My Chemical Romance is currently in the studio in Los Angeles working on their fourth studio album with veteran producer Brendan O’Brien. O’Brien is known for his work with Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith and many others.
The band began writing the songs in May 2008 — a week after they finished up more than a year of touring in support of their 2006 Platinum-selling concept album The Black Parade, but frontman Gerard Way says things didn’t really come together until about six months later. He adds that the new album is the first one the band has recorded that is not centered on any one concept.
“At this point, the best way to describe the new album is My Chemical Romance being the purest, most distilled version of itself,” Way says. “No bells and whistles, as the focus has been on melody and songwriting. If it doesn't work in a room with just the five of us, we aren't trying to make it work in the studio with effects and string sections. Making The Black Parade allowed us the departure we needed to see what worked and what didn't, experiment, and add a lot of elements we never would have. Sometimes you need to leave to come back home. To me, it feels like the culmination of everything we have learned as songwriters and players.”
Adds guitarist Ray Toro: “I think the direction of the new album is a perfect mix of what we did on Black Parade and what we did on Revenge. After Black Parade, we were ready for a more aggressive sound, similar to Revenge, but even harder. Because we had toured behind Black Parade for so long, we wanted to do the complete opposite of that this time out, almost kind of de-construct ourselves.”
To shepherd them in the studio, MCR has turned to O’Brien, whom Way describes as “fantastic and fun to work with. He also has the ability to take a band and get the best possible version of that band at that moment, which is what we really wanted.”
Released in October 2006, The Black Parade shot to No. 2 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart, selling more than 240,000 copies its first week of release. The album was hailed by critics and has spawned four Modern Rock smash singles. The New Jersey-bred MCR toured the world, culminating in a triumphant hometown show at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in May 2008.
“What we’re bringing from Black Parade to the new album is that sense of creative spark, where anything can feel possible, except distilled into a three minute, 30-second song,” Toro says. “I can say, hands down, this is our best record yet. We’ve gotten even better as songwriters and musicians, and we cannot wait for people to hear what we came up with. It’s all of the best characteristics of the band finally on one record.”
For more on My Chemical Romance, including video of the band in the studio, visit mychemicalromance.com.