.
a song, and getting together with Matt, Gerard decided it was
time to move forward. "The song, 'Skylines And Turnstiles,'
came out pretty good. So I decided to call Ray, who is the best
guitarist I know."
The three of them spent the next few months in what was considered
"a constant state of seeing what would happen." The
result of this was another demo, recorded in an attic in the winter
"Things started moving rather quickly after that," explains
Gerard. "Mikey heard about what we were up to and wanted
to be a part of it. My brother didn't really know much about being
a bassist, but he knew that was what we needed, so he learned
to play almost overnight. We are all very impressed."
picked up by the New Jersey independent Eyeball Records, My Chemical
Romance marched into a studio in upstate New York to record their
debut album in May of 2002. Still feeling incomplete, the band
recruited Frank to fill out their sound. Tracking the record in
just over two week's time, My Chemical Romance was all ready to
go. What they never saw coming was that their ability to write
songs would touch the hearts and souls of nearly everyone they
You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love was released in July
of 2003. With this album came an avalanche of interest in the
band. Constant regional touring created a fan base that is loyal
to no end. The next evolutional step was to expand the touring
to a national level. Securing opening spots on high profile tours,
they set out in a van for the next 14 months of their lives.
Romance did not take these opportunities to appeal to more fans
than they expected very lightly. From swaggering to leaping, the
band set out to grab people by the throat, scream until they listened,
than explode in their face with unprecedented energy and performance
that would not be ignored. They have something to say and want
you to listen. The cool darkness of Gerard's lyrics & vocals
may leave you to think of Nick Cave, Greg Dulli, or a young Reznor,
while the wall of sound behind him will seal the coffin of what
was. From "Demolition Lovers" and "Early Sunsets
Over Monroeville," to the big rock of "Headfirst For
Halos" and "Vampires Will Never Hurt You," My Chemical
Romance really does have something to say. They will prove that
in music, is life. And this life is darker than any New Jersey
shore could ever be. Just listen for yourself.
Guide Reader Comments about My Chemical Romance:
Romance is awesome in concert. I've seen them three times and
all three times they have blown me away. Once they stopped in
the middle of a song to tell people if their here to start a fight
to get out is just amazing. At one of their shows somebody asked
me what was the name of the band playing. If someone goes to a
concert not knowing all the bands that are playing, but likes
one of them enough to ask a total stranger the name of the band
is Incredible. My Chemical Romance has so much energy with their
shows and they sound amazing, too. You can tell they have real
talent and didn't have to do much editing on their album to make
it sound the way it does. They are great guys too. I met them
all and they are very nice and willing to talk to fans even when
they are packing up their instruments. I'm a My Chemical Romance
In 2002, Eyeball
Records (the New York-based indie that Thursday had recorded for)
released My Chemical Romance's debut album, I Brought You My Bullets,
You Brought Me Your Love. The album was often compared to Thursday
-- a comparison that, for various reasons, was inevitable and
unavoidable. Both bands were from New Jersey, both had recorded
for Eyeball, and both combined punk-pop's musical aggression with
introspective, confessional lyrics.
I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love is as dark
as it is introspective and cathartic; Way has been quoted as saying
that the band's lyrics were a great way for him to deal with the
problems he had been going through (which included severe depression
and a serious illness in his family). The 2002 release included
Way and Pelissier's first song, "Skylines and Turnstiles,"
and many of the album's other song titles were equally intriguing,
including "Honey, This Mirror Isn't Big Enough for the Two
of Us," "Drowning Lessons," "Headfirst for
Halos," "Our Lady of Sorrows," and "Vampires
Will Never Hurt You." In 2003, My Chemical Romance signed
with Reprise/Warner Bros. and released Three Cheers for Sweet
Revenge one year later.