Black Parade to Danger Days ~ The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys..

DESPITE My Chemical Romance‘s fourth album falling flat in comparison to their hit album The Black Parade, the band have vowed that they’ll only come back stronger.

Ray, Gerard, Mikey ant Frank
Ray, Gerard, Mikey ant Frank

Great to hear, I’m in full agreement, stronger and always better.  They stay true to what their life presents them to ‘infiltrate’ through to their music.  Having also received far too many ‘hits’ in the media throughout the years: about kids, emo culture, and wrong coverage regarding their supposed aggravating the issue of, what I’ll call ‘early death’.

I even refuse to state the word here. Quite simply their band is very much the opposite; if people took the time  to really listen to their music. Perhaps with others that understand it better, then gaining a better understanding of MCR and their music.  Listen and read  some of their interviews,  they hopefully then will gain an understanding of both the youth of today, along with an insight into the band and their somewhat humble beginnings.

Gerard Way

Danger Days as frontman Gerard Way, has stated many a time, is all about color, and how great it was to move away from all that black gear.  Mind you, the Black Parade was more about a person being taken away before his time (20’s or so), albeit by natural causes and quite heartfelt by all the people and circumstances that he’ll miss.  What MCR started was also a following, sometimes referred to as an ‘Army’ of fans, I as a mother, can only see that as a good thing, after all the fans care for each other and are there for each other whenever they can, when there is no one else to turn to……

If memory serves me correct, they were the first of various bands to have this kind of following, then along came Lady Gaga’s Monsters, 30 STM echelon etc.. although, I may be biased here. MCR also go to the effort to have created a unique website for their fans that is really a way for them not to ‘feel alone’.  Far too many kids these days don’t have a ‘space’ especially for them, to get creative and share their feelings with like minded souls…

I enjoyed reading this article by Adelaide Now, and thought; good for them. They will continue to bring their music to the World, so I would suggest don’t ‘miss the train’, that is My Chemical Romance by not appreciating their music, in my opinion, they’re here for many more years to come. They’ve got something unique with each album that they produce, attracting a wide audience which is certainly not limiting in age group, as with each album they create a new fan base. Whilst most bands ‘work’ with a formula, I find somewhat boring, punching out album after album, sounding no different.  Whilst MCR love to reinvent themselves time and again ~ to ‘rise from ashes, and create anew’

somewhat of a Phoenix… as Gerard might say.

~ Sasha ~  (Author ~ Apanache)

1. BLACK PARADE CONQUERED THE WORLD

… But My Chemical Romance’s follow-up album Danger Days fell sharply off the priority list. “I don’t think anybody made a misstep,” the US group’s frontman Gerard Way says. “Not only did whatever happened positively or negatively sales-wise not affect the band, it didn’t affect the world’s perception of the band as artists.”

2. THE GREAT SHAME IN ALL OF THAT?

Danger Days housed several shoulda-been hits that would have been huge were a different band’s name on the cover. “If it had just been some random indie pop act that put out Sing, it would have been a massive tune,” Gerard says. “We have an awesome bubble; sometimes that bubble is a barrier to getting things out there.

Sing Live at BBC Radio 1

3. TIME TO DREAM IT ALL UP AGAIN

After spending summer on the Big Day Out, My Chem headed home to start album No.5 in their new studio. Bassist Mikey Way says he doesn’t know what it will sound like, but it will wrong-foot unbelievers again. “People had formulated ideas about our band just based on seeing a kid in one of our T-shirts – and they were wrong.”

4. THE LAST BAND ON EARTH

Sales rise and fall, but My Chemical Romance are survivors, says Gerard: “It’s like building a better cockroach. There is s— that’s way bigger than us right now that’s gonna be gone in two years and we’re gonna be in the studio making an album. That’s f—in’ awesome.”

My Chemical Romance’s You Tube Channel

My Chemical Romance (Gerard and Mikey) discuss the differences between touring Danger Days and The Black Parade.

“We always like to take a left turn when people expect us to take a right turn and pull the rug out from under people,” Mikey said

“It’s a fun exciting thing for us and we always like to evolve as musicians. And on the next record, same deal.”

