Gerard Way Talks About The “Safety” Of Writing In Character For The Black Parade
A lot of My Chemical Romance’s appeal was the way frontman Gerard Way wore his blackened heart on his sleeve – it was as if you were peering directly into his soul. It was honest and earnest and, even if there were lyrical embellishments here and there, it felt very much like he was singing about things he’d experienced, and the struggles and traumas he himself had been through.
That obviously shifted when it came to 2006’s third full-length, The Black Parade, which was much more of a conceptual and character-driven album. That’s something that Gerard recently discussed on the Carry The Fire podcast.
“I think there’s a bit of safety that comes with being a character,” he said. “Obviously, I was looking up to my heroes when I was constructing that. I was looking at David Bowie, especially around The Black Parade. Early Black Parade stuff was basically, ‘What if death had a rock band?’ and it obviously changed from that and we all became death in a way, the whole band.”
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Gerard is no stranger to writing in character, of course, having written the comic book series The Umbrella Academy – which then became a hugely-successful Netflix series. In the podcast he went on to talk about he enjoyed doing so when the band were making The Black Parade, as well as the impact that that had on his relationship with their audience.
“The character I was during Black Parade was fun,” he explained. “In an entertaining way, there was this level of disdain you would have for your audience playing as The Black Parade but it was, to me, a healthy kind because you were just playing really. I thought that was a fun aspect of that character. There’s a lot of you in the character. I always saw the characters that I played as some aspect of myself turned up to 12.”
Listen to the full podcast here.
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