Tuesday, July 23, 2013

#MCRmyForLife - International My Chemical Romance Day 2013




I hope everyone has had a great International My Chemical Romance Day. This year was kind of surreal for me (and I'm sure for many others, as well.)

I got to celebrate in a pretty huge way by writing an IMCRDarticle for the magazine for which I work now to highlight the MCRmy and this awesome way we band together every year.

That's pretty crazy on its own, considering just a couple years ago, I was standing outside the venue where I worked press at Warped Tour just last week with the members of the band themselves. A person very dear to me pointed to the the magazine I call home's editor that night and said, "You should work for him."

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined I actually would. It’s so strange how things in my life constantly come back to MCR.

I think it's because of the profound impact they have had on my life. It's just engrained. I have so much to be thankful for—the MCRmy, the band, the inspiring world we built together, this blog, even.
It all helped me achieve my dreams.

So, here’s my quick thank you to everyone. I’m so honored and proud to have been able to share even this small thing today.

Alternative Press: #MCRmyForLife: 20 Ways To Celebrate International My Chemical Romance Day

Monday, May 27, 2013

Killjoys Never Die: Much to say, much to do

Busy.

That's what life is.

But today, I have a day off(-ish), and I'm going to spend it populating my home, here, with the MCR-related pieces I've written for my "big blog," I'll call it--AltPress.com.

So much to say. So much to treasure. Just keep in mind that invisibility always wears off.


3-2-1, BOOM.

XoXo
c.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ray Toro posts solo song, "Isn't That Something"

Note: This post has been backdated. Originally posted on AltPress.com May 24, 2013 at 10:22 p.m. ET

Ray Toro has posted a solo song on his SoundCloud account, The Real Ray Toro. Toro stated in a tweet that he completed all facets of the song completely on his own. Stream it and let me know what you think!



We've now heard new material from Gerard, Frank and Ray. Mikey next? Possibly. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"I’m definitely not taking a break" - Gerard Way talks future musical ventures



Note: This post has been backdated. I originally posted this on AltPress.com May 22, 2013 at 6:24 p.m. ET


In a new article from Yahoo! Music, former My Chemical Romance frontman and newly announced AP 300 cover star Gerard Way talks about his post-MCR musical work.

While remaining vague about the direction his work is taking ("I’m just trying to figure out exactly what I’m supposed to do. I take a cue from the universe and I think about that pretty deeply and go with my gut 100 percent."), the singer expressed that he's "usually up until a minimum of 2 a.m. writing music" these days. What he does reveal is that he does not foresee his musical works becoming a solo project.

"I’ve never seen myself as a solo guy. Some of my favorite artists, like Nick Cave and Tom Waits, are so far beyond me right now and I feel that if I was going to do something like what they do, I’d have to be a lot older and I’d need a lot more life experience. So I don’t feel like doing that. It just doesn’t feel right."

The Yahoo! article's primary focus is The Aquabats! Super Show! episode that Way directed, which will air June 1 at 1 p.m. EDT. Way originally revealed his working on the episode in a podcast with Kevin Smith last December. You can find full details of the death metal adventure featuring former MCR bassist Mikey Way as the frontman of the antagonist band, Asthma, there.

Alternative Press #300 featuring My Chemical Romance
Our July issue, AP #300 features our first My Chemical Romance cover story, completely reimagined by Gerard, along with an exclusive short story, H.E.X., by him that you can only read in our pages. Preorders are available now.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"You Cannot Destroy Me:" A reflection on life and My Chemical Romance



I couldn’t find words for this for so long. I think I’ve finally accepted that it’s because I’ve said all that I need to say already.

I’m not interested in sweeping statements or writing a memorial piece. For the past 8-and-a-half years, I’ve spent nearly every waking moment living My Chemical Romance, honoring and praising them daily.

At first, I wanted to do those memorial things. Finding some perfect way to sum up and honor something I’d been actively immersed in and loudly appreciative of for years was impossible, because—as I’ve realized—I’ve already done it.

I have no regrets, nor confessions nor treasures I feel the need to share.

I searched for the right words to suspend the magic that surrounds My Chemical Romance, and they don’t exist. What does is the music that awakens and stirs it, makes it swirl around and engulf us again and again, forever. It’s in that feeling—those moments of possession at the live shows, the smell of honey and powder, crossing countless state-lines, the grit of a city on your skin while leaning, sunburnt and exhausted against a barricade, the chills, the inspiration, the red, the black, the bats, the confetti, the screams, the punches, the hugs, the Canadian winter, the Danger, the first aide tent, the racing hearts, Joan Of Arc, saints, villains, mortality, lessons, bruises, sweat, blood, falling, feeling, Gerard, Frank, Ray, Mikey…

It exists in every memory we have, and it’s different for each of us, which is the beauty of it, because that means that it spreads infinitely, through facets of human life that some of us don’t even know exist.

