My Chemical Romance released their fourth album last week