The year is 2007. I’m weird, fat and more than a little depressed, I’m fifteen years old and I am sitting in the lounge room of my house while Rage plays in front of me on the television. Then out of the sea of songs, there comes a piano and then opening notes of ‘The Black Parade’ begin and as the song builds and the marching band rides along out into that desolate space, the song kicks into gear and I know that no matter what happens after this moment, I was hooked like a kid riding a wave of sugar after Halloween night. Utterly obsessed and I needed more.
A few months later, I got the album The Black Parade after begging my mother to get the album a few towns over (we didn’t have a CD store in my NSW country town) and from the moment ‘The End’ began and Gerard Way uttered “If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see/you can find out first hand what it’s like to be me” I knew that for the first time in my life, there was someone out there who truly understood me.
See, that’s the special thing about My Chemical Romance. They made you feel wanted. At least, they made me feel wanted (I won’t speak for your own personal experience) but it just felt like every single time one of their albums came into my life, it was for a purpose, like they had perfectly curated the exact emotion I was feeling right at that moment. Every album. Every tour. Every single thing this band has ever done has been special and I can’t think of a single band in rock that has ever made me feel like that since.
I love this band. Because their albums feel like a photograph to me, like a snapshot in time and each one hits a note from my past and even now in my future…
I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love is the sound of my heart breaking. I still remember sitting in a park after my first break up, listening to these songs and hoping it would get better. It’s the soundtrack to my spiral into alcohol abuse, the sound of waking up after a night out and not even remembering where I was or how I got there. It’s the soundtrack to all the times I sat alone in a room with the lights off and just wished I would die. Because like this album, my life at this point was beautiful, fragile and at all times, utterly destructive.
Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge is the soundtrack to my youth. It’s the sound of kicking and screaming at the world and punching it in the face. I’m still listening to it even today. I see the bullies who brought me to the brink of suicide, I see the kid who wanted to fight me for no reason other than the fact I existed. I hear the knife fights from drunk people in my home and I see the blood running down the walls. I see the drugs my dad brought home and poverty of eating nothing but sleep for dinner. I truly and utterly believe that without this album I wouldn’t be here writing this right now.
If you or anyone you know needs help with their own mental well-being call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or find your closest Suicide Prevention/Crisis Support Organisation on Google…
The Black Parade taught me to be myself. The best version of myself. Always. It never judged me for being bisexual. It didn’t care I liked horror films or that I constantly picked the songs to my funeral. It held me when I was kicked out of home, again and again and again. It sat with me and told me to never give up, even when I felt like there was absolutely nothing left to live for. Honestly, it’s funny, when you’re a teenager everything feels like the most important thing ever. But even now, I still spin this album almost on a weekly basis. I drink to that album. I cry to that album and I am not at all ashamed to admit it. Because this album is woven into the very cortex of my existence.
And then there’s Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys. This is the soundtrack to being stuck in a rural place, where the only good thing is the exit out of there. It’s the sound of all the rumours and judgements people passed on me for just being related to someone unsavoury. It’s the sound of waving goodbye to my mother as I left my awful life for a better one in the city with nothing more than a duffel bag full of secondhand clothes. This album taught me about freedom and the beauty of just letting things go and that maybe there was a better life for me out there.
It taught me to never give up, even in the face of uncertain odds.
I still remember the day I found out they broke up. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried. It was weird. The announcement came out of nowhere and yet it felt fitting to my life. I had finally moved out of my rural life and into the city and the day they announced their breakup it felt like the end of an era for me. It felt like all the trial and tribulation in my life went with that announcement and even though I cried for days (no kidding), I fully accepted it because it felt like the closing of that chapter of my life. This was the beginning of something else.
So when they announced their reunion. It didn’t feel like the restart of something. It didn’t feel like my past coming to swallow me whole. Just like the band, this feels like something special and most importantly something new. I have no doubt in my mind that My Chemical Romance will elevate their return beyond that of a simple show. It’s not in their DNA to do anything half-arsed or contrived. This will be legendary.
I love My Chemical Romance.
I always will and I want to thank Gerard, Mikey, Frank and Ray, hell, even Bob, for saving my life. You’ve brought me back from the brink more times than you will ever know and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them as we enter the next era of this band.
Long live MCR.
Words by Kaydan Howison @Unicorn_Christ
Once again If you or anyone you know needs help with their own mental well-being call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or find your closest Suicide Prevention/Crisis Support Organisation on Google…