My Chemical Romance turned my life around at roughly the same time they saved Gerard Way’s life for the second time, I learned to drive with The Black Parade, graduated high school as the Parade died, survived, thrived and learned to destroy my way through college with Danger Days and graduated on the eighth anniversary of Revenge’s release. On March 22, 2013, I was prepping for my move into my first real, adult apartment when the band announced their end.

I spent that night—you guessed it—crying. Until 5 a.m.. I felt as if I were losing everything. I spent the next week in my new apartment feeling cursed and crying silently and whenever I was left alone for more than a moment. I also spent that time avoiding communication at all costs (an easy feat; as, I didn’t have an internet connection outside of work.) I still have yet to more than skim fellow MCRmy sentiments.
I felt like I first needed to reflect, and I needed to do it without influence beyond that of the members of MCR. The only ode I’ve read at this point is the one I helped compile with my editor, Jason, for Alternative Press.
Quiet and detached reflection is a funny thing. It makes you see signs: A chillingly silent cluster of ambulances I passed on my way to my new apartment, a black cat, a clover falling from a Danger Days diary…

It also turns you into a bit of a ghost.

It took only Gerard’s reflection to snap me out of it and gradually make me comfortable living again, because it reminded me that nothing is going away. None of the guys are going to lie low—I don’t think they can. The idea and the magic of MCR is not now and can never vanish. 

I picture it this way: That announcement was an explosion and everything we’ve ever learned or felt from the band rose and fell, distributing itself elsewhere—in them; in us.

Everything changes. Everything must die. But, as Gerard said, My Chemical Romance can never die. "It’s not a band, it is an idea." It’s way bigger than me or you or any weapon anyone has ever tried to use against it. It’s even bigger than even itself.

And I’m eternally indebted to it and grateful to have been a part of it.

It’s not the end.

In my reflection, I realized that next year, I will be the same age Gerard was when he wrote Bullets.  It’s easy, in a world that forces you to grow up so fast, to feel as if it’s too late for you, or you’ve passed your prime, but MCR reminded me that my life has only just begun, and that I’ll continue to grow, and they’ll continue to help me.

Even if they aren’t making music together, My Chemical Romance instilled so much in me and in anyone who has made it far enough to read this, and we’ll carry it forever.

Faith Kept. Forever.
cassie.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Frank Iero reflects on the end of My Chemical Romance

Note: This post has been backdated

In the latest post on his blog, Frank Iero--My Chemical Romance rhythm guitarist and self-proclaimed biggest fan--has shared his thoughts on MCR's disbandment. Read it in full, below:
"Greetings friends and acquaintances, on-lookers and rubberneckers, enemies and indifferents, believers and fakers,I needed to take some time to myself this past week. i felt a moment (or maybe a few moments) of silence was deserved and required. it was my intention to let the dust settle a bit, not form, on the recent mychem announcement. a large chunk of my life (jeez, almost half my life) was devoted to that band and all that went with it, and i felt a week of quiet reflection was the least i could do to honor it and all involved.

I have written, deleted and rewritten this letter way too many times than i care to remember. i am not much for eulogies so i will keep this short and to the point. i don't believe in holding back your feelings or emotions until it is too late. if you did not appreciate someone or something whil they were still here then you have no business expressing cute anecdotes when they are no longer around to enjoy them. in the 12 years i have been in mcr i believe i have said all i needed and wanted to say about it when it counted. if you know me or have ever listened to me speak about mychem you know wha it meant to me. i lived, breathed, and bled the band. i believed in and admired the things we created and the people that were involved in it (members and fans alike). for better or worse i held nothing back that i felt needed to be expressed. i loved my band with all i had and i have no regrets now that iiis done. we began, we lived and we ended mcr for all the right reasons. 
if you were there you know how truly special a time it  was...and if you weren't, well then you probably wish you were.
thank you all for the memories, my scrapbook is overflowing and my heart is excruciatingly full.
now on to the next…
xo frnk."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gerard Way posts fan mail address; reflects on MCR albums

Note: This post has been backdated. I originally posted it on AltPress.com March 28, 2013 at 1:13 ET

UPDATE: April 18 at 8:46 a.m. EDT
Gerard has updated the address to the former My Chemical Romance fanmail address; as, "it had started to become 'unpleasant' at the local USPS Office." You can now send letters (only, no packages) to the following address:
Warner Bros Records
c/o Gerard Way
3300 Warner Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505
 
