Remington Leith My Chemical Romance return MCR my chem palaye royale
[Photo via: Remington Leith/Edwin Daboub, My Chemical Romance/Mark Beemer]

From their hauntingly theatrical atmosphere in “Helena” to screaming “I’m not o-fucking-kay,” there’s no doubt that My Chemical Romance are one of the most influential bands of the scene.

In our latest My Chemical Romance Holy Book issue, Palaye Royale frontman Remington Leith reflects on how the MCR shaped him as an artist and performed the most incredible concert he’s ever attended. From the first time he heard Gerard Way whisper, “Long ago…” to incorporating “Teenagers” into Palaye’s own setlist, Leith wouldn’t be the artist he is today without MCR.

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What was the one track you needed to hear more than anything else at the “Return” show?

Oh, my God, that’s a tough one. They came out with fucking “I’m Not Okay.” I’m like, “They’re coming out with this track, holy shit!” Obviously, “Helena” was so emotional to hear. I can’t believe they did “Black Parade.” I really cannot believe they did that. “Mama” was amazing, [and] seeing “Teenagers” was amazing. It’s so hard to pick when the whole show was just a fucking chef kiss. It was perfect.

As soon as that curtain fell, the entire venue erupted. It was absolutely insane to watch the show unfold.
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I know! I always knew it would have an emotional impact on me, but I couldn’t control my emotions. I remember I went to the bathroom at one point during the set, which I regret. But when I came back, I think it was right before MCR started playing “Teenagers.” And then Ashton [Irwin] from 5 Seconds Of Summer was standing next to me. He’s like, “Bro, I can tell how happy you are. And it’s making me so happy.” It was honestly one of the best nights of my life.

And then I got lucky enough because Frances [Bean Cobain] is friends with the band. So she brought me backstage after the show. And I was just so nervous. And there were obviously like three hundred people back there. Luckily, I got to have a conversation and talk to Mikey [Way] for the first time. That was so cool, and he’s just the nicest guy. He comes up to me, gives me a hug and then he’s like, “Here’s my number. Text me anytime.” That was so crazy. So every now and again I get a text from Mikey, and my heart drops a little bit.

Is it surreal that you have a relationship with your childhood heroes?

It’s fucking weird ’cause this has been such a crazy year for me, you know? From hanging out and going on tour with [Marilyn] Manson and then coming back to L.A. And then he calls me and he’s like, “You wanna come over?” That was crazy. Like Marilyn Manson. And now My Chem. I don’t know what the fuck is going on this year, but it’s been crazy.

This excerpt originally appeared in Issue #382: The My Chemical Romance Holy Book, which you can preorder here.