In 2006 Gerard Way declared himself “The Saviour of the broken, the beaten and the damned” and in that moment the world came to know what the diehards had already been saying for 4 years prior. My Chemical Romance were the underdogs, the ones who were never supposed to make it, this was never meant to happen, but in that moment they became the band the entire world needed and they had become unavoidable for better or worse.
This was a phenomenon, a movement and as we would come to call the fanbase, an army or rather the MCRMY. everywhere you looked they were there, and it kept on getting bigger and bigger. The unrelenting honesty and passion that created this lived in world that we all became a part of. Their triumphs were our triumphs, we belonged to them and they belonged to us. The Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge era, The career defining game changer that was The Black Parade and the Grungy neon splattered swan song that was Danger Days. Everything was unique, but with purpose and every little thing they did seemed vital and like it was made exclusively for you.
No one ever could have predicted the impact that My Chemical Romance would have on the world, and I honestly believe that nobody was ready for it when they hit. 5 nerds from Jersey making the most visceral, poetic and life affirming punk rock in a time when music was dominated by straight laced sad boy pinups. Throwing this band into that mix was like lighting a match in a firework factory and expecting not to get burnt.
While My Chemical Romance created an army that marched beside them the world over, there was an intimacy about them and their music that made it feel special and like every lyric was speaking directly to you, comforting you, guiding you, inspiring and empowering you. That was what made them such a powerful and important band, no matter how big or outlandish things got with them, the music they created always felt best when it was listened to in the dark on a pair of headphones, allowing you to take everything in and to let it cast it’s spell on you.
Even after their untimely demise in 2013, the world never forgot, the fans never left and for the near 7 years they were gone they were always in our hearts and we never let them go and now they are finally back and we are ready to believe again, but are we setting ourselves up to be hurt all over again?
When the band announced their return on Halloween 2019, the world went into collective meltdown. Was it really happening? and if it was, then in what form would it be? when they sold out The Shrine for a show in December, many wondered if that would be it, a one and done or was this the start of something more, could My Chemical Romance really be back, but more importantly in 2020 what does their return mean for music and does the world still need them as much as they did before?
In the last week they have sold out 3 huge stadium shows at Milton Keynes Stadium, announced more shows across Europe, released a 15 minute career retrospective video and announced a U.S tour that sold over 200,000 tickets in just under 6 hours, as they continue to release more Wiccan inspired cryptic teasers for shows and merchandise, the band themselves have remained largely silent. There have been no interviews, no explanation for why they are back, and more importantly…why now? is this a nostalgia run or is there an entirely new era on the horizon? I’m sure in time all our questions will be answered, but now is the time for celebration as we can once again live in a world where My Chemical Romance is an active force. Does the world still need them and if they do how much?
I think the answer to that is obvious. It’s yes, the world needs My Chemical Romance right now and probably more than it did back when they were at their peak. The world has changed a lot in the time they have been gone, it’s got darker, colder and we need that light that comes from this band, you only have to look at social media to see the outpouring of love, devotion and gratitude this band inspires to know much they are desperately needed. From fans dissecting their content, to arranging meet ups with other fans at shows, to the heartfelt tweets, letters and art inspired by the band and the stories their fans tell each other about MCR saved their lives.
I know at times in my own life, they have given me strength, light and the hope to get through things I didn’t think I could and for that I’ll be forever grateful.Bands like My Chemical Romance come along once in a generation and they change things forever, they are more than music, more than a band, they have created a culture of acceptance, love and they give people the courage to be who it is they want to be and do it with their head held high and their middle fingers to a world that wants to sweep them under the rug.
Their legacy in undeniable and in their absence they gave rise to so many bands to forge their own path and create their own legacies. Look at artists like Yungblood, Palaye Royale and Creeper who have worn their admiration for My Chemical on their sleeve like a badge of honour and have carried on that message of hope, belonging and community as well as the theatricality of their art through music and now they get to exist in a world where their heroes are now their peers. My Chemical Romance didn’t create punk rock, but they did run a fresh dose of blood through it’s veins, birthing a whole scene of new bands that ensured that it carried on even when they felt they couldn’t.
We were lucky enough to have My Chemical Romance impact our lives once and we have them back again, for how long nobody knows…But I am ready to believe again and I cannot wait to see where this journey takes us. Killjoys! it’s time to make some noise again.