www.whyville.net Mar 31, 2007 Weekly Issue

The Music Scene

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Welcome to the sixth "The Music Scene". Today you will read about a very special group. This band has stolen the hearts of many people and continues to do so. They have changed over the years they have been a musical group. From raging, uncontrolled anthems, to more in-place professional tones. From black hair to blonde.

Somehow, My Chemical Romance has maintained their integrity, ecstatic energy, and love from their fans over the long, long years. These days, young bands change drastically, in a way that???s for better or worse. Sure, My Chemical Romance has evolved, but they will always stay true to their hearts, and play the music they love.

I, personally, was looking forward to this article very much for two reasons.

1. MCR is one of my favorite bands
2. I have one of my best friends, alig2444 writing this article with me. Ali is also a huge fan of My Chemical Romance, and there is no one I would like more than to play MCR???s story out to Whyville.

Let???s start with this great band???s biography!

My Chemical Romance sprung up from New Jersey in the early 2000???s, formed by vocalists Gerard Way and drummer Matt Pelissier. The group was loosely formed until almost six months later, when Gerard and Matt wrote MCR???s first song. This song, "Skylines and Turnstiles," was influenced greatly by 911. (Gerard has seen the twin towers fall while working with Matt at his animation job in New York City.)

The two musicians evidently felt good about the song, so Gerard asked an old friend Ray Toro to join the group. After that, things started to fall into place. Soon, the group asked Gerard???s brother, Mikey Way to join in on bass, and Frank Iero to come into the group for a five man lineup.

With My Chemical Romance securely formed, these five guys with big dreams started to make them come true. The band started playing all around the city, and nearby towns in New York, while also making plans for their first album.

Finally, after hard work from the guys, Eyeball Records, a New York based indie label, released My Chemical Romance???s debut album, "I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love". (Intense title, huh?) The debut was often compared to Thursday. I mean, who couldn???t deny it. Both bands came out of New Jersey, both bands recorded for Eyeball Records, and both bands thrust out with musical minds to release some of the most popular punk-pop songs on the ???scene. Plus, Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly, produced MCR???s debut record.

Thursday isn???t the only group that influenced My Chemical Romance. The band has said they get some of their inspiration from groups like the Cure, Smiths, Morrissey, and Iron Maiden. Though the members of MCR???s musical tastes range, they have been able to develop a sound all their own.

Lyrically, "I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love" is dark, cathartic, and well played out. Gerard Way says the album reflects some of the problems he had going on with his life at the time. "Bullets" as the album is nicknamed, (who could blame them, it's a long title) was popular and dear to the fans of MCR???s hearts, but the band???s second album, "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge", was even more of a success with everyone -- the fans, the critics and the music charts.

"Three Cheers" is probably my favorite album, as it is among many. "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge" let out some of MCR???s most famous songs such as Helena, Ghost of You, and the heart-stealing, I???m Not Okay (I Promise)

As our beloved group started climbing higher on the charts, drummer Matt Pelissier was sinking lower. Finally, in mid-2004, he departed the group. MCR???s future was quickly saved as Bob Bryar filled in on drums. Relentless touring made the band???s popularity grow and grow. They toured with the like of Story Of The Year, Taking Back Sunday, and The Used. They even scored an opening slot for Green Day. Talk about going big!

Despite their sudden fame, My Chemical Romance still holds it???s hometown roots. In fact, Gerard and Mikey say they go back and visit their family often.

Oh no -- it didn???t stop at Three Cheers. MCR entered the studio for their third album, but came out with something a whole lot different. "Life on The Murder Scene" was a CD/double DVD package that recorded all that the group had done over the years. Live footage, on tour, exclusive interviews, and music videos for other top songs like Thank You for the Venom, You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison and Give Them * Kid. "Life On The Murder Scene" was a must-have for MCR fans.

Last but not least, was probably My Chemical Romance???s most viewed and popular CD yet. With chart topping songs (number three on the BB Charts, in fact) like Welcome to the Black Parade, Famous Last Words and The Sharpest Lives. This album, "The Black Parade", changed MCR's future forever. (There was actually a rumor going on that the guys would change My Chemical Romance's name to the Black Parade. Wow. That big.)

MCR fans would probably kill us if we said that "The Black Parade" is like an onion, but it is. It has layers and layers of emotions, vocals, and guitar sets. There is also layers of different songs. You have humorous songs like Mama and Teenagers, plus intense songs like House of Wolves and The Sharpest Lives and there are also songs that make you want to tear up a bit (see, onions make you tear up) such as Cancer. "The Black Parade" is truly an accomplishment for the band, and we hope it lives on.

Next, we have the biographies for the members of My Chemical Romance.

Gerard Way - There are so many things to say about this amazing man. Artist. My Chemical Romance vocalist. Brother. Son. Out of all these things, we think he best fits into the name "hero". After witnessing the 9/11 incidents, Gerard wanted to help people. Even though his music career started out with drinking and drug abuse, he pulled through for us all in the end. Now Gerard is sober, and has quit smoking. Yes, he has made great accomplishments, but how exactly, does he save the souls of people all across the world. The answer is easy. His lyrics. Those lyrics, dark though they are, keep kids and adults from taking their own lives every day. You can tell this, especially with older songs, like Headfirst for Halo's, one of MCR's favorite songs among fans. One verse of this amazing song goes ???"Now the red ones make me fly, and the blue ones help me fall, and I think I'll blow my head against the ceiling. As the fragments of my skull begin to fall, fall on your tongue like pixie dust, just try to think happy thoughts." Different huh?

