Tuesday afternoon, lead singer of My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way, agreed to have a phone interview with The Maine Campus.
Instead of conducting the interview using questions only we wanted to know, we went down to the Alfond Arena to find out what student fans buying tickets on opening day would like to know about MCR.
We received many questions, running the gamut from serious, music related questions to off-the-wall random queries.
Question from Kelly Constantine, senior marine science major
The Maine Campus: Boxers or briefs?
Gerard Way: Briefs.
TMC: You can say other.
GW: Yeah, briefs
Question from Jeremiah Richter, junior mechanical engineer
TMC: How did you guys meet?
GW: Well, Mikey is obviously my brother so we grew up together. During college was when I met Ray Toro through a mutual friend. Then, later on when the band started, we had been getting these shows with another band called Pencey Prep and that’s what Frank [Lero's] band was. So, that’s basically how we came together. Now Bob [Bryar] we met on the road. He was a front-end sound guy.
Question from Sean Hladick, senior journalism major
TMC: I have another student asking about Jon Bon Jovi, because you guys will be opening for him in the upcoming months. How do you feel about that? It seems to a lot of us that you have very different musical styles.
GW: It is entirely different, but it’s a huge honor. I grew up as a Bon Jovi fan. Whenever you’re dealing with Bon Jovi or Springsteen, it’s just a great honor and at that point; it doesn’t really matter what genre you play. It really just kind of matters that you’re all from New Jersey. It was just a huge honor to get asked to open for them, so we feel great about it.
TMC: Speaking of New Jersey, do you have a lot of New Jersey pride, or is it something you hide at all?
GW: No, not at all. We never hid it. We have a lot of pride being from New Jersey. It’s an amazing place. It’s very unique, and if you weren’t born here and grew up here, you don’t necessarily appreciate it as much. We love it. Going on the road, originally, it helped saying you were from Jersey because people have such a weird perspective of New Jersey, that they thought anybody who was a kid from New Jersey was a criminal or something. Nobody really messed with me because I was from New Jersey.
Question from Liz Maliga, junior English major
TMC: The next question I have is about your uniforms you guys often wear on stage and whether or not you guys wash them regularly.
GW: We don’t wash them regularly, but we do wash them. I wash mine the least; I think I wait the longest because I like the uniform to feel really broken-in. I wait sometimes over a week before washing it. We have to wash them eventually; they start to smell really bad.
TMC: Well I’m sure you guys get pretty sweaty on stage.
GW: Yes, very sweaty.
Question from Meghan Jenovese, first-year zoology major
TMC: Where do you usually get your musical inspirations for your song writing?
GW: It kind of comes from everywhere. We all have very vast musical taste and we draw upon different things. For The Black Parade, we drew upon our influences from classic rock and I think we really tried to make a classic rock record. I think that kind of shows through. It really comes from all different places: classical music, show tunes, soundtracks, film – a lot actually. Just film itself without music is a big influence for the band. It comes from all different sources.
Question from Dana Andrews, junior art education major
TMC: What is your biggest fear?
GW: My biggest fear used to be of failure growing up and in art school and then after art school not being able to get any work as an artist. It was really frustrating. I thought I was going to have to work a really lame job and not be allowed to be artistic or anything like that. That was a big fear for a long time.
TMC: This is kind of old news, but, in 2006 you were voted both best and worst group as well as best and worst album and I was wondering how you felt about that.
GW: I feel great about that. Honestly, we didn’t get into this to make any friends. We actually don’t have many friends. We got into this to make what we wanted. There’s something about being extremely unashamed about what you are that really pisses people off. It means you’re going to get a lot of people that understand it and love it and a lot of people that don’t understand it and they hate it. We never got into this to be mediocre . Nobody ever says we’re just OK. They either say, “Oh man, I love that band,” or they say, “I hate that band.” That’s really awesome. It’s a really great thing to have and we’re very fortunate to have it.
TMC: I understand you don’t really like the term emo to describe your music. Is there anything you’d like to say about that?
GW: Basically, it’s never been accurate to describe us. Emo bands were being booked while we were touring with Christian metal bands because no one would book us on tours. I think emo is F–ing garbage, it’s bulls–. I think there’s bands that unfortunately we get lumped in with that are considered emo and by default that starts to make us emo. All I can say is anyone actually listening to the records, put the records next to each other and listen to them and there’s actually no similarities. I think emo’s a pile of s–.
TMC: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
GW: I do actually. Don’t be full of s–, number one. Do it for the right reasons. Don’t do it for drugs, sex or money. Be sincere, be honest, play what you want, not what everyone else wants to hear, get in a van, never go home and work your ass off. That’s honestly it.
TMC: Sounds like pretty solid advice.
GW: Yeah, there’s no science to it. You get in a van and never go home. You sever all ties. You’re going to be homeless anyways so you sleep on people’s floors. Don’t worry about food; don’t worry about being comfortable because it’s not going to happen. Don’t ever worry whether you’re going to be big or not. It always seems to me that the bands that don’t care are the ones that actually get big.
TMC: Do you have anything else that you want to let the UMaine community know?
GW: We’re really excited to play there. Maine is actually one of the first places we ever played. Our friend Sean Francis booked us in a high school up there. He rented out the whole gymnasium and put a show on for us. It is one of my fondest memories. We spent the whole weekend up there and hung out and took the drive home. It was a really nice weekend trip. It was before we actually started touring. We always miss Maine and we always miss playing up there.