From NOVA FM >>

Review: My Chemical Romance’s Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

My Chemical Romance has closed the door on death, gloom, aggression and remorse to introduce a more hopeful new era that celebrates life, love, creativity and imagination.

Not even the most diehard My Chemical Romance fans could have predicted the dramatic transition these New Jersey lads have made between their 2006 delivery The Black Parade and their hot new record, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.

With songs that explore hope, faith, courage and human connections, it’s fair to say My Chemical Romance has completely nipped the emo label right in the butt.

Boasting bright colours and positive messages, this album challenges My Chem’s fans – plus a whole generation of non-believers – to embrace their bold, fresh, and exciting new approach. And to be frank, their new identity is hard to resist because Danger Days and everything that comes along with it is, to put it simply, bloody brilliant.

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While it could be argued that transitions in music aren’t anything new – just look at Madonna, Justin Timberlake, P!nk, Gwen Stefani and a heaps more – MCR’s done something very different because they’ve changed everything; their image, their meaning and their music. And somehow, unbelievably, they’ve succeeded in cutting through and tearing down the almost impenetrable stereotype they invented for themselves during their journey through The Black Parade.

Arguably one of the most successful concept records ever released, The Black Parade told the story of a dying cancer patient’s journey of re-examining all of the mistakes he made through his life before he said goodbye to the world forever.

The thematically rich record was dark and morbid, yet reflective and sentimental, and this balance was incredibly powerful. A combination of striking imagery and potent themes and messages inspired masses of My Chem cult-like followings all over the world.

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This time around, My Chemical Romance present a very different side. The band’s taken all of the energy, effort and creativity they previously invested in Parade, and decided to have more fun. Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys sees the band experiment with electro-pop choruses, dance beats, synths, drum kits and a range of sounds and effects, which – although previously unfamiliar territory – they pull of convincingly well.

On first listen it’s immediately obvious that Danger Days is a much more accessible and commercially friendly record than anything the band’s previously unveiled.

It’s a bolder and braver delivery because the band exposes a more sensitive side on Danger Days. Rather than hiding behind dark themes, heavy costumes and thick make-up, the band’s new tracks are heartfelt and honest – and at the core of every song is one of the most basic human desires, to feel connected.

MCR’s first single “Na Na Na” is an empowering party rock anthem that encourages fans to use art and creativity as a way to battle life’s struggles, and the anthemic rock track “SING” encourages listeners to stand up and fight for what they believe in, boasting lyrics like “Sing it out/You’ve got to be what tomorrow means.”

Another nugget is “The Only Hope For Me Is You” – a meaningful track that explores the notion of finding the right path in life, and the right person to travel it with (If we can find where we belong/ We’ll have to make it on our own/ face all the pain and take it on because the only hope for me is you alone). My Chem hook listeners into this song with a dreamy intro before launching into a ripper rock track that breaks new music ground by fusing electro and rock in a way that’s never been done.

In one of the most awesome twists on the album “Planetary (GO!)” sees My Chem change their music history – forever. The gritty, fast-paced, raucous and wild dance track is the perfect ‘surprise’ sound on this album. It’s perfect for a pitch-black, smoke-filled dance floor, or a crazy road trip, or even a hardcore sprint session (the list goes on), featuring lyrics that need to be heard to be believed (“I can’t slow down, I can’t stop now, because I’m dancing”).

Other highlight tracks to listen out for are “Party Poison,” “The Kids From Yesterday,” and “Bulletproof Heart.”

It’s glaringly obvious that My Chem have grown up and matured both musically and personally. They tackle heavy and heartfelt issues head-on, and musically venture further than they’ve ever been.

It’s an exciting time for My Chem and their fans, because with every single release, they blow all pre-conceived ideas and notions out of the water. Today’s release of Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys will no doubt add more fuel to that fire.

My Chemical Romance has quite obviously closed the door on the past to introduce a bigger, brighter and more hopeful new era.  The release of Danger Days isn’t just a celebration for fans because there are 14 new ripper tracks for their MCR collection, but it’s a major win for all the non-emo My Chemical Romance fans who loved the music of The Black Parade, but never felt completely comfortable getting lost in the death and the darkness that permeated that record.

