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Alternative and Indie

My Chemical Romance

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About

Platinum selling alt rockers with a tendency towards the theatrical

My Chemical Romance formed in 2001 when illustrator Gerard Way was moved to do something important with his life in the wake of 9/11. With Way as frontman and leader, the rest of the line-up was completed by his younger brother Mikey on bass, drummer Matt Pelissier and guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero.

The quintet quickly set about touring and recording their debut album. By the release of 2002’s I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, My Chemical Romance had already established their trademark collage of pop-punk’s hooks, alt rock aggression, emo’s angst and a theatricality cobbled together from goth, classic rock and heavy metal. The album gained enough momentum to see the band sign to a major label for their follow-up.

With 2003’s Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, the band went stratospheric. Hook-laden singles Helena and I’m Not Okay (I Promise) earned regular airplay on rock radio, while their creative videos became MTV mainstays. Pelissier was replaced by Bob Bryar on drums in 2004 and the band embarked on several high-profile tours with Green Day, Alkaline Trio and Taking Back Sunday.

My Chemical Romance became a mainstream crossover success story with their third album, 2006’s The Black Parade. An ambitious concept album with shades of Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Queen’s A Night At The Opera, it had already gone Platinum in early 2007 and yielded several hit singles in the form of the title track and the unabashedly catchy Teenagers.

Extensive touring helped the band capitalise on their ever-growing popularity, but it also took its toll. They took time out to regroup before returning to the studio, this time with the intention of shedding their gothic angst and replacing it with a sunnier disposition. However, the sessions proved unsatisfactory and the band scrapped the lot. A second crack of the whip produced better results and Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys arrived in 2010, complete with all the exuberance the band had been seeking.

Over the course of 2012 and 2013, the band released Conventional Weapons, a collection of five singles left over from the Danger Days sessions. A month later, they announced they were breaking up. A year later, the greatest hits collection May Death Never Stop You: The Greatest Hits 2001–2013 appeared to put a full-stop at the end of My Chemical Romance’s career.

Gerard Way released his debut solo album in 2014. A 10th anniversary edition of The Black Parade followed in 2016. In late 2019, My Chemical Romance surprised fans with the announcement of a reunion. The first announced show in LA sold out in four minutes. Shortly after, three My Chemical Romance UK tour dates were announced in Milton Keynes. Those shows were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.