My Chemical Romance broke up 3 years ago.
They were my favorite band.
I’m still not over it. And, to be completely honest, I’m not sure I ever will be.
This band, their lyrics, their mission, and the four goofy guys that made it up have done so much for me that I can’t properly express my love for them in words. During my darkest points they were always there for me. They always reminded me that no matter how crappy life got, it was always worth it to hang in there because it always gets better.
That message didn’t just come from their lyric, but also from their very lives’. For example, for the first two albums of their career, the band’s vocalist, Gerard Way, as severely depressed alcoholic. He even admitted that he went to one their shows in Japan with no intention of returning. But eventually he got sick of being at rock bottom, went to rehab, and took care of his mental health, and his now married with an adorable little girl, and has an Eisner winning Comic Book. I’ll see pictures of him now and smile, wondering if the old him could have even had an inkling of how good his life would eventually become.
Even their most famous album, The Black Parade, was one of the most emotionally draining experience for them. In the book that comes with the limited edition version of the album, Gerard talks about how Mikey–the bassist and his younger brother–would have to come sleep in his room because he was terrified each night. They had to go to such a dark place within themselves, but they came out stronger and produced such a beautiful that have touched so many people. The last song on the album is called “Famous Last Words” and the lyrics that touch me the most on it are these:
I am not afraid to keep on living
I am not afraid to walk this world alone
Honey if you stay, I’ll be forgiven
Nothing you can say can stop me going home
And these guys truly cared about their fans. Gerard started the band after 9/11 happened, and he realized that he wanted to make a difference in the world, and in his words “lower the suicide rate a little.” They wanted to create a space for those that felt misunderstood, and make them feel loved. Throughout performances, between songs, he would urge how important it was to not hurt yourself and even made the fans promise that “even if they never played another show, they’ll keep themselves alive.
I just…I just love this band so much. But I feel like the word love doesn’t fully encapsulate everything I feel for them. But I really want to show you how I’m feeling, so I’ll share a few youtube videos with you.
My Favorite Interview
No matter how crappy I’m feeling, this video always manages to touch me in some way. In it he talks about how even though he had started My Chemical Romance, they were still treated as the “uncool” kids and how he never let it get to him. He discusses his struggles with depression and says one of my favorite quotes of all time “All your quirks and your problems, all your depression and your failures, that’s what makes you, you.”
(Side note: The song playing throughout is “Cancer” from The Black Parade)
Famous Last Words
I already quoted this sing earlier. But it just means so much to me.
Welcome to the Black Parade
This was one of the first songs that I heard from them. This song (and the album as a whole) is inspired by Gerard’s belief that death comes for an individual in the form of their most cherished memory. For the protagonist who is dying of cancer in this album, death comes for him in the form a parade he went to with his dad when he was younger. I just like the theatricality of it and everything.
Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back
Fans often tell the band that their music saved their lives. But Gerard doesn’t see it that way. He says that everyone has the power to save themselves, and MCR didn’t save them. Rather they play the role of a good friend holding off the brunt of the storm, because they know that they can do it themselves, but just need some help.
Also, the album this is off of, Danger Days, is centered on the Killjoys, a group of outlaws trying to bring down blind inc. But this song is so upbeat and admits, in a rather casual way, that they die and lose, but it doesn’t matter too much because of all the fun they had and chaos they caused while they were alive.
The Light Behind Your Eyes
The first time I heard this song I teared up. Some people say that he wrote this song for his daughter, others say that it was written as a goodbye letter to fans. I don’t care either way. It touches me just because how he admits that he won’t always be there for the listener. I took the message to both be from the band, and from my parents and friends–the people who are always there for me and help me when I need it most. And how they say that they will be times they can’t be there for me, but no matter what, don’t give up the fight and don’t let the world, my demons, what ever take the “light behind my eyes.” And just how sad, meaningful he sounds throughout this song just gets to me.
This is from their first album I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, which isn’t too popular (outside the fanbase) and might not be as objectively good compared to their later albums. But I just love the lyrics “I’m trying, I’m trying to let you know just how much you mean to me.” And just how desperate he sounds to convey his love to his lover.
And the “plot” of this album is of a Bonnie-and-Clyde-esque couple and in this song, the last in the album, they are finally caught and shot down.
A classic. How could I not. He wrote those song in honor of his grandmother who had recently passed away. And it is a beautiful song.
I Never Told You What I Do For A Living
This is the last song off Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. The plot of this album is that a man has lost his love, and has made a deal with the devil. He must kill 1000 evil souls and them he’ll be able to be reunited with his love. And while the song is more or less upbeat, he still admits that the blood he has spilled has soiled him to his core and can never be washed off. But how desperate he says when “I tried” as he realizes that while he did all this for her, because of how tainted he is, he can never be with her again. At least that’s my interpretation of it.
Those are just a few of my favorites. I’m curious, if anyone else who reads this likes My Chemical Romance, I’d like to know which songs are some of the most important to you and what they mean to you.