In 2005 I was fortunate to come across a kind of music I had not really listened to before and from a band I had never heard of. We had gotten a new satellite provider who had available a channel called 'Fuse' and on their top ten countdown they had a video I found to be very engrossing - the music was great and the band was very charismatic. I couldn't help but listen to it every day (Fuse actually played music back then) and finally my husband said 'Why don't you just get their CD?' I didn't even know their name. The next day I watched and discovered the band was called My Chemical Romance, and the song was called Helena.
For years fans of MCR were kind of ridiculed. We were labelled EMO, but we were always told by Gerard Way and his band that we could be however we wanted, to embrace life, that we were beautiful, to keep it ugly and stay real. We were told we were special and to never let others determine how we regarded ourselves.
We listened to the music, went to their concerts, bought their merchandise and kept the faith even when the albums came years apart. We kept buying their music even when they started coming in very expensive sets that seemed to get more and more spendy with each CD. The merchandise was expensive too, a lot of it a little too rich for those of us listening. I may be old, but most of the fan base were the youth, kids with not a lot of money but tons of heart and faith and we listened to every word, read every article, waited endlessly for every song.
Today we got a short, anonymous paragraph saying it was over. No explanation, no personal notes, just basically two sentences that said it's been swell but the swelling's gone down.
Do you truly realize what you've done MCR? I've read letters and blogs already of countless kids in mourning talking about being hurt, feeling betrayed, wondering why their heroes would just dump them without so much as a goodbye. One anonymous paragraph was an insult. We deserved better than that.
Now I'm quite a bit older so I know this is an inevitable part of the music industry. Each generation has had to endure the breakup of bands they held very dear. In fact most bands, even if they play in some capacity today, have suffered some kind of lineup change as people left, died or just plain burned out. Bands that were a lot larger in fan base than MCR and much more important to the history of music - some I can think of are The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, etc. and those were just some from the 70's - the list would be huge if we went further forward. The recent no-we-didn't-break-up-but-we're-back return of Fall Out Boy would be a good example. They too disappeared without so much as a 'thanks for the memories' and came back nonchalantly like nothing ever happened.
So why are we so betrayed? Why no warning or at least some personal note from the ones we were loyal to, some from the beginning which they claim is 12 years? Why did we have to find out on news channels that the band, who, in the March 9, 2013 issue of Kerrang (A UK based music magazine) had an article called MCR: The New Album which goes on to state that there are six songs finished for the new album that were 'exactly in line with what My Chem fans will be thrilled to hear, but at the same time it really marks what I think is a new phase [for the band]. It's super-refreshing, but at the same time familiar in the ways you want it to be'.
I'm old and cynical. This is not killer news for me and I'm sure that despite the thousand of MCR items all over my house I'll move on and be fine. But your main base of fans, the younger set, counted on you. Especially since you told them they were special and that you cared about them.