One year ago, when Green Day announced that they would be taking up-and-comers My Chemical Romance on the road for the spring leg of their American Idiot tour, it was seen as a kind of passing of the pop-punk torch.
And in the weeks leading up to the tour, MCR frontman Gerard Way spoke at length about the opportunity provided to them by the guys in Green Day, calling it "the biggest thing to ever happen to this band" and admitting that Billie Joe Armstrong influenced him to pick up a guitar as a teenager (see "My Chemical Romance: They're Okay [Promise]").
Fast-forward to today, and My Chem are breakout stars with a platinum-plus album and a string of hits under their studded belts. And as they begin work on the follow-up to their 2004 smash, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, it looks like they're taking inspiration from Green Day once again.
On Monday, MCR's management confirmed to MTV News that the band has begun work on a brand-new album with producer Rob Cavallo, the man who has helmed each and every Green Day album since their 1994 breakthrough, Dookie (he's also worked with the Goo Goo Dolls and Michelle Branch). Basic writing and demoing sessions got underway last week at the Paramour, a 70-year-old hilltop mansion overlooking Los Angeles' trendy Silverlake neighborhood.
"We're working on stuff, just getting it together and making demos. And from what we've got so far, I think the record is going to be awesome," Cavallo said in a brief phone interview. "The songs are wicked. There's some really dark stuff, and some touches of Queen and the Doors. And there's some really experimental parts that sound a bit like System of a Down. But all of that is mixed with a big shot of My Chemical Romance."
Cavallo said that the plan is to work on the new material until April 10, when he and the band will hit an undisclosed Burbank studio. He added that while it's still very early in the process, the record is already veering into the category of a concept album (something Way hinted at back in February of last year; see "My Chemical Romance Cover 'Under Pressure,' Plan 'Big Rock' LP"), and it already has a tentative title: The Rise and Fall of My Chemical Romance.
"There's a lot more to be said, but it's too early to say it," Cavallo laughed. "I just wanted to give fans a taste of what's to come."
Cavallo went on to add that while there's no completion date set for the new album, he'd like to have it in stores sometime this year. It's not known if My Chem will be giving fans a listen to the new material at Thursday's Shirts for a Cure benefit concert (their only confirmed Stateside gig so far this year), taking place during the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. They'll be joined at the show by reformed emo-punkers Lifetime, Head Automatica and a host of others.