My Chemical Romance Get To Work On Non-Concept Album, Sort Of
Well, at least now we know what the new My Chemical Romance album won’t sound like.
A few months back, when we spoke to MCR bassist Mikey Way about the “Batman” story he was writing for DC Comics, he mentioned that he and his bandmates had begun work in earnest on the follow-up to 2006’s Welcome to the Black Parade, but, while they’re all writing songs, he had no idea what the album would end up sounding like.
“So if, say, we wrote some songs that sound like Rick Springfield, a week later they’ve all turned into Children of Bodom songs,” he explained. “I know it’s going to be great — I just don’t know what it’s going to sound like. We’re going to be just as surprised as everyone else, believe me.”
And we did. So when we recently caught up with Mikey’s brother, MCR frontman Gerard Way, we asked if the new album was still in such a state of flux. His answer? Yes, but he’s at least got an idea of how he doesn’t want it to turn out.
“You know, we’ve made concepts for three albums now, so I think this one — at least from my standpoint — I want to go into it not thinking about a definite story. I said that during Parade, but I still think I had something to work out,” he said. “I think I had to get it out of my system, as far as writing concept records. I had to at least do one more before I stopped doing them. Obviously, they’ll always be cohesive though. The songs need to fit together, that’s what makes a great album.”
Way added that rather than focusing on a concept, he and the band are keeping it much simpler this time around — they’re just focusing on writing really killer, really loud rock songs.
“The one thing is we’ve never really captured that ‘live’ feeling. We’ve gone for sometimes more polish. We’ve obviously emulated bands like Queen in trying to get that classic, late-’70s glam sound, and we’ve gone for that at times, especially on the last record,” Way explained. “But then, when we’re playing this stuff live, it’s ultimately going to get more aggressive, so I think it’d be interesting to hear what the band sounds like recorded at least somewhat in those parameters of a live set.
“And that’s not to say it’ll all be distorted, who knows. I think you record it live viscerally, and the minute you put in the distortion, yeah, it’s going to sound ‘punk,’ “he continued. “You take it off and I don’t know what it sounds like then. The song we did for ‘Watchmen’ [a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Desolation Row’] in a lot of ways is a really good test-run or experiment, at least sonically.”
Of course, in keeping with the company line, Way said that there is no definite timetable for when or where My Chem will actually begin recording the new album … in fact, what with Way’s “Umbrella Academy” comic series having recently been green-lit for production and guitarist Frank Iero’s side project Leathermouth taking off, there seems to be even less time to be dedicated to the business of being MCR.
“Well, [guitarist] Ray [Toro] is coming out Sunday and … we may even sketch out a whole album together, which is something we used to like to try to do. We’ve had less and less time to sit down and try to do a skeleton of an album,” Way said. “It’s good to start doing that stuff, but once you start doing that you kind of paint yourself into a corner. Like, we finished mixing Black Parade, and then the next day we were on a plane off to Europe doing press. It was literally that quick. So I don’t think we want to go through that again. We don’t want some kind of time limit on us.”