ORIGINAL POST: March 28 at 1:13 p.m. EDT
Gerard Way, vocalist of recently disbanded My Chemical Romance has released a public fanmail address via Twitter. The singer prefaces use of the address will two guidelines: "1. I cannot pass along anything to anyone else. 2. Don't make it weird."
Fans can send mail to Way at the following address:
Gerard Way
P.O. Box 572800
Tarzana, CA 91357
Way has also recently opened up communications about MCR's body of work on Twitter. Check out a stream of tweets reflecting on The Black Parade and Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, below. According to tweets, Way plans to re-visit Danger Days... possibly on Sunday with Bullets to follow.
The ending movement in "Fashion.." was inspired by the end of "All Star Me" by@chrislaneconley , one of my biggest influences.
— Gerard Way (@gerardway) March 27, 2013
In case you missed it, AP did some reflection of our own as we revisited our past MCR magazine features in our tribute post: "You'll Never Take Us Alive"

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Gerard Way reflects on My Chemical Romance break-up

Note: This post has been backdated.

In a Twitlonger post, Gerard Way has shared words of wisdom and comfort following Friday's break up announcement. View the complete post, below:

"A Vigil, On Birds and Glass.
I woke up this morning still dreaming, or not fully aware of myself just yet. The sun poked through the windows, touching my face, and then a deep sadness overcame me, immediately, bringing me to life and realization- My Chemical Romance had ended.

I walked downstairs to do the only thing I could think of to regain composure-
I made coffee.

As the drip began, in that kind of silence that only happens in the morning, and being the only one awake, I stepped outside my home, leaving the door open behind me. I looked around and began to breathe. Things looked to be about the same- a beautiful day.

As I turned to step back into the house I heard sound from within, a chirp and a rustle. And I noticed a small brown bird had flown into the library. Naturally, I panicked. I knew I had to see the bird to safety and I knew I had to retain the order of things in our home, and he very well couldn’t take up residency with us. I chased him (still assuming he was a he) into my office, where I have these very large windows.

Just then, and luckily, I heard Lindsey’s footsteps coming down the stairs, and naturally being composed as she is, she grabbed a blanket and stepped into the office. He was impossible to catch, and I began to open the windows, via Lindsey’s direction, only to find out they were screened. The bird began to fly into the glass, over and over and in all different directions.

Smack.
Smack.
Smack!

I heard another set of footsteps, Bandit’s, running down the stairs in anticipation of the new day. Her entrance into the situation caused just the right amount of chaos (she was very excited to meet the bird) and we found ourselves chasing the bird into the living room. Knowing that this where it could potentially get sticky, being the high ceilings and the beams to perch on, I opened the front door as Lindsey did her best to encourage our new friend out the door. After some coaxing, flying, chirping, a wrong turn back into the library and a short goodbye to Bandit, he simply hopped out the front door- taking off on the fifth leap.

We cheered.

I was no longer sad.

I didn’t realize it, but I stopped being sad the minute that bird had come into my life, because there was something that needed doing, a small vessel to aid and an order to keep. I closed the door. I decided to write the letter I always knew I would.
It is often my nature to be abstract, hidden in plain sight, or nowhere at all. 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. 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.
My Chemical Romance: 2001-2013
We were spectacular.

Every show I knew this, every show I felt it with or without external confirmation.

There were some clunkers, sometimes our secondhand gear broke, sometimes I had no voice- we 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.

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. I shared knowledge of this “flaw” within weeks of its inception.

Personally, I embraced it because, again, it made us perfect. A perfect machine, beautiful, yet self aware of it’s system. Under directive to terminate before it becomes compromised. To protect the idea- at all costs. This probably sounds like something ripped from the pages of a four-color comic book, and that’s the point.

No compromise. No surrender. No fucking shit.
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. I often watched the journalists snicker at mention of it, assuming I was being sensational or melodramatic (in their defense I was most likely dressed as an apocalyptic marching-band leader with a tear-away hospital gown and a face covered in expressionist paint, so fair enough).

I’m still not sure if the mechanism worked correctly, because it wasn’t a bang but a much slower process. But still the same result, and still for the same reason-
When it’s time, we stop.

It is important to understand that for us, the opinion on whether or not it is in fact time does not transmit from the audience. Again, this is to protect the idea for the benefit of the audience. Many a band have waited for external confirmation that it is time to hang it up, via ticket sales, chart positioning, boos and bottles of urine- input that holds no sway for us, and often too late when it comes anyway.
You should know it in your being, if you listen to the truth inside you. And voice inside became louder than the music.
<At this point, I take a break to receive a visit from old friends, all of which were instrumental in some way to the beginnings of the band. We talk about the old days, and we talk about music, we talk about new things. We laugh and drink diet soda. We say goodbyes, I go to bed, to resume my letter in the morning, which is-
Now-

