"In the beginning of 2007, different fan-phenomenons were deifinitely ready to blossom in Finland. Eurovision-song contest, the latest Harry Potter and many foreign top-artists are tempting their fans to the day-light. One may see fans as obsessive and hysteric, another one might think they're childish. But how does the fan feel like?
For 16-year old Joanna, the 6th of July is a real luckyday. That's the day she'll see her favourite band live. It's when My Chemical Romance arrives to Finland from USA. She found out about the band a couple of years ago and now to her it has turned into the band that stays in her heart for life.
Joanna says that the moment her fan'ness grew as big as it is now when she was heading to My Chemical Romance's concert in Stockholm last november.
- I had the ticket. I had arranged everything but the trip failed at the very last minute for my part, she says. - When all my friends were in Sweden, I canalized my misery to finding out everything I yet didn't already know about My Chemical Romance. And I didn't feel that incomplite anymore.
Being a fan are often considered as a temporary teenage-phase and sometimes even as a fashion-phenomenon. They are considered as flocksouls who like what everybody else likes. To Joanna My Chemical Romance is so much more. She says the band has left a permanent mark to her identity.
- I'm not okay but maybe I don't even have to be. I'm not flawless but I have the right to be lost, Joanna describes things that she has learned. - After finding My Chemical Romance, I've learned to canalize my feelings through music, writing and art.
Specially in foreign media My Chemical Romance has been labelled as a band that worships death. Fans are experiencing the message in a completely other way and are defending the band furiously. Joanna wanted to do something about it and founded WE'RE OKAY NOW -project. The idea is to collect stories from other fans of how My Chemical Romance has helped through rough times.
- Labelling My Chemical Romance as a band that encourages their fans to hurt theirselfs is incredibly offencive to the fans and to the band. I'm trying to speak to the media for the rights that we all have.
Joanna praises My Chemical Romance's fans incredibly kind and caring. Band's fan-culture is at it's top in concerts ans waiting in front of the concert-place. The queue is used as much for meeting other fans as waiting to get in. In the beginning of July, a finnish fan-army is assembling in front of the Old Ice Hall waiting to see their idols. You can also find Joanna there."
By: Kaisa Talola