After going the concept route -- or at least making a linear work on 'The Black Parade' -- My Chemical Romance are going in another direction on their forthcoming album, due early next year. Spinner visited the group in their L.A. studio to get an early preview and we were left suitably blown away by the nine very disparate songs we got to hear. The tracks ranged from the atmospheric 'Light Before Your Eyes,' a song frontman Gerard Way describes as Pink Floyd-ish, to the '80s-flavored 'Trans Am' and the punk/dance party tune, 'Death Before Disco,' which starts off with a Judas Priest 'Living After Midnight' vibe and turns into a lyrical salute to the Stooges, Velvet Underground and MC5.
Way tells Spinner the as-yet-untitled album is a definite answer to 'The Black Parade.' "Every single record we make is a response to the last," he says. "But sometimes it's not only a response to the last record -- it's a response to the opinion of that record or a response to the world at the time of that record."
What he sees and documents on the new album is a lot of rockers who are in music for the wrong reason. "There's a definite undercurrent of fame versus working class, people having stuff handed to them with zero talent versus working class kids that start a band," he says. "Rock 'n' roll is not red carpets and MySpace friends -- rock 'n' roll is dangerous and rock 'n' roll should piss people off. Right now, there's not a lot of that happening. What it is is a lot of people trying to be famous. That seems to be the goal."
In Way's opinion, that desire to be famous is messing up the sanctity of rock ''n roll. "It's bled into rock. It came from other places, but it's bled into rock 'n' roll and kind of tainted it a bit," Way says. "This record is really a response to that as well."
MCR certainly have the resources and notoriety to bask in that fame as well, so how do they resist that temptation? "Instead of us panicking and trying to see where we can grab the money or grab the opportunity, we just wrote music instead," Way says. "We tried to write a great record; that was our response to things. I think that writing a great record will sell records these days, as opposed to doing every other f---ing thing that people seem to be doing to sell a record."