GER­ARD WAY

Af­ter more than a decade to­gether and their fair share of ups and downs, My Chem­i­cal Ro­mance are head­ing to Aus­tralia for the Big Day Out. Front­man Ger­ard Way chats to James Wigney about the Amer­i­can alt- rock out­fit’s hits and misses.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - MY CHEM­I­CAL RO­MANCE, Big Day Out, Mel­bourne Show­grounds, Jan­uary 29 ( big­day­out. com); Mel­bourne Fes­ti­val Hall, Jan­uary 31 ( 136 100).

Chem­i­cal re­ac­tion.

Q: You have done the Big Day Out a few times be­fore. What are your mem­o­ries? A:

My favourite two fes­ti­vals have al­ways been the Big Day Out and Sum­mer­sonic in Ja­pan. The Big Day Out is a lit­tle more fun be­cause it lasts longer. It’s like an ab­bre­vi­ated ver­sion of the Warped tour be­cause you get to play with the same peo­ple ev­ery day, which is re­ally fun. Nor­mal fes­ti­vals can be kind of alien­at­ing be­cause you are only there for a day – you have to rush all your gear on and you can’t build up a rhythm. Q: What can we ex­pect from the Big Day Out sets and the side shows? A:

We don’t ac­tu­ally know yet, which is ex­cit­ing. We feel like we are in a bit of a tran­si­tional pe­riod, so I don’t know where we will be men­tally by then. We will have been play­ing to­gether and work­ing to­gether for a while by that point and ex­plor­ing new sounds, so I don’t even know what kind of band it’s go­ing to be at that time. Q: Your last al­bum has been out for a year now. What was it like tour­ing that al­bum as op­posed to

[ a dark- themed con­cept al­bum] in 2007? A:

The Black Pa­rade

It has had pluses and mi­nuses for all dif­fer­ent rea­sons. It was def­i­nitely more fun but it had its own chal­lenges. You didn’t have to worry about putting on the cos­tume and do­ing the same show ev­ery night, that was the best part. You could get out there and change with what the au­di­ence was feel­ing, change song struc­tures at the last minute. That was re­ally cool be­cause we’d never re­ally got to do that be­fore. Q: Au­di­ences re­acted so vis­cer­ally to

Were they a lit­tle less in­tense this time around? A:

The Black Pa­rade.

Dan­ger Days

was some­thing that re­ally re­quested that you en­gage with it in a very heavy way, so that prob­a­bly had a lot to do with that. was re­ally up

The Black Pa­rade

Dan­ger Days to the au­di­ence but they re­ally took to it. So it felt like two re­ally dif­fer­ent en­er­gies but there was al­ways a lot of it. Q: The al­bum and tour was a very tough and in­tense time for you per­son­ally and the band. How do you re­flect on that with the ben­e­fit of hind­sight? A:

Black Pa­rade

Im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards I had a lot of neg­a­tive en­ergy to­wards it. As the years passed and I grew up a lit­tle more, I re­alised that it was re­ally hard but it was also an amaz­ing time. It was some­thing spe­cial and some­thing that no­body else was re­ally do­ing at the time. There is some­thing to be said for that and it’s never go­ing to be easy when you are do­ing it. Q: You have of­ten said that that al­bum was mis­con­strued. How so? A:

In a mil­lion ways. It was seen as a very pro self- harm, dark al­bum, when it was quite the op­po­site. It took about two- and- ahalf years be­fore peo­ple started writ­ing about it as some­thing that was very pos­i­tive. It was dis­heart­en­ing at the time, but not so much af­ter­wards. Q: It looked like there was a time back then when the band might split. How are things now be­tween you all? A:

The band’s re­ally good. The only rea­son any of those things hap­pened within the band was be­cause there was lower com­mu­ni­ca­tion the longer we were out on tour be­cause ev­ery­one was so wiped out all the time and deal­ing with cer­tain things be­cause of the record. It’s much dif­fer­ent now and we know we will never al­low our­selves to be in a sit­u­a­tion like that again. Q: You guys are do­ing your damn­d­est to keep the con­cept al­bum alive in this age of itunes and down­load­ing sin­gles. What’s the ap­peal for you there? A:

It’s just our per­sonal taste – it’s the way I like to lis­ten to al­bums. All of my favourite al­bums have this in­cred­i­ble amount of con­cep­tual glue to them, even if they are not telling a story. Even some­thing like Iggy Pop’s or have an en­ergy that is like a con­cept to me, so it’s just a pref­er­ence.

Lust For Life

The Id­iot Q: You are into the sec­ond decade of the band’s life now. How do you re­flect on the jour­ney of the first 10 years? A:

I have learned a lot about what we are and I think it took a long time to re­alise. It’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to com­pare the band to other bands you loved in terms of the tra­jec­tory or the path they took. So I have re­ally come to the un­der­stand­ing that our band is one of a kind. There is no ref­er­ence for when we are stuck and no es­cape route if we are in trou­ble. Q: How far ad­vanced are you with the next al­bum? A:

We were writ­ing so much ma­te­rial on the road we have a lot to sift through. It’s go­ing to be the first time we are play­ing shows still with ma­te­rial from our pre­vi­ous al­bums while work­ing on new stuff.

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