My Chemical Romance – November 2010
Last week Warner held an album playback session for the new My Chemical Romance album, “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” at a secret London location and one of the CtrlAtlRock team managed to blag a place. We discovered when we arrived that this also included a Q&A session, but as we were banned from taking any sort of recording equipment (we also had to surrender our phones!) it’s mostly from memory and scrawled notes, so forgive us if we have accidentally misquoted anyone. Also, you can also now listen to the new album in full at mychemicalromance.com
Fan: How did you come up with your Killjoy names? Did you pick your own?
Gerard: Originally they were going to be the names of the guns.
Frank: Yeah, Gerard came to us and said “pick the name for your gun” otherwise; I would have probably picked something better than ‘Fuck You’. Can you imagine me explaining that in the future to my girls? (Frank recently became the proud father to twin girls).
Gerard: I think they’ll understand (The levels of the mics start giving slight feedback)
Frank: I need to stop saying words with ‘P’ in them. (The whole band start making ‘P’ sounds into their microphones. Frank starts beat boxing)
Ray: You want me to look at that? (Ray gets up and tries sort out the equipment and then sits back down.) It’s ok! He’s doing the best he can!
Fan: You said you made a whole different album before you scrapped it and made Danger Days; did any songs survive the cut?
Frank: Yes, but in different guises.
Gerard: ‘Party Poison’ was on there.
Ray: ‘Save Yourself’ went through so many changes, but that was there as well.
Mikey: ‘The Only Hope’ made it on.
Fan: I was wondering who played drums on the new record? Was it Mike Pedicone? (new touring drummer) Is he an official member now?
Gerard: My Chemical Romance is just the four of us, but we have our good friends, who we take on tour with us repeatedly, like James Dewees, who plays keyboards. He is out with us all the time, so that’s how it will be with Mike
Mikey: On the album, it was a mixture of people
Gerard: Yeah we had a whole bunch of people, including John Miceli, who drums for Meat Loaf.
Mikey: And Rob Cavallo (album producer) made his drumming debut!
Gerard: He did the drums for The Kids From Yesterday
Fan: What is your favourite song to play live?
Ray: Like ever? Or from the new album?
Fan: Both (The band ponder)
Gerard: I like The Kids From Yesterday.
Mikey: Yeah, that’s a good one
Ray: If we go with ever, ‘I’m Not Okay’ is still heaps of fun to play live. Even though we play it all the time, each time it’s different.
Fan: Is there anywhere you would like to perform that you haven’t?
Mikey: The moon, that would be pretty rad. Although the flight would be a bitch.
Gerard: The flight would be awful.
Frank: But worth it.
Gerard: We played recently at an NFL game. That was pretty crazy for us. We were stood there, singing a song about drugs and blowing up the world, at a massive sporting event, surrounded by cheerleaders. We need more shows like that.
Fan: Technically, what is the hardest song to play live?
My Chemical Romance: (in unison) “The whole of The Black Parade”
Gerard: (laughing) That really is a bitch to play, the beats are everywhere.
Fan: Who picked the artwork for the album and how did you decide to go with the black widow?
Gerard: Frank took that picture! Shit’s cool, no?
Frank: It’s true, I did.
Gerard: Frank takes great photos. He did some stuff for Leathermouth as well. Not The Mean Reds though.
Frank: No one has that album!
Fan: Gerard, at Comic-Con in 2009, when you were talking about the Killjoy comic, you said it was going to start from the end of the 90s, but the video for ‘Na Na Na’ is set in the future. Are you still working on the comic and if so, will it now be set in the future?
Gerard: I am still working on that with Shaun Simon. We need to talk about it actually, but the comic and the band are a separate thing. There will not be a comic about My Chemical Romance, I just think that kind of thing is super lame.
Fan: The Beatles did it!
Gerard: But like a cartoon, right?
Mikey: But they were The Beatles.
Gerard: But you know, I have always drawn Draculoids and stuff, they’ll be in there.
Frank: Those Draculoid masks are great.
Gerard: Hey, listen up, we seriously need more Draculoid masks like the one Jimmy (leader singer of MSI) wears in the video. It’s seriously failing apart. We found like one on Ebay, but we need more. If you find them, let us know!
Fan: There is a lyric in ‘Save Yourself’ which goes ‘this ain’t a room full of suicides’ – is that a response to the whole Daily Mail, suicide death cult thing?
Gerard: You know, we aren’t one of those bands who have to go out there answer back in all our songs. But I suppose in a way it was. But not for us, for you guys. It’s like you can sing that shit back at them.
Fan: Is it true Vampire Money is a dig at the whole popularity of vampire genre?
Mikey: Yeah, there are so many people cashing in on it. We got asked repeatedly to do something for it. Everyone kept saying ‘this is your thing’ but it wasn’t. We didn’t want to cash in on that. It just wasn’t cool.
Gerard: It’s exactly what it is, vampire money.
Fan: What is the kid in the ‘Na Na Na’ video about? Is there a story there?
Gerard: Yeah, there is a whole story about her you will see in the next few videos. She has a greater purpose. But she was everyone’s kid, but no-one’s kid at the same time. It’ll make sense.
Fan: A lot of fans are saying you have changed and that you aren’t the same band anymore, that the album is so different to your earlier work. What do you have to say to that?
Gerard: People change, they evolve. We aren’t the same band that made The Black Parade anymore.
Frank: I think sometimes when a band make a new record, it makes you go back and appreciate the old stuff anyway, which is also good.
Gerard: Basically, if you want depressed and emo, there are a whole load of other bands that are still doing that. Ok, maybe not as theatrical as us, but it is there.
Ray: We are just really happy about this album and we hope that shows.