On Thursday — after spending basically every waking minute since the premiere of My Chemical Romance’s “Na Na Na” video watching (and re-watching) the thing — MTV News compiled a comprehensive pop-culture cheat sheet to go along with the clip, listing all its references, from “The A-Team” to “The Warriors” and everything in between.
As luck would have it, we sat down with the guys in MCR on Thursday to talk about the video and their excellent Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys album. And, chuffed by our cheat sheet, we decided to ask My Chem’s Gerard Way to list the things that inspired him to make “Na Na Na” (he co-directed).
And not to toot our own horn, but our cheat sheet pretty much nailed it (except for the part where we said the little girl in the video was a boy … whoops). But before Way even got to the making of “Na Na Na,” he first had to take a trip to the past. Because, as it turns out, he’s been working on this concept for a long time.
“[There are] so many things … I know just on the look, I probably spent three years, four years on it,” Way said. “I know it started as the [Killjoys] comic … we’d have these characters in our head, we went to a costume shop in East Rutherford [New Jersey], we made a rule for ourselves, saying, ‘If it’s not in this shop, we can’t build it’ … so we bought all this real stuff and made it fantastic. … I carried some of that over [into the video].”
So with the basic look of the Killjoys in place, Way started adapting it for the “Na Na Na” video, taking cues from pop-culture touchstones both well-known and ultra-obscure.
” ‘Blade Runner’ has been a big inspiration, a lot of late ’70s, early ’80s science-fiction films, even science-fiction book covers. I think my jacket’s basically based off this obscure old science-fiction book,” he said. “Vintage ’80s motocross, because it was very bright and colorful … all the boots are based directly off old motocross boots in some way. … Pop art was a big inspiration … Andy Warhol was a big inspiration. The fact that the car, it’s a ‘Mad Max’-y type car, but it actually looks more like an art car or something you’d see at Burning Man; that’s intentional.”
Hmmm, let’s see? “Blade Runner”? “Mad Max”? Andy Warhol? Yep, we got all of them in our cheat sheet. But there’s one detail we missed: an Easter egg that pays homage to My Chemical Romance’s rather theatric past.
“There’s a jacket from ‘The Black Parade’ in there,” Way smiled. “I actually wore it on the Projekt Revolution Tour, and it’s in the video. We made sure to put it in there, for our fans.”
What do you think of the inspirations behind “Na Na Na”? Let us know in the comments!