Forget all that talk about ditching the shtick and focusing on fast-and-furious punk.
"The punk element was something a lot of people talked about. I think once I said we were pulling out the marching bands, they assumed it was going to be a punk record," Gerard Way told MTV News last month at San Diego Comic-Con, where he was promoting
For proof, check out the fan footage of "Death Before Disco," one of three new tracks MCR unveiled last Friday, during a secret show at the Roxy in Los Angeles. It's a charging, fist-pumping number that recalls the Motor City pump of the MC5 and the L.A. strut of the Knack. And to help them hone in on that vibe even further, they've tapped producer Brendan O'Brien — who's done albums for Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and Mastodon, to name just a few — to helm the sessions for the new album.
"We're so happy working with Brendan O'Brien," Way said. "We love him, we're having the best time of our lives. It's a total blast. I feel like it's getting close to being finished. We're doing tracking now. There's no title yet. It's crazy — this is the first time we're waiting to get really far into the project before [choosing a title]. I'm actually kind of excited about that. It's kind of 'anything goes' at this point, but I'm so happy with the songs."
Way said there's still no release date for the new album, though he added, "It's safe to say it'll come out next year." This is all keeping with the band's open-ended, fast-and-loose approach to recording and writing, a first for MCR, who — up to this point — have made their living on expansive conceptual fare.
"It's actually kind of liberating," Way said. "I'm writing lyrics simply about what the song's telling me, instead of trying to shoehorn something into a story line. I'd say they all have their own little stories. Some of them are direct, real life things that happened to us or me. Some of them are fiction, [because] I didn't want to lose that side. One of the things I really liked about Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge is that we took people on a journey with each video and each single, even though it was a concept record. The Black Parade didn't do that. It stuck all the way through to this rigid vision up until the end, but this time I'm really excited about giving someone something new every time."