Thank you My Chemical Romance for giving us a bloody awesome reason to celebrate.

Ray Gerard and Mikey

 

RELATED COVERAGE

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My Chemical Romance -Danger Days: The TrueLives Of The FabulousKilljoys

Image For My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys

Tue 7th Dec, 2010 in Music Reviews

When you’ve made the biggest album of your career, it’s understandable if you’re a little lost as to where to go from there – especially if that album is The Black Parade. Proving you didn’t need goatees and a vocalist sounding like Scott Stapp in heat to sell rock music in the 2000s, The Black Parade was truly something else upon its arrival – it’s probably safe to say it was one of the more important rock records of the 2000s in retrospect.

My Chemical Romance have taken roughly four years to release another album and it seems they have made the executive decision that they enjoy the panoramic view from the top. Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys is a very different album to The Black Parade, but is by no means any less ambitious – or any less exciting, for that matter.

It’s a peculiar thing to draw further contrast between that album and this – whereas The Black Parade revolved around the concept of death and accepting the fate of mortality, Danger Days is an album about life on the very edge, living fearlessly in an anarchic future where “the future is bulletproof” and “the aftermath is secondary.” The titular ‘Fabulous Killjoys’ are a gang, outlaws attempting to bring down Better Living Industries (BL/ind. – geddit?) and stopping at nothing to take over Battery City, California, with a pirate radio host as their guide. Confused? Thought so. Nevermind – it’s not too crucial.

What matters is the songs themselves – and on this set, MCR have concocted big guitars, bigger beats and possibly their biggest choruses yet; resulting in an extravagant, devilishly fun adrenalin rush of a rock record that not only demands repeated listens but all the money in the cash register as well.

The band are having a world of fun on Danger Days, evident from the get-go in the form of dynamite single Na Na Na. If you hadn’t picked up from the title, it’s a one-word chorus, thrown in with ricocheting guitar and the pacing of a Hollywood chase scene. Add in Bulletproof Heart – with vocal layering that’s more Freddie Mercury than anything on The Black Parade – as well as Planetary (GO!) in its shameless roller-disco groove and the thudding, electronic rhythms of obvious single choice The Kids From Yesterday and one simply can’t help but note the band’s full embrace of their pop side. The most intriguing thing about this, however, is the band’s uncanny ability to marry said pop sensibilities with an undercurrent of darkness and confronting imagery. It’s still guns, death and destruction on Danger Days; no matter how easy it is to sing along to.

Take standout cut Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back for instance. Kicking out the jams with one of Ray Toro’s finest licks and a barnstorming four-on-the-floor, the explosive rocker sees vocalist Gerard Way – in character as gang leader Party Poison, naturally – spitting lyrics like “The good guys die and the bad guys win” and “the Devil’s got your number” atop of the affair in his quintessential OTT style. Who knew stadium rock could get so sour? Closer Vampire Money continues this with a nod to Ballroom Blitz in its introduction and probably the closest thing you’ll get to punk-rock out of these gentlemen nowadays: buzzsaw guitars here, splashy, tom-heavy drums there and vintage rock chaos everywhere. The energy is consistently huge onDanger Days – even the shift into ballad territory keeps the pace up – and as a whole, it’s an astoundingly confident and enjoyable record.

Perhaps the most likable thing about the album, with everything said, is how much effort the band have gone to in order to develop a sound quite unlike anything they’ve tried before. Although The Black Parade remains the band’s finest hour, let it be known that Danger Days is still amongst the best material My Chem have put forward. Not all of the MCRmy will be willing to get behind this – particularly those hoping for some kind of rehash of 2004’s Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. For the faithful, however, My Chemical Romance are very much back on top of the pile.  Let’s hope it’s not another four years until it all starts up again.