So many of Gerard's lyrics are creative and make you think, which is exactly why they help fans who are going through sorts of problems. It is a glorifying song, and shows exactly how bad it is to live with feelings such as those. So, for a man of 29, who grew up in a crime-ridden area, always in his room drawing or sketching, he's come a long way to be saving lives. That is why Gerard Way is a hero.

Ray Toro - Everybody loves Raymond. Or...I mean, Ray Toro. Ray was born July 15th, 1977 in Kearny, New Jersey. Mr. Toro plays lead guitar, and is one of the two back-up vocals for My Chemical Romance. Ray grew up in a Puerto Rican-Portuguese household in what some people called a "dead end street". During his childhood, Ray met a lot of interesting people in his neighborhood. "There was definitely a funny collection of people hanging around my block," Ray told Alternative press. To say the least, Ray had a rough childhood. He expanded on that in The Life on The Murder Scene DVD. Ray said that when he was younger, he wasn't allowed to go play in the local parks, because they were finding bodies there, and so forth. Even though Ray grew up under a dangerous influence, he still made something great of his life.

Now let's talk Ray's music. Ray started playing guitar sophomore year, and met Gerard and Mikey through a friend who attended Gerard's art school. The three remained loose friends until the 9/11 incident, and Ray became a permanent station in the group. Ray Toro now plays a Gibson les Paul Standard guitar, which he says "Gets an incredible sound the way I play it, and the way it fits into the songs."

Now, for the last part of Ray's bio, let's talk about his hair. For people who don't know Ray, they are thinking "What the heck?" Well, Ray is known for his signature afro, and carries the nickname Torosaurus. It's been said that Mikey Way straightened his hair for him once, for one show, but Ray didn't like it. The other bandmates did though, and since then, you might have seen his afro tamed, just a touch.

Frank Iero - Frank Anthony Iero born on October 31st is the rhythm guitarist in My Chemical Romance. Frank grew up in Belleville, New Jersey. He was bullied throughout his school years, but he says. "It made me stronger today. I can deal with hardships better than I ever thought I could." After highschool, he got a scholarship to Rutgers University, but eventually dropped out, because he thought the band he was in at the time was getting somewhere. (Iero had been in and out of many, many bands throughout his life before he settled down with My Chemical Romance.) Some of these bands include, Hybrid, Sector 12, I Am a Graveyard, and Pencey Prep. After Pencey Prep broke up, Frank was recruited to MCR and has been in the band ever since. My Chemical Romance discovered Frank because he had been Mikey Way's roommate at one time.

Frank didn't start to really play guitar until graduation, when he was told to play for the crowd. Not knowing how, he rushed home, and his father taught him a few chords. He's been in love with the guitar ever since.

Frank also has a clothing line, recording label, and publishing line called "The Skeleton Crew". Frank is an amazing guitarist, and now we know, also an amazing person.

Mikey Way - Not that you have met some of the other members of the band, we would like to introduce you to Michael James Way. Born on September 10, 1980 in Newark, New Jersey, like his brother Gerard, Mikey plays many important parts in the band. He's the bassist, of course. And, if it weren't for Mikey the band wouldn't have the same name. You see, Mikey and Gerard were working at the local Barnes & Noble several years before the band started. On break, Mikey was flipping through several novels by Irvine Welsh. One of the titles, "Ecstasy: Three Tales Of Chemical Romance" caught his eye. Chemical Romance. That had a nice ring to it. Of course, over more though they added the 'My' and it became a pretty sweet band name.

Now, how does Mikey make such a sweet sound with his instrument? He plays a Highway 1 Precision Bass, a Fender Precision, and a Fender J bass. Along with talent, Mikey and his little friends make the band whole. It's especially a great feat to be going this well, for Mikey and the band. Mikey says it all, "It's really hard to break out of routines here (referring to his hometown). If it weren't for the band, I'd probably be stuck in some retail job. We lived near malls, and that's basically what you would do. A lot of people I know ended up as a manager at the Gap, or something. I???m really lucky."

Bob Bryar - Robert Cory Bryar was born December 31, 1979 in Chicago, Illinois. Bob Bryar was working as a sound engineer for the Used (old friends of My Chemical Romance). He met MCR while MCR was touring with the Used. When the Used left the tour, Bob was taken as drummer for My Chemical Romance. Since 2004, Bob has added a lot for the band. Frank Iero said on the Life on The Murder Scene DVD "Bob is one of the most hardworking people I've ever met. If there is a God, I thank him every day for bringing us Bob." Although Bob was not the official drummer for "Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge", he was the one shot in the videos for the CD, such as the hilarious, "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" Bob Bryar has suffered many injuries such as a car crash, broken teeth, arms, and feet, plus his leg getting burnt on the "Famous Last Words" set. The fire in the background caught his leg, and he suffered third degree burns. Despite his battle wounds, Bob Bryar has turned out on top for the band.

My Chemical Romance's top songs have changed since the release of the last album. Here they are now.

1. Welcome to the Black Parade
2. Helena
3. I???m Not Okay (I Promise)
4. Ghost of You
5. Thank Your For The Venom (My favorite)

So, from being on the home page of Yahoomusic.com, to being on the cover of Alternative Press and AMP, to being hometown guys playing their music just the way they want, My Chemical Romance will be there.

Here we leave you, singing our 'Famous Last Words'.

Glitsygrl and Alig2444


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