Punk Rock Romance

My Chemical Romance storm back with the ultimate post-Apocalyptic party album.

My Chemical Romance storm back with the ultimate post-Apocalyptic party album.

My Chemical Romance have never shied away from theatricality. After all, the emo-punk quartet made their name with extravagantly titled, arena-worthy anthems and gothy visuals. Now, with the new Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, they’re raising the stakes, while adding a welcome dose of fun. Frontman Gerard Way checked in from Europe.

A year ago you guys had a record in the can and then scrapped it. What happened?

We made a record, and it just wasn’t right. To show you how close we came to putting it out, we were taking photos, I had cut my hair, and it felt like I was being assimilated into this very comfortable thirtysomething rock culture. And that’s not for me.

What changed?

I was out in the desert with my wife, and I wrote [first single] “Na Na Na,” which I kind of kept in my back pocket, like a dirty little secret. Finally, I met with the band and said, “Hey, guys, do you want to do a song?” And that tune was like the laser fired out of the ray gun. It was like, “Oh, we are starting over!”

You guys have a rep as being dark and brooding, yet the new record is anything but.

Glad you think so. I was filming the first video in the desert with my best friends, wearing a

fucking mask, with bright red hair, holding a ray gun, and I’m about to face off with my hero, [X-Men and Batman writer] Grant Morrison, and all these guys in Dracula masks. I thought, This could have been very different. I’m glad I chose art. It was pure insanity.

Grant Morrison? As a cartoonist yourself, it must’ve been great working with a comics legend.

It was amazing. The album actually started as a comic. But we’ve always been a band that pushes visuals, and right away I said, “People are ready for art again.” And who is the band with the cojones and the vision to bring it to them? It had to be MyChem.

Are there other musicians out there with that kind of ambition?

Not to be a dick, but I don’t know. Jack White is one. And Gorillaz. There aren’t many artists who care as much about the art as the music. I mean, if I have to separate who I am as an artist from who I am as a musician, I’m dead.