Two weeks in and I’m already messing up my own schedule. I’m going forward with the MCR post though. Which begins now:
Much to the embarrassment to some of my friends in this dimension, I’m still a fan of many pop punk bands that initially came to popularity in the mid-2000s. Not all, but bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, Cobra Starship, and The Hush Sound are among my favorite bands in the world. And it makes me happy that two of those bands have gotten back together and are making music again.
However, that’s not the case for one of the bigger bands from that era.
My initially reaction was very chill. With some of the drama the band had right at the very end, it wasn’t that surprising that they called it quits (even though it was all unrelated to the band breaking up). But as it really sunk in that the band was done, I got surprisingly emotional. I had become less connected with the band over the years (I still haven’t heard Conventional Weapons), but it doesn’t mean that they stopped meaning anything to me. My second ever rock concert was them. I still have and occasionally wear the gorgeous shirt designed by Heather Gabel from that tour. One of my few attempts at visual art was trying to draw up a t-shirt design for a contest they had with Fuse way back in the day. I attempted to write a very terrible stage version of The Black Parade many, many years ago. One of my earliest memories of Hellblinki was seeing them back up Voltaire on a cover of ‘Blood’. I spent countless hours working on a Killjoy costume and forming Zone 42 at Dragon*Con. Hell, one of my greatest regrets involves not saying hello to Gerard Way at Dragon*Con even though he was 10 feet in front of me because I didn’t think it was him!
This band drove so much love and creativity in me, and now they’re gone and I never really got to say goodbye.
Except as Gerard said in a very, very long tweet two days after the announcement, they’re never really gone. Because you can’t kill an idea.
This really sunk in when I had listen thrus of Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, The Black Parade, and Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. The band was often labeled as emo because of the way their lyrics focused on death, but I don’t think people realized that Gerard came from a comic book artist background. (If you don’t believe me, just listen to him scream a quote by Death herself from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman at the beginning of ‘It’s Not A Fashion Statement, It’s A Deathwish.’) A lot of My Chemical Romance’s songs told stories about lives that existed outside of this plane. They were about a man with cancer being lead through a journey of his life and the afterlife. They were about a man trying to reunite with his lover by killing 1,000 evil men. They were about rebels in the desert trying to survive the apocalypse. They weren’t just about death and wanting to be dead.
And because these songs about death were told in a story, there were songs about being alive and living without someone you lost. Songs like ‘Cemetery Drive’ and ‘Famous Last Words’ are big examples, but they’re all over Danger Days. ‘Sing’ is about not being silenced by fear. ‘Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back’ is about being ready to fight on without someone. And ‘The Kids From Yesterday’… well, I’ll let that one speak for itself.
I have seen so many fans of musicians claim that the musician and their work saved their lives, but not as many as with My Chemical Romance. So many MCR fans were inspired to keep on living by the band and their work. Right now, it seems like hard times, but the band gave us all the tools we needed to survive and live on without them. And as long as fans keep living on and creating in their name, My Chemical Romance can never really die. As Frank Iero said when Danger Days came out:
Fear is the eternal enemy. If they can keep you scared, they can keep you controlled. We too came face to face with this saboteur, and found the strength to break through and carry on. We are here as a reminder that the world is not better off without you…these are dangerous days we live in and you, the artists, are our last defense.
Art is the Weapon.
Your Imagination is the Ammunition.
Stay Dirty, and Stay Dangerous.
Create and Destroy as you see fit.
Embrace your Originality.
The Aftermath is Secondary.
You can and should do Anything.
In conclusion friends, if you take anything away from this record, please let it be the strength to be passionate.
Love what you do and who you truly are. Be willing to die for it. If you are true to yourself, you can never go wrong. And remember when life gives you lemons, MCR says start a fucking band.
You’re never truly alone, Killjoys. Don’t be afraid to keep on living.
Plus, the Killjoys comic is FINALLY coming out this summer. Talk about never being able to kill an idea. I guess it’s true what Dr. Death Defying says. “Even if you’re dusted, you may be gone. But out here in the desert, your shadow lives on without you.”