For months, details regarding My Chemical Romance's ambitious album The Black Parade have been somewhat scant.
But as the LP's October 24 release date approaches, more information about the concept oeuvre — which recalls the travails of the Patient, a character frontman Gerard Way hinted late last month "may have gone through chemotherapy" — continues to seep out.
The Black Parade — which also happens to be the name of the New Jersey band's alter ego — will have 13 tracks when it hits stores next month (see "My Chemical Romance Reveal Details About 'Daring' Concept LP"), including "The End.," "The Sharpest Lives" and the album's lead-off single, "Welcome to the Black Parade."
My Chemical Romance performed the single during the MTV Video Music Awards' "Red Carpet on the Rock" preshow August 31 (see "Underdog Night At The VMAs: Panic, Gnarls, Blunt, Chamillionaire Win Big"). "Welcome to the Black Parade" is available for digital download, accompanied by a 20-minute interview with the boys and several Black Parade song snippets when purchased on iTunes.
The album, which is the follow-up to 2004's 1.4 million-selling Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, was produced by Rob Cavallo, who helmed Green Day's American Idiot.
Last month, in a staged news conference posted on the band's Web site, Way said The Black Parade "was a really difficult record to make. And there was a certain point where it was so dark for us that it felt like we needed to become much more than brothers. We had to be there for each other in many more ways and we also needed to become a new band. Normally, a band says that every time they make a record. In some ways, they become a new band. But we really did it this time and became a different band. Make no mistake — we are My Chemical Romance still. It's just our alter ego for this record."
But "The Black Parade" is much more than just an alter ego — Way elaborated that the phrase also serves as the morose record's thematic inspiration. " 'The Black Parade' is the very basic premise of the record, which is when you die, I'd like to think that death comes for you however you want," he explained. "And I feel that it's your strongest memory, either from childhood or adulthood, and for this particular character in this record, his strongest memory is of being a child and his father is taking him to this parade. So when death comes for him, it comes in the form of a black parade."
The Black Parade will feature an improbable collaboration between the Garden State rock troupe and legendary singer Liza Minnelli. Way said he wanted to work with Minnelli because she was his late grandmother's favorite performer.
In addition to the track list, the band has also revealed the album's art. Featuring a white background with My Chemical Romance's logo emblazoned across the top, the album's cover shows a baton-wielding skeletal figure mid-march and dressed in black — the assumed leader of the Black Parade.
My Chemical Romance have yet to disclose any North American tour plans in conjunction with Parade's release. But the band will be marching overseas in November for 11 gigs. That trek kicks off November 8 in Stockholm, Sweden, and concludes November 21 in Milan, Italy.
The final track list for The Black Parade, according to the band's publicist:
- "The End."
- "This Is How I Disappear"
- "The Sharpest Lives"
- "Welcome to the Black Parade"
- "I Don't Love You Like I Did"
- "House of Wolves"
- "Famous Last Words"