There are many reasons My Chemical Romance ended. The triggerman is unimportant, as was always the messengers- but the message, again as always, is the important thing. But to reiterate, this is my account, my reasons and my feelings. And I can assure you there was no divorce, argument, failure, accident, villain, or knife in the back that caused this, again this was no one’s fault, and it had been quietly in the works, whether we knew it or not, long before any sensationalism, scandal, or rumor.
There wasn’t even a blaze of glory in a hail of bullets…
I am backstage in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It is Saturday, May 19th, 2012 and I am pacing behind a massive black curtain that leads to the stage. I feel the breeze from the ocean find its way around me and I look down at my arms, which are covered in fresh gauze due to a losing battle with a heat rash, which had been a mysterious problem in recent months. I am normally not nervous before a show but I am certainly filled with angry butterflies most of the time. This is different- a strange anxiety jetting through me that I can only imagine is the sixth sense one feels before their last moments alive. My pupils have zeroed-out and I have ceased blinking. My body temperature is icy.

We get the cue to hit the stage.
The show is… good. Not great, not bad, just good. The first thing I notice take me by surprise is not the enormous amount of people in front of us but off to my left- the shore and the vastness of the ocean. Much more blue than I remembered as a boy. The sky is just as vibrant. I perform, semi-automatically, and something is wrong.

I am acting. I never act on stage, even when it appears that I am, even when I’m hamming it up or delivering a soliloquy. Suddenly, I have become highly self-aware, almost as if waking from a dream. I began to move faster, more frantic, reckless- trying to shake it off- but all it began to create was silence. The amps, the cheers, all began to fade.
All that what left was the voice inside, and I could hear it clearly. It didn’t have to yell- it whispered, and said to me briefly, plainly, and kindly- what it had to say.
What it said is between me and the voice.

I ignored it, and the following months were full of suffering for me- 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. I used to see art or magic in everything, especially the mundane- the ability was buried under wreckage.
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.
There are many roles for all of us to play in this ending. We can be well-wishers, ill-wishers, sympathizers, vilifiers, comedians, rain clouds, victims-
That last one, again, is important. I have never thought myself a victim, nor my comrades, nor the fans- especially not the fans. For us to adopt that role right now would legitimize everything the tabloids have tried to name us. More importantly, it completely misses the point of the band. And then what have we learned?
With honor, integrity, closure, and on no one’s terms but our own- the door closes.
And another opens-

This morning I awoke early. I quickly brushed my teeth, threw on some baggy jeans, and hopped in my car. I gently sped down the 405 through the morning fog to a random parking lot in Palo Verde, where I was to meet a nice gentleman named Norm. He was older, and a self-proclaimed “hippie” but he also had the energy of Sixteen year old in a garage-rock band. The purpose of the meeting was the delivery of an amplifier into my possession. I had recently purchased the amp from him and we both agreed that shipping would jostle the tubes- so he was kind enough to meet me in the middle.
A Fender Princeton Amp from 1965, non reverb. A beautiful little device.
He showed me the finer points, the speaker, the non-grounded plug, the original label and the chalk mark of the man or woman who built it-
“This amp talks.” he said.
I smiled.

We got coffee, talked about gold-foil pickups and life. We sat in the car and played each other music we had made. We parted ways, promising to stay in touch, I drove home.
When I wanted to start My Chemical Romance, I began by sitting in my parent’s basement, picking up an instrument I had long abandoned for the brush- a guitar. It was a 90’s Fender Mexican Stratocaster, Lake Placid Blue, but in my youth I had decided it was too clean and pretty so I beat it up, exposing some of the red paint underneath the blue- the color it was meant to be. Adding a piece of duct tape on the pick guard, it felt acceptable. I plugged this into a baby Crate Amp with built in distortion and began the first chords of Skylines and Turnstiles.
I still have that guitar, and it’s sitting next to The Princeton.

He has a voice, and I would like to hear what it has to say.
In closing, I want to thank every single fan. I have learned from you, maybe more than you think you’ve learned from me. My only regret is that I am awful with names and bad with goodbyes. But I never forget a face, or a feeling- and that is what I have left from all of you.

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.
Love,
Gerard"

Friday, March 22, 2013

My Chemical Romance break up

Note: This post has been backdated. I originally posted this on AltPress.com (unfortunately) March 22, 2013 at 10:53 p.m. ET

In a short blog post on their website, My Chemical Romance have announced the end of the band. Read the full statement below:

"Being in this band for the past 12 years has been a true blessing. We've gotten to go places we never knew we would. We've been able to see and experience things we never imagined possible. We've shared the stage with people we admire, people we look up to, and best of all, our friends. And now, like all great things, it has come time for it to end. Thanks for all of your support, and for being part of the adventure.
My Chemical Romance."