It’s fall 2001, and soon-to-be rockstar Gerard Way is interning at Cartoon Network when he looks outside to see the destruction caused by the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Later, Way would recount his memory of this pivotal moment to digital music magazine Spin. “I literally said to myself, 'F**k art,’” he said. “I've gotta get out of the basement. I've gotta see the world. I've gotta make a difference.’”
In the following months, Way, who grew up with a passion for music and had been a part of several bands in his teens, would recruit former bandmate Ray Toro, his younger brother Mikey Way, and Pencey Prep guitarist, Frank Iero. The four would become the saviors of the broken, the beaten, and the damned: My Chemical Romance.
After the success of their first album, “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love” in 2002, My Chem would defeat the all-too-common “one hit wonder” trope by hitting the scene hard with 2004’s “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,” a conceptual album centered around themes of loss, sorrow, and most importantly, revenge. Highlights include “Helena,” an ode to Way’s late grandmother, and “I’m Not Okay,” a track Way deemed a “self-help pop song” about being, well, not okay.
2006 would see the release of MCR’s magnum opus, “The Black Parade.” “Welcome To The Black Parade” is the track that makes the record. Starting with the somberest G-note you’ll ever hear, as the song goes on, more instruments are added until you're jamming and crying, in your element but also in your feels, and then suddenly you’re screaming “DO OR DIE, YOU’LL NEVER TAKE ME” at the top of your lungs on a crowded train and everyone's giving you weird looks, but deep down, you know they feel it too.
Finally, “Danger Days: The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys” would be MCR’s last full album and consist of tracks such as “Na Na Na” and “Vampire Money,” both of which go harder then my head into my desk as I try to think of an analogy to equal the feeling of blasting “Danger Days” at full volume.
On Mar. 22 2013, Way, in a letter to legions of Killjoys, said “My Chemical Romance is done. But it can never die. It is alive in me, in the guys, and it is alive inside all of you. I always knew that, and I think you did too. Because it is not a band—it is an idea.”
Justifiably upset, some fans took the news better than others. Even today, Killjoys old and new are clamoring with the rumors of a reunion, which simply is not going to happen. Fans, music executives, and even Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman have tried to reunite the emo outfit to no avail.
Although My Chem is gone, their legacy continues on. Despite splitting six years ago, their music continues to touch the hearts of young people all over the world. Even though they’re dead and gone, MCR’s memory will carry on, and so will we. My fellow Killjoys, may death never stop you. So long and goodnight.