An American rock band, often used as a prime example of the Emo genre. Their music is best described as a mixture of Post-hardcore, Pop Punk accessibility, Horror Punk influenced lyrics and stylings, and a heaping dose of over the top theatrics and album rock storytelling straight out of the 1970's (all of this presented with the look of a Goth Rock band). They formed in New Jersey around 2002 with their first song, "Skylines and Turnstiles." The band claims that the theme and style of their music was initially inspired by their feelings during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.Bands they cite as key inspirations are Black Flag, The Misfits, Queen, Pink Floyd, Joy Division, The Cure, and The Smashing Pumpkins.The band has a notoriously bad Broken Base and a very Unpleasable Fanbase, rampant with Fan Dumb and Hate Dumb. Enter at your own risk.They released their debut album "I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love" in 2002, combining elements of Hardcore Punk, Post-Hardcore, and Emo. Its lead single "Vampires will never Hurt You" became a hit on college radio.Their 2004 sophomore album "Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge" proved to be their breakthrough release, spurred on by the success of the singles "Helena" and "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)". It is now viewed as a key album of the early 2000s Emo scene with it's theatrical sound, gothic aesthetics, and powerful mix of post-hardcore aggression and strongly crafted songs.In 2006, drawing on their love of Pink Floyd's progressive rock and glam rock bands such as Queen and T.Rex, they combined these influences with their old post-hardcore sound to create what is considered their defining work, titled "The Black Parade". While most popular rock bands in 2006 were focused on being raw and garage influenced, The Black Parade was intentionally bombastic and excessive, reflecting the 70s rock bands that Gerard Way loved and the hip, indie establishment treated with disdain. Throw in its rock opera storyline of a dying cancer patient and you have a 1970s album brought to life in the twenty-first century. The album proved to be a critical and commercial success, with several review sites and magazines placing it as one of the best albums of the decade.Their latest album, 2010's Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys divided the fanbase with its lighter sound and design, but don't put too much stock in Fan Dumb. Other fans consider it an excellent album in its own right. Its sound is influenced by indie rock, dance-rock, pop punk, and Stooges era Garage rock. It also features a storyline, but this one is more frantic, enthusiastic, and exuberant than the morbid tragedy of the last.The band has officially broken up as of March 22, 2013. Later confirmed by Gerard, the band is going their separate ways.They left scores of teenagers (and some adults) sobbing in their wake. They will be greatly missed. As of the 23 of March, 2013, many of us are currently spending the hours listening to every song they've ever released and trying to figure out what to do with ourselves.Please don't confuse them with My Bloody Valentine, who are a British Shoegazing band who similarly have nothing to do with them, though Gerard admits inspired the "My" in their band name (the Chemical Romance part is a quote from the back of an Irvine Welsh novel).Members were:
Gerard Way, lead singer.
Ray Toro, lead guitar, backing vocals.
Frank Iero, rhythm guitar.
Mikey Way, bass.
For the last couple of years, there was no permanent drummer (originally Matt Pelissier, then Bob Bryar, then Michael Pedicone as a touring drummer until September 2nd, whose replacement was Jarrod Alexander for the duration of the band's run).
I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love (2002)
Digital Piracy Is Evil: This is the anti-piracy warning on the back of "I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love":
Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws and will result in Gerard coming to your house and sucking your blood.
Dissonant Serenity: Crops up a lot, often in the middle of an otherwise very hardcore song. The instrumental will suddenly cut to gentle piano or strings and Gerard will start crooning, the new vocal style utterly at odds with the dark/nihilistic/violent words he's singing. However, this is a sure sign that the song is going to explode back to life in a few bars' time, even more loudly and aggressively than before.
Emo: Although the band would disagree, they do have a lot in common with classic/post-hardcore emo. While some people will claim otherwise, they aren't really emo-pop since they have too much of a Hardcore Punk influence to really be an emo pop band. In addition they were an important band in the early 2000's post-hardcore scene along with Thursday and AFI.
Example: Headfirst for Halos. A rather upbeat song until you listen to the lyrics. "I think I've blown my brains against the ceiling. And as the fragments of my skull begin to fall, fall on your tongue, like pixie dust..."
Ship Tease: Tended to be a staple of live shows. Became most prevalent during the 2007 Projekt Revolution tour.
Shout-Out: A fair number of their songs contain references to other things.
"Vampire Money" is gosh darn full of it. The song was written in response to the band's choice to not write a song for the Twilight movies, David Bowie and Mark Bolan get a Name Drop and the opening is almost a perfect copy of "Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet.
"It's Not a Fashion Statement, It's a Death Wish" paraphrases one of Death's most famous quotes from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman:
"For what you did to me, for what I'll do to you, you get what everyone else gets—you get a lifetime!"note The original quote is: "You lived what anybody gets, Bernie. You got a lifetime. No more, no less."
"Destroya" is possibly a reference to the Destoroyah monster in the Godzilla-franchise film Godzilla vs. Destroroya.
Take That: "Vampire Money" is a pretty snarky one directed at Twilight. Specifically, it takes the mickey at artists who contribute songs to the film franchise's soundtrack, written after they were asked to do a song for one of the films and refused.
What Measure Is a Mook?: Gerard killing a Draculoid in the 'SING!' video, having a 'wait a second I just killed that guy moment' (because he removed the Drac's mask) and this leads to Gerard getting killed - it's seen even better in The Directors Cut.
When He Smiles: Ray Toro, the lead guitarist with the 'fro, is not considered as good-looking as his bandmates, but with his full lips and million-dollar smile, everything seemsto light up. Ray of sunshine, indeed.