Looking back, I think I can wholeheartedly say that My Chemical Romance were the band that properly got me into the music I love today. I’d got on the bandwagon a little late, as I don’t think I listened to them until I was well into secondary school, despite ‘The Black Parade’ coming out in 2006 (when I was only ten, I’m sure you can forgive me there!). However, after one of my classmates sent ‘Teenagers’ to my phone via Bluetooth (am I old now?) (Yes, I think that qualifies you as old now, welcome to the club – Ancient Editor), I was hooked.
The first chance I got, I went straight to my local branch of CEX and found the CD. My copy still has the shop’s stickers on it because it was near enough impossible to remove them. Since then, it’s become one of my most played CDs (yes, I still play CDs, I’m aware that makes me ancient). Hearing ‘The End’ for the first time made me think that this band were special, and I definitely wasn’t wrong.
With my bedroom walls covered in mostly My Chemical Romance and Green Day posters, I’d have the music videos playing on Kerrang! TV for hours as the soundtrack to my GCSE revision. Every time a song from ‘The Black Parade’ came on, the volume would go as high as it could, much to my neighbours’ annoyance.
When I saw them play live on what would be their last UK tour in 2011, it was the songs from this album that excited me the most. Seeing the whole of Wembley Arena screaming ‘Welcome To The Black Parade’ and ‘Famous Last Words’ back at Gerard Way was almost euphoric. I’d be lying if I said that my 14-year-old self didn’t fangirl a lot when Gerard looked at me, which he 100% did.
Now, a good 8 years after that Bluetooth/emo-fuelled lunchtime at school, the songs still have the same effect. If one of them pops up on Spotify (see, I am cool), I’m sure it’s actually illegal to skip it. My Chemical Romance managed to do something rarely achieved by other artists. Not only did they produce an awe-inspiring third album, which is a feat in itself, but they also inspired a generation of teens to truly find themselves. Would there have been as many teenagers with super-heavy eyeliner and spiky bracelets post-2006 without this album? Honestly, probably not.
There’s a whole host of bands, including Simple Plan, that have openly said that My Chemical Romance motivated them to make music. So, when the emo-gods shockingly called it quits in 2013, they weren’t really. Yes, there were to be no more direct releases from them, but their music continues to live on through those they influenced. It did the thing it set out to do: inspire.
We have a lot to thank ‘The Black Parade’ for, more than I can write about here. It has a well-earned spot in our Teen Angst Anthems. For all the kids that feel lost and confused, give it a listen. I promise it’ll change your life.