 
 
Band

Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys is the fourth studio album released by My Chemical Romance. The album follows the stories of the four members’ alter egos, the “Fabulous Killjoys.” Danger Days was produced by Rob Cavallo, who also produced The Black Parade and worked with other bands such as Green Day. The album was released on November 19th, 2010 and topped U.S. Billboard Charts for rock and alternative rock albums, while peaking on the U.S. Billboard 200 and UK Album Charts at eight and fourteen respectively.

The album’s concept is based around the lives of the “Fabulous Killjoys” in the setting of California in the year 2019. The band’s alter-egos are four Killjoys: “Party Poison” (Gerard Way), “Jet-Star” (Ray Toro), “Fun Ghoul” (Frank Iero), and “Kobra Kid” (Mikey Way), shown in the videos for “Na Na Na” and “SING“. The Killjoys are outlaws who reside in the scorching desert surrounding a place called Battery City, fighting against the evil corporation Better Living Industries (BL/ind.) and its leader Korse (Grant Morrison).[1]. The character aliases are the names of their “designer” guns.[2] Their guide is the pirate radio DJ named Dr. Death Defying who is voiced by Steve Montaño (also known by the stage name “Steve, Righ?” when performing with Mindless Self Indulgence[3]).

The two music videos show an unnamed girl played by rising star Grace Jeanette as one of the Killjoys. Na Na Na shows the Killjoys’ daily lives until Korse defeats them and captures the girl, and SINGshows the four Killjoys’ rescue mission to get her back; however, this mission sees the gang wiped out in the process, though the girl is taken in by Dr. Death Defying and their other allies. [4]

A website for Better Living Industries was launched in November 2010, featuring a mission statement, a report from the Zones and a merchandise store.[5]

Gerard Way has said the inspiration for the song was a Trans-Am car he’d seen years ago and the visual idea of it driving fast through a desert: this car is the one used in the music videos. Way has also stated “there is no story” in the album itself, with Dr. Death Defying’s interludes (via his pirate radio station) “painting a picture of this world,” and he feels the songs are quite “direct.” [2] In a track titled “Goodnite, Dr. Death,” Dr. Death Defying gives a report on the deaths of Jet Star and the Kobra Kid, and at the end he informs us “the lights are out and the party’s over,” and as a result he’s going to have to “start running” now and his show goes off the air. This is then followed by “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the last note being substituted by a burst of static.

The lyrics of most songs flag up that the Killjoys are outgunned and doomed, but are taking action despite that (“Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back” has the lyrics “who gives a damn if we lose this war”, and “I’ll tell you all how the story ends, how the good guys die and the bad guys win”); focus is repeatedly placed on standing up and standing together, as well as simply having fun. Several songs also refer to “the lights” going out, implied to be some major, devastating event (Dr. Death Defying calls back to this in his last broadcast).

The final track, “Vampire Money”, has a bastardized version of the band singing an ode to selling out (“play the game and take the band real far”). This was a reaction to the band being asked to do a song for the film New Moon, part of the Twilight franchise. Gerard Way said that the reason the song was on the album was because “there’s a lot of people chasing that fucking money. [sic] ‘Twilight?’ A lot of people around us were like, ‘please, for the love of God, do this fucking [sic] movie.’ But we’d moved on.”

Additional
  • Rob Cavallo – producer, drums on “The Kids from Yesterday”
  • Dorian Crozier – drums on “Bulletproof Heart”
  • NewsAGoGo (Airi Isoda) – vocals on “Party Poison”
  • John Miceli – drums, percussion (tracks 2, 4-6, 8-12 and 15), additional vocals on “Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back”
  • Dr. Death Defy (Steven Montaño (Steve, Righ?)) – vocals on “Look Alive, Sunshine”, “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na),” “Jet-Star and the Kobra Kid/Traffic Report”, and “Goodnite, Dr. Death”
  • Jamie Muhoberac – keyboards, sound design
  • Michael Pedicone – drums on The Mad Gear and Missile Kid EP
  • Jonathan Rivera – additional vocals on “Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back”
  • Bob Bryar – credited as co-writer on tracks 2, 3, 6, 8, and 9. Former drummer of My Chemical Romance.

I, for one can’t wait for what’s in store next! 

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2 thoughts on “Black Parade to Danger Days ~ The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys..

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