Face it: My Chemical Romance could do virtually anything (as long as it’s not another hiatus), and fans would be eternally indebted to them. On what would have been their “death day,” fans no longer need to mourn their untimely departure.
After announcing their return Oct. 31, 2019, fans have anxiously waited for a new track, video or album while also theorizing if Gerard Way will resurrect any former album characters such as The Patient. The truth is, anything MCR does will be more than enough for the fans.
1. Gerard Way dyes his hair
From jet black and filthy to short, white and sickly to fire engine and flamboyantly red, MCR frontman Gerard has used his hair as a symbol for the band’s identity in every era. Now that they’re poised to hit stages all over the world once more, we can’t help but wonder what color Mr. Way’s famous locks will be once the band embark on the next phase of their career. Will we see a Revenge-era return to form with his classic shoulder-length madman-mane, or will we get the casually disheveled and eccentrically artistic style he’s been rocking post-Hesitant Alien? Or perhaps Gerard will shock the world and hit the stage with his iconic head of hair shaved bald. We’re hoping that whatever hairstyle or color he chooses will offer us clues into the next era of MCR.
2. Release a single
My Chemical Romance’s music took seismic stylistic shifts during their initial run as a band. From the dazzling heavy-metal speed licks on “Headfirst For Halos” to the cabaret-esque lead vocals on “You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison” to the blues-based “Teenagers” to the electro-dance fuzziness of “Planetary (GO!),” no two MCR songs are alike.
So if by some grace of God, we do get a new My Chem penned song, it’s completely impossible to even imagine what it could sound like, which is a definite part of their allure—a band that are so naturally creative and sonically clairvoyant, they can hear the sounds of tomorrow and bend any future trend to fit exactly what they need to say today. Whether or not we get new music is still unknown to us (although plenty of theories have emerged), but it’s absolutely certain that if we do, it will be something that no one outside of the brain trust of Gerard, Frank Iero, Mikey Way and Ray Toro could ever conceive, but will bring with it a familiarity we’ve been missing since the final handclap of “Fake Your Death.”
3. Release an album
Oct. 31, 2019 is a date forever carved into the hearts of every emo devotee who has ever sung along to “Famous Last Words” or drawn sketches of the Demolition Lovers in the margins of their notebooks. It marks the day prayers were answered and the future became seemingly bulletproof—the day My Chemical Romance announced their return. If you’re an MCR fan, you spent six years of your life either talking about a reunion or waiting to talk about a reunion—and in the span of a few Instagram Story posts—it happened. The MCRmy rejoiced in the only event that could possibly overshadow Halloween itself, but now that it’s happened, we can’t help but wonder: What else could happen?
Before the My Chem hiatus, the band were working on the grimly conceptual fifth record, The Paper Kingdom, so we know that they have new music, but will we get to hear it? Furthermore, would the ever-so-ambitious members of My Chemical Romance be content in revisiting material that’s over a half decade old? Would they instead conjure up new songs inspired during their time apart? We’ve already gotten a comeback—it’s almost cruel to tempt the fates for a second miracle in the form of another record, but hey, we have to have something to talk about in our conversations with higher powers, right?
4. Travel across the country
The 2006 documentary, Life On The Murder Scene, is a phenomenal glimpse of the early days of My Chemical Romance as “starving artists.” Stories of being “broke together” and asking then tourmates Underoath for free clothes, all the while slumming it across the country in a cramped van, are a romantic reminder that they have paid their dues in full. Rewatching the documentary reminds us of the days when fetal MCR were eager to tour and actively hitting the road. But they also sting with the regret that maybe we took all of their touring days for granted. With their six-year hiatus, we’ve all grown to appreciate what some of us never got to experience and what those who are fortunate enough to have seen them live have come to miss.
Now that MCR have reformed and will be traveling the country once again on their upcoming and entirely sold-out tour, we have to make sure we remember to savor our joys in life and appreciate the little sparks of magic that come from the rare moments when a typically indifferent, and often cruel, universe gives us what we want.
5. Seeing them headline a festival
In their past life, My Chemical Romance played big shows all the time. Packed crowds singing “Welcome To The Black Parade” were a guarantee for every tour date and festival appearance, so to call MCR a “big band” during their initial run was not only an understatement, it was obvious. Since their initial disbandment March 22, 2013, MCR’s incredible live performances became mythical—urban legends described by elder emos in fan communities, subreddits and comments sections, driving fans mad with the need to attend a show.
Now that MCR have returned, it’s apparent that they’ve exceeded “big band” status. They have elevated to the point where calling them “the biggest band in the world” feels like a fitting moniker. MCR are back, and everyone wants to see them. Although they’re no strangers to a festival stage, it will be exciting to see the pandemonium that will ensue once they play a festival as a headliner. For any naysayers denying My Chemical Romance’s affect on music and the importance of their return, seeing a sea of humanity clambering to get close to My Chem at a major music festival will shut up any remaining haters and legitimize MCR’s reunion as a massive cultural event.
