“My Chemical Romance is done. But it can never die.”
After the disappointingly brief, corporate announcement on Friday that MCR had broken up, fans were expectedly upset, confused and a bit bummed that they didn’t have any deeper explanation for why the band that was so vital to them had suddenly called it quits after a dozen years.
Singer Gerard Way tried to rectify that ambiguity early Monday (March 25) with an epic, nearly 2,200-word essay that opened with a poetic scene about a bird wandering into his house and ended with a vow that the music and community his band created and fostered will live on well beyond their physical being.
But, in keeping with the band’s knotty nature, there were no easy answers or explanations.
“It is often my nature to be abstract, hidden in plain sight, or nowhere at all,” wrote Way. “I have always felt that the art I have made (alone or with friends) contains all of my intent when executed properly, and thus, no explanation required. It is simply not in my nature to excuse, explain, or justify any action I have taken as a result of thinking it through with a clear head, and in my truth. I had always felt this situation involving the end of this band would be different, in the eventuality it happened. I would be cryptic in its existence, and open upon its death.
“The clearest actions come from truth, not obligation,” he continued. “And the truth of the matter is that I love every one of you. So, if this finds you well, and sheds some light on anything, or my personal account and feelings on the matter, then it is out of this love, mutual and shared, not duty. Love. This was always my intent.”
Way gave his overview of the band’s 12-year existence, saying that yes, they were “spectacular,” and that he knew it every time they played, even if no one else told him so. Yeah, sometimes the gear broke down or his voice gave out, but even then, they were still great.
“It is this belief that made us who we were, but also many other things, all of them vital – And all of the things that made us great were the very things that were going to end us – Fiction. Friction. Creation. Destruction. Opposition. Aggression. Ambition. Heart. Hate. Courage. Spite. Beauty. Desperation. LOVE. Fear. Glamour. Weakness. Hope. Fatalism,” he said. “ That last one is very important. My Chemical Romance had, built within its core, a fail-safe. A doomsday device, should certain events occur or cease occurring, would detonate.”
He claimed that he shared his knowledge of this fatal flaw within weeks of its inception, and he embraced it, which is what made MCR a “perfect machine” that was built to implode before it became compromised.
“No compromise. No surrender. No f—ing shit. ,” he wrote. “To me that’s rock and roll. And I believe in rock and roll. I wasn’t shy about who I said this to, not the press, or a fan, or a relative. It’s in the lyrics, it’s in the banter.”
Yes, journalists would often snicker when Way would mention this doomsday device, but even he knows it was probably because he was frequently dressed as an “apocalyptic marching band leader.”
He’s not sure if the mechanism ended up working, “but still the same result, and still for the same reason – When it’s time, we stop,” he said. Way and MCR were not the type to wait for the audience to tell them when it was time to hang it up. “You should know it in your being, if you listen to the truth inside you,” he said. “And voice inside became louder than the music.”
Without enumerating them, Way said there were “many reasons” why MCR ended, but he assured fans it was not due to a “divorce, argument, failure, accident, villain, or knife in the back that caused this” and that it was no one’s fault.
He recalled a show in Asbury Park, New Jersey, last May when he was uncharacteristically nervous and anxious and felt like he was acting onstage for the first time ever. “The following months were full of suffering for me,” he said. “I hollowed out, stopped listening to music, never picked up a pencil, started slipping into old habits. All of the vibrancy I used to see became de-saturated. Lost … Slowly, once I had done enough damage to myself, I began to climb out of the hole. Clean. When I made it out, the only thing left inside was the voice, and for the second time in my life, I no longer ignored it – because it was my own.”
The post ended with a lyrical story about meeting up with a hippie in Palo Verde, California, this weekend and buying a 1965 Fender Princeton amp from him. When he got home, he set the new amp next to the first guitar he ever owned. “He has a voice, and I would like to hear what it has to say,” he said of the amp, opening the door for more music in the future.
“ In closing, I want to thank every single fan,” he said. “I have learned from you, maybe more than you think you’ve learned from me … I feel Love. I feel love for you, for our crew, our team, and for every single human being I have shared the band and stage with- Ray. Mikey. Frank. Matt. Bob. James. Todd. Cortez. Tucker. Pete. Michael. Jarrod. ”
“Since I am bad with goodbyes. I refuse to let this be one. But I will leave you with one last thing – My Chemical Romance is done. But it can never die. It is alive in me, in the guys, and it is alive inside all of you. I always knew that, and I think you did too. Because it is not a band – it is an idea.”