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 "If it wasn't intense, it didn't go on the record."

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 "To me, men and women in their 20s are like walking death."

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 "It's really amazing that anybody ever makes it out of high school." ...

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 "If I was drinking or on drugs, I would have lost it."

The Fans Speak!

 We gave several MCR fans sites a sneak preview of this interview — here's what they had to say ...

MCR has exposed a lot of raw nerves in this interview — what do you think? You Tell Us — and then take a look at what people from the band's fan sites had to say!

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JERSEY CITY, New Jersey Traditionally, concept albums are either a feat of brilliance or a complete disaster. Shortly before its release, My Chemical Romance's third and latest studio LP, The Black Parade, promises to fall into the first category. The tale revolves around a man in his 30s "the Patient" who, laying in the hospital and stricken with cancer, looks back regretfully upon what he feels has been his wasted life. The album finds the bandmembers maturing without losing their edge, their keen songwriting skill, or and this just barely their minds.

For this wide-ranging, exclusive interview, MTV News' John Norris caught up with MCR in the stunning, historic and reportedly haunted Loew's Jersey Theatre in New Jersey, not far from where the band was spawned. There, all five members singer Gerard Way, bassist Mikey Way, guitarists Frank Iero and Ray Toro and drummer Bob Bryar talked at length about the challenges of making such an ambitious LP and the apparently haunted studio they recorded in, as well as the influence of former tourmates Green Day's American Idiot, Gerard Way's sobriety, Mikey Way's "quarter-life crisis," how 9/11 inspired Gerard to form the band five years ago, and much, much more.

John Norris: Gentlemen, good to see you. We thought, "Where are we going to talk to these guys?" We thought New Jersey, we thought somewhere over-the-top but also apparently haunted. [The bandmembers laugh.]

Gerard Way: I've never heard about this place before. It's beautiful.

Norris: Is this an exciting time or a nervous time? How does it compare to the eve of the release of the last record?

GW: It's a totally different story right now. We're in a different position. I think the biggest weapon we have this time is anticipation. And, I guess, expectation: We know what we've made, so we kind of kept quiet about it and let the music talk. So we're really nervous and excited.

Frank Iero: As opposed to the last time, I'm just so happy with the way everything sounds. Sometimes you go into the process and not everything turns out exactly the way you wanted. But this time it exceeded every expectation.

GW: Everything is perfect to us on this record and we're very proud of it. It's almost like the eve of an election or something, and you're just like "Oh man, what's going to happen?" There's also with that a sense of something big is going to happen and, and it's potentially terrifying.

Mikey Way: I feel like Christmas every morning like, I wake up and and today's [December] 20th and it's like, ugh, four more days.

Norris: They're talking about you selling somewhere in the range of 400,000 records the first week a lot more than any of your other records sold. Does it add pressure, or are you guys able to put that out of your head?

Ray Toro: If you get caught up with numbers and whatnot, you'll just drive yourself crazy. We're just excited that, whether it's 400,000 or four, that people can take it home and listen to it that's what's important to us.

FI: When they come to the shows and sing along, that's the top.

Norris: It's safe to say you aimed high and didn't hold anything back in this record?

GW: Yeah, we went for everything. If it wasn't intense, it didn't go on the record. There was nothing arbitrary on the record, there's not one single guitar part or weird instrument that shouldn't be on that record. We shot so high because we wanted to make it fun, and to us not taking a risk isn't any fun. It had to be fun and full of life and expression, and the way to [do that is] to make it super big, super loud, super over-the-top.

Norris: Is The Black Parade a concept album, and if so what is the concept?

GW: I think The Black Parade is a concept record in a very traditional way, in a classic-rock sense like Pink Floyd's The Wall or Queen's A Night at the Opera. The Black Parade is really an examination of life and death, and it's really based on a theory that ... I started to think, when you die, wouldn't it be nice if death came for you however you wanted? What if it comes from subconscious memory, or some kind of a dark version of something, like if your dad took you to the circus, and that's your strongest memory and that's the way it comes to you. So for this we needed an everyman, we needed a hero character, and "the Patient" was that. It was somebody that we all become, everybody is eventually going to be a patient in some way. This character's strongest memory was of his father taking him to see this parade when he was a little boy.

Take a look at what people from the band's fan sites had to say.
Norris: Is he sort a sort of metaphor for you, the Patient? Did you have this parade experience?

GW: Me and Mikey's dad took us to a parade when we were kids, and it's a very fond memory, but it wasn't a metaphor for me. I mean, overall this record is thinly veiled fiction layered over a lot of truth. I think it is our most personal record; there's a lot of me in there, there's a lot of the guys in there. But the parade was chosen because it felt like such a cultural thing. It felt like a really powerful metaphor, like the words "black" and "parade" made you think of death but [also] celebration. And that's what the record felt like, it felt like a celebration of life and death as opposed to some kind of doom-rock record.

NEXT: To me, men and women in their 20s are like walking death.

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