6. Play “Fake Your Death” for the first time
“Fake Your Death” was the final song My Chemical Romance released before their six-year limbo. Hearing a freshly reformed MCR play it live would bring a sweet sense of irony and satisfaction to the MCRmy.
Picture this: You’re in the pit, eagerly waiting for the Way brothers, Iero and Toro to take the stage. The lights go out. The crowd goes ape shit. You go ape shit. The piano intro of “Fake Your Death” begins to play, and anticipation grows as the intro carries on. The lights pop on, and the first words out of Gerard’s mouth are “Some people watch/Some people pray/But even lights can fade away.” And suddenly, your soul has departed into a plane that is neither of this Earth nor a life after—you simply exist in complete and total bliss. “Fake Your Death” may not be everyone’s absolute favorite MCR song, but hearing fresh material, along with an affirmation that death will, in fact, never stop your favorite band from existing, is the stuff of emo dreams.
7. Revive a past album character
In “A Summoning…,” MCR paid homage to all of the blood-stained and spectacular imagery of their career. From vampires to the dancing dead to Draculoids, we were reintroduced to all the characters that captivated our imaginations and fully immersed our minds in the violent wonders of My Chemical Romance. It’s obvious that the members of My Chem are just as attached to The Patient, Helena and Party Poison as we are, and as incredible as it was to see them embrace the lore of their past creations, it makes us wonder if we’ll be seeing a full-on return from any of them.
Sure, The Black Parade is dead. The Killjoys are dead. The Demolition Lovers are dead. But, if there’s one thing that My Chemical Romance have taught us, it’s that death may never stop you, and what is dead may be simply readying a return. So who knows? Maybe we will get an encore from The Black Parade, a second post-mortem performance from Helena and maybe the Killjoys will make some noise once more. This is MCR’s world, and all bets, even, and especially, death, are off.
8. Release a new music video
My Chemical Romance are an inherently visual band. Their album art, stage attire and use of bulletproof vests as casual fashion accessories are as important to the full experience of the band as the songs and their music videos were a medium in which all aspects of their art were tied together in one cohesive presentation. For MCR fans, every front porch is a reminder of Gerard and Ray talking karate and D&D. Every mention of the state of California triggers visions of laser beams and bazooka blasts. Every parade will forever be watched waiting for Mother War to make an appearance.
MCR’s music videos perfectly reinforced their message and have endeared themselves as their own subgenre of short films. There’s definitely a certain feeling that comes only with the release of a fresh MCR video. Most recently, we got a taste of it with “A Summoning…”—that queasy warmth that hits the gut like the nervous energy of slowly climbing to the top of the first hill of a roller coaster. Then, there’s that little something—that twist, that magic that happens when you’re seeing something so clever, unique, and probably violent, that you can’t help but just sit and smile for a few minutes. Choreographed funeral-goers. Cheerleaders in riot gear. A vending machine dispensing laser guns. The appearance of a sigil breaking through snowy TV static. These are the moments that knock away all of the day-to-day doldrums rattling around in your brain.
9. Team up for a collaboration
When MCR rose to fame, they didn’t do it with any fancy collaborations from artists who were larger than them. Instead, the group relied on each other to entice their audience with a listening experience unlike any other. Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’s “You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison” marks the only song in their discography that features a subtle collaboration with the Used’s Bert McCracken. However, the group also joined forces with McCracken and co. for a collaborative cover of Queen’s “Under Pressure” featuring David Bowie that appeared on the Used’s In Love And Death. MCR certainly don’t need to create any high-profile collaborations to make fans go wild. We would, however, love to see Gerard share the stage and a microphone with McCracken again. Here’s to hoping that rumored My Chemical Romance and the Used tour holds some truth.
10. Create an alternate reality for fans
One thing MCR have yet to do is expand the elaborate imagery and characters that run rampant through their universe. Picture a fantasy role-playing game set in Battery City. You and your fellow players can carry on a campaign as Killjoys, rolling a 12-sided die in battles against Exterminators and navigating your way through a dystopian California on your tabletop. Or what if Gerard tapped some of his connections at Netflix to get a Demolition Lovers film produced, and we can finally see the story of “a man, a woman and the corpses of a thousand evil men” play out in grand cinematic fashion? What if MCR pull a Pottermore and develop an interactive online community where fans can give themselves Killjoy names? Or assume roles in The Black Parade and interact with each other in a way that has never mobilized before? The possibilities are endless now that MCR are back. It’s the perfect time to offer up a way for fans to interact with their art in a new way.