March 25, 2013

A Vigil, On Birds and Glass.

I never thought that this band would end it all in one paragraph. I was right. It didn't. Here's Gerard's heartfelt open letter about everything. I weep.


I woke up this morning still dreaming, or not fully aware of myself just yet. The sun poked through the windows, touching my face, and then a deep sadness overcame me, immediately, bringing me to life and realization- My Chemical Romance had ended. 

I walked downstairs to do the only thing I could think of to regain composure-
I made coffee. 

As the drip began, in that kind of silence that only happens in the morning, and being the only one awake, I stepped outside my home, leaving the door open behind me. I looked around and began to breathe. Things looked to be about the same- a beautiful day. 

As I turned to step back into the house I heard sound from within, a chirp and a rustle. And I noticed a small brown bird had flown into the library. Naturally, I panicked. I knew I had to see the bird to safety and I knew I had to retain the order of things in our home, and he very well couldn’t take up residency with us. I chased him (still assuming he was a he) into my office, where I have these very large windows.

Just then, and luckily, I heard Lindsey’s footsteps coming down the stairs, and naturally being composed as she is, she grabbed a blanket and stepped into the office. He was impossible to catch, and I began to open the windows, via Lindsey’s direction, only to find out they were screened. The bird began to fly into the glass, over and over and in all different directions. 

Smack. 
Smack. 
Smack!

I heard another set of footsteps, Bandit’s, running down the stairs in anticipation of the new day. Her entrance into the situation caused just the right amount of chaos (she was very excited to meet the bird) and we found ourselves chasing the bird into the living room. Knowing that this where it could potentially get sticky, being the high ceilings and the beams to perch on, I opened the front door as Lindsey did her best to encourage our new friend out the door. After some coaxing, flying, chirping, a wrong turn back into the library and a short goodbye to Bandit, he simply hopped out the front door- taking off on the fifth leap. 

We cheered. 
I was no longer sad.

I didn’t realize it, but I stopped being sad the minute that bird had come into my life, because there was something that needed doing, a small vessel to aid and an order to keep. I closed the door. I decided to write the letter I always knew I would.

It is often my nature to be abstract, hidden in plain sight, or nowhere at all. I have always felt that the art I have made (alone or with friends) contains all of my intent when executed properly, and thus, no explanation required. It is simply not in my nature to excuse, explain, or justify any action I have taken as a result of thinking it through with a clear head, and in my truth. 
I had always felt this situation involving the end of this band would be different, in the eventuality it happened. I would be cryptic in its existence, and open upon its death. 

The clearest actions come from truth, not obligation. And the truth of the matter is that I love every one of you. 
So, if this finds you well, and sheds some light on anything, or my personal account and feelings on the matter, then it is out of this love, mutual and shared, not duty. 

Love.
This was always my intent. 

My Chemical Romance: 2001-2013

We were spectacular. 

Every show I knew this, every show I felt it with or without external confirmation.
There were some clunkers, sometimes our secondhand gear broke, sometimes I had no voice- we were still great. It is this belief that made us who we were, but also many other things, all of them vital-
And all of the things that made us great were the very things that were going to end us-

Fiction. Friction. Creation. Destruction. Opposition. Aggression. Ambition. Heart. Hate. Courage. Spite. Beauty. Desperation. LOVE. Fear. Glamour. Weakness. Hope.

Fatalism. 

That last one is very important. My Chemical Romance had, built within its core, a fail-safe. A doomsday device, should certain events occur or cease occurring, would detonate. I shared knowledge of this “flaw” within weeks of its inception. 
Personally, I embraced it because, again, it made us perfect. A perfect machine, beautiful, yet self aware of it’s system. Under directive to terminate before it becomes compromised. To protect the idea- at all costs. This probably sounds like something ripped from the pages of a four-color comic book, and that’s the point.

No compromise. No surrender. No fucking shit.

To me that’s rock and roll. And I believe in rock and roll.

I wasn’t shy about who I said this to, not the press, or a fan, or a relative. It’s in the lyrics, it’s in the banter. I often watched the journalists snicker at mention of it, assuming I was being sensational or melodramatic (in their defense I was most likely dressed as an apocalyptic marching-band leader with a tear-away hospital gown and a face covered in expressionist paint, so fair enough). 
I’m still not sure if the mechanism worked correctly, because it wasn’t a bang but a much slower process. But still the same result, and still for the same reason-

When it’s time, we stop. 

It is important to understand that for us, the opinion on whether or not it is in fact time does not transmit from the audience. Again, this is to protect the idea for the benefit of the audience. Many a band have waited for external confirmation that it is time to hang it up, via ticket sales, chart positioning, boos and bottles of urine- input that holds no sway for us, and often too late when it comes anyway.

You should know it in your being, if you listen to the truth inside you. And voice inside became louder than the music. 

<At this point, I take a break to receive a visit from old friends, all of which were instrumental in some way to the beginnings of the band. We talk about the old days, and we talk about music, we talk about new things. We laugh and drink diet soda. We say goodbyes, I go to bed, to resume my letter in the morning, which is->

Now-
There are many reasons My Chemical Romance ended. The triggerman is unimportant, as was always the messengers- but the message, again as always, is the important thing. But to reiterate, this is my account, my reasons and my feelings. And I can assure you there was no divorce, argument, failure, accident, villain, or knife in the back that caused this, again this was no one’s fault, and it had been quietly in the works, whether we knew it or not, long before any sensationalism, scandal, or rumor.

There wasn’t even a blaze of glory in a hail of bullets…

I am backstage in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It is Saturday, May 19th, 2012 and I am pacing behind a massive black curtain that leads to the stage. I feel the breeze from the ocean find its way around me and I look down at my arms, which are covered in fresh gauze due to a losing battle with a heat rash, which had been a mysterious problem in recent months. I am normally not nervous before a show but I am certainly filled with angry butterflies most of the time. This is different- a strange anxiety jetting through me that I can only imagine is the sixth sense one feels before their last moments alive. My pupils have zeroed-out and I have ceased blinking. My body temperature is icy. 

We get the cue to hit the stage. 

The show is… good. Not great, not bad, just good. The first thing I notice take me by surprise is not the enormous amount of people in front of us but off to my left- the shore and the vastness of the ocean. Much more blue than I remembered as a boy. The sky is just as vibrant. I perform, semi-automatically, and something is wrong. 

I am acting. I never act on stage, even when it appears that I am, even when I’m hamming it up or delivering a soliloquy. Suddenly, I have become highly self-aware, almost as if waking from a dream. I began to move faster, more frantic, reckless- trying to shake it off- but all it began to create was silence. The amps, the cheers, all began to fade. 

All that what left was the voice inside, and I could hear it clearly. It didn’t have to yell- it whispered, and said to me briefly, plainly, and kindly- what it had to say.

What it said is between me and the voice.

I ignored it, and the following months were full of suffering for me- I hollowed out, stopped listening to music, never picked up a pencil, started slipping into old habits. All of the vibrancy I used to see became de-saturated. Lost. I used to see art or magic in everything, especially the mundane- the ability was buried under wreckage. 

Slowly, once I had done enough damage to myself, I began to climb out of the hole. Clean. When I made it out, the only thing left inside was the voice, and for the second time in my life, I no longer ignored it- because it was my own. 

There are many roles for all of us to play in this ending. We can be well-wishers, ill-wishers, sympathizers, vilifiers, comedians, rain clouds, victims-

That last one, again, is important. I have never thought myself a victim, nor my comrades, nor the fans- especially not the fans. For us to adopt that role right now would legitimize everything the tabloids have tried to name us. More importantly, it completely misses the point of the band. And then what have we learned? 

With honor, integrity, closure, and on no one’s terms but our own- the door closes.

And another opens-

This morning I awoke early. I quickly brushed my teeth, threw on some baggy jeans, and hopped in my car. I gently sped down the 405 through the morning fog to a random parking lot in Palo Verde, where I was to meet a nice gentleman named Norm. He was older, and a self-proclaimed “hippie” but he also had the energy of Sixteen year old in a garage-rock band. The purpose of the meeting was the delivery of an amplifier into my possession. I had recently purchased the amp from him and we both agreed that shipping would jostle the tubes- so he was kind enough to meet me in the middle. 
A Fender Princeton Amp from 1965, non reverb. A beautiful little device.

He showed me the finer points, the speaker, the non-grounded plug, the original label and the chalk mark of the man or woman who built it-

“This amp talks.” he said.
I smiled. 
We got coffee, talked about gold-foil pickups and life. We sat in the car and played each other music we had made. We parted ways, promising to stay in touch, I drove home. 

When I wanted to start My Chemical Romance, I began by sitting in my parent’s basement, picking up an instrument I had long abandoned for the brush- a guitar. It was a 90’s Fender Mexican Stratocaster, Lake Placid Blue, but in my youth I had decided it was too clean and pretty so I beat it up, exposing some of the red paint underneath the blue- the color it was meant to be. Adding a piece of duct tape on the pick guard, it felt acceptable. I plugged this into a baby Crate Amp with built in distortion and began the first chords of Skylines and Turnstiles. 

I still have that guitar, and it’s sitting next to The Princeton.
He has a voice, and I would like to hear what it has to say. 

In closing, I want to thank every single fan. I have learned from you, maybe more than you think you’ve learned from me. My only regret is that I am awful with names and bad with goodbyes. But I never forget a face, or a feeling- and that is what I have left from all of you. 
I feel Love.

I feel love for you, for our crew, our team, and for every single human being I have shared the band and stage with-

Ray. Mikey. Frank. Matt. Bob. James. Todd. Cortez. Tucker. Pete. Michael. Jarrod.

Since I am bad with goodbyes. I refuse to let this be one. But I will leave you with one last thing- 

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.

Love,
Gerard

March 23, 2013

The end

I'm sure you've heard the news already. I'm devastated yet thankful for the years passed. I always said that together we'd fight until the very end and I feel proud that we did. We've done so much on our journey and found so many new friends along the way. You can still connect through our Facebook and DeviantArt, our forum will also still remain.

In the beginning of this project I created a petition at petitionspot which to this date has collected almost 700 signatures.I am so proud for everything we have done together, the stories we have told, the fights that we have fought together, the events we've been putting together, the manifestos, the everything! I will not take the official site down because the stories deserve to live forever just like the music that this band has created.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! 



Defiant to the end we hear the call to carry on.

July 26, 2011

IMCRD




March 30, 2011

THE BEST OF RECENT INTERVIEWS vol. 1

Gerard, in your lyrics you talk a lot about rescuing people, rescuing yourself, rescuing the whole world what do you need being rescued from or to be protecting the world from?
I think there was definitely a moment in my life when I felt I needed to be rescued and I think anytime when I was a kid I just disappeared into comic books and where there was always somebody rescuing someone else and I thought somebody was going to rescue me too, and everytime I was talking about it in a song it was just this really kind of angry cry of help because I never thought I was going to rescue anybody else.
Then I stopped needing to be rescued.
And that was a really cool thing and I think that's maybe why I write about the things I write about today.

Like rescuing people? Like Save yourself, I'll hold them back...
Yeah. That's one of my favorite song titles that I've written and I wrote it right after the Black Parade, or when the touring had ended. I wasn't saying like "I'm not going to help you out" I was saying "You've got this" you know, "I'll just go fall in the sewer but just you know, go ahead, just get our of here, shit's going to get ugly." It was more like that.

I would like to know personally because I'm emotionally attached to a lot of your songs and they got me through a lot of hard times in my life: how do you feel when fans come up to you and say you saved their lives? Because I'm kind of one of those people.
It's one of those things where I could never express the gravity of that statement. We never thought we would reach as many people as we've possibly reached or that we'd mean as much to so many people or even a one person. All we did was that we wrote some songs that meant something to us and put them out there in the world.
It chokes you up how universal music is and how much that can change everybody's lives and that's really great, but the way I feel when you guys say that or when some of you say it: I feel like you're not giving yourself enough credit. I think that the people who love this band are so strong and they're such amazing people, and we were there as a soundtrack or maybe provided you some comfort but you're the ones that have actually saved your lives. The applaus and all that, they're all for you, you guys are the best.




March 27, 2011

"Never Stop Running."

The last time I went to a My Chemical Romance show I was still a kid. Lost but eager to set my life right, I dreamt about a lot of things but never thought to push to achieve those things. Though I had just finished school I was still young, yet still at the point where I should've decided what to study next. I was 16 and unfortunately, due to the current education system, I should've known what to do for the rest of my life and I didn't which made me feel lost. And feeling lost made me feel confused because nothing felt worse then growing up.

MCR inspired me a lot those days and pushed me forward with my artistic endeavor; I wouldn't be as creative as I am today without them. I started to write a lot of stories based on their songs, or at least inspired by their music. Later on I also started to paint their songs into life; (a method that I still use a lot) painting music. I painted nonstop until I completed my work, then I put the finished painting aside and started a new one. Or put the brushes and paint down altogether and started to type; wrote to the wee-hours until my fingers bled. Just to write, to learn, and to create.

Tonight kind of felt like a follow up from their side even though they personally most likely have no idea about the effect they've had specifically on me and my identity as a person and an artist. After the previous show I was filled with passion, exuberance and drive to keep going long enough to try to pursue my dreams and make something out of my life. I kept chasing the things I wanted for a while, ran to catch them but never fully reached them because, well, I guess I got tired of running. It got to the point where I was starting to give up and around last year I felt lost again.

Ironically this band never seems to cast anyone aside. Even if I tend not to listen to their music for a while they sneak up on me if I'm feeling bad and make everything better. When I started feeling lost again it didn't take long until I was reading an announcement about MCR returning to the safe soil of Finland. Needless to say I was excited, I knew this was exactly what I needed and I now had something to look forward to.

Back in 2007 the band's tour reached Finland in the summertime. I was determined to be in the front row with my friends so I made the effort to be there. The show was on Tuesday and we got on the spot on Saturday. We slept the nights outside and chatted the days with other fans. We even survived a major rain that destroyed most of the camp but made the fans pull together even stronger. Overall everything sums up as three nights, four days, one band, six thousand fans and for me; first row in the fucking middle.

I remember other fans being pulled out of the first row because of the pressure but I don't recall feeling any pain myself. I even remember someone laughing and saying how amusing it is that "the girl that's standing in the middle on the first row is only smiling." In the first row, sweaty, without any water, being squeezed by everyone just felt like the only place I could ever get along all by myself. The concert gave me so much faith in myself, in not needing other people to get through life and to be what I want to be. I realized that my life is my mission and depends on nobody else but me.

Tonight I had no intention of staying the night in the snow storm outside or even getting into the first row. I showed up as the doors opened, stood in line to the merchandise desks for a while, got my stuff and headed to the hall, picked a good spot on the floor and laid down just to take it all in. Once MCR took the stage everything made sense again. How could I've forgotten this? I remembered how much they've inspired me and how much I still get off their music. I mean, I could write a book out of each of their album. Shit, why won't I? I felt a new hit of willpower and determination rushing into my body making me feel alive again, like I could achieve anything I put my mind into. And I can.

It was like walking through fog for a while and suddenly seeing everything crystal clear. It was like seeing everything blurry for a while and then buying glasses. "Never stop running" Gerard stated out before Bulletproof Heart and suddenly I understood the song in a nanosecond. Gravity don't mean too much to me. Without gravity you don't have weight on your shoulders. Without weight on your shoulders you can move forward. Without gravity, you can run faster. So I dropped all the weight from my shoulders to the arena and decided to start running again.

I never thought that I could return to achieving the same state of happiness that I achieved four years ago but lost just a while ago. I've come a long way from 2007 and flew too low for a while. Still, just like that, I can see my whole life clear again. MCR show... my beautiful crystal castle. I will chase my dreams. I will run faster.

Gravity don't mean too much to me,
Joanna

December 27, 2010

"Armenian police target teenage rock cult"

When police officers arrived at 13-year-old Masha's home, searched her room and inspected her computer, it was not because they suspected her of any crime. Her offence was simply to be a devoted follower of the angst-ridden punk-rock subculture known as 'emo', in an ex-Soviet state where pressures to conform remain strong.

"It was offensive and frightening at the same time," said Masha, a schoolgirl in the Armenian capital, clearly upset by the experience.

Police in Yerevan have been conducting a campaign against the capital's small but controversial emo community since the recent suicides of two teenagers who were rumoured to have been emo fans.

They claim that the subculture represents a threat to young people's welfare. Officers have visited schools, searched pupils whose distinctive clothing marks them out as possible 'emos', and mounted surveillance on public places where young people gather.

Several fans have been detained for questioning, despite the lack of any specific legislation against the musical genre or its followers. In a recent newspaper interview, Armenia's Chief of Police, Alik Sarkisian, claimed that emo could "damage our gene pool". "We should fight against such phenomena because they are morally harmful to our people," he said.

Emo -- an abbreviation of 'emotional' -- is a more melodic and melancholy form of punk rock. It has origins in the United States but has become a well-established global subculture in recent years.

Masha and her friend Ani, also 13, say they started dressing in the unconventional emo style in an attempt to stand out from what they call "the grey masses".

But they now feel that they have to disguise themselves in ordinary clothes for fear of detention or harassment by other youths. "They point and laugh at us. Or even worse, they sometimes beat up our boys," Ani said.

Sensationalist media reports in Europe have suggested that the gloomy lyrics of some emo songs can influence teenagers to harm themselves or attempt suicide, although fans have consistently rejected the accusation.

Young fans like Masha and Ani have been worried by the anti-emo campaign, but they insist that they will not be pressured into abandoning the subculture that they love.

"It is impossible to ban youth movements using repressive methods," Ani said defiantly. "We will not stop listening to our music and dressing how we like. This is my choice."

December 16, 2010

RYBY'S SIDE OF THE STORY

The world can be really messed up sometimes, and I sometimes begin to wonder how anyone can see beauty in such chaos. But then I look at My Chemical Romance, and I see beauty. I see this pain, this desire to reach out and just take all the hate, intolerance, everything bad from the world. I see artists, amazing, talented, unique artists who actually have something to say.
Their music touches you in a place you never even new exsisted, they connect with you on a level that you never imagined. You listen to your music and - unlike many bands - you aren't confronted with the artificiality and mudanity of normal bands, but with this excitement, creativity, and unbelievably blinding energy! They constantly evolve and grow, and us along with them.

MCR started with a mission: to reach out to the outcasts, to take their hand and never let them be afraid. To cleanse the souls of millions and rid them of hate, and they succeeded.

-Ruby