My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way: ‘I Think We Needed To Be Away For A While’

Singer says band will 'take it slow' with 'stripped-down' Black Parade follow-up.

Last month, MTV News broke the news that New Jersey’s own My Chemical Romance would be recording a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” for Zack Snyder’s forthcoming “Watchmen” film and that the song would be the soundtrack’s first single when it hits stores this winter. That’s cool and all, but what about the band’s next studio effort? When can we expect that gem?

Well, not for a long while. See, My Chemical Romance have spent much of the last few years in promotional mode — touring, doing press interviews, shooting videos, etc. At the moment, they’re in what frontman Gerard Way dubbed “go live” mode: They’ve all put MCR on the backburner as they pursue outside interests.

Of course, Way’s been working on his comic book series, “The Umbrella Academy,” and is penning a top-secret project for DC Comics. Meanwhile, his brother, Mikey Way, is also working on a comic book, Frank Iero is starting a new band called Leathermouth, Ray Toro is busy getting married and helming his Weezer cover band, and Bob Bryar, well, he’s in Chicago for some unspecified reason. The point is, My Chemical Romance need to live like the rest of us for a bit before they return to the studio.

“We can’t make any more music unless we live,” Way explained. “But I’m already starting to get the ideas and the aesthetics and everything, and it’s very different from [2006's] The Black Parade .”

How so, Gerry?

“It’s hard to say at this point, but musically, how Black Parade tapped into the glam, classic rock of Queen and Ziggy Stardust, this taps into something different — not punk, but maybe in its proto sense. The aesthetic — it is extremely different, and it is more stripped-down too. When we get a chance, we’re going to get together and do some demos and start rolling. But we’re going to take it slow. I feel like we needed to be away for a while. People need to kind of miss us because there was a point in the last two-and-a-half years where you could have seen us at least once a month if you wanted.”

Way elaborated on the album’s sound, contradicting recent reports that the band is moving in a more punk direction. “It’s weird — sometimes you give interviews, and they catch you in a weird mood on the road, and you’re like, ‘Nah, I didn’t say it was going to be a more punk-rock record, I just thought it would be more stripped of the bells and whistles,’ ” he explained. “But I think the concepts will always be progressive.

“It will be more direct, more about life, and have more social commentary in there,” Way continued. “That’s where it’s kind of heading now. It won’t be a ‘boohoo’ record about ‘Oh, we got famous,’ but a commentary on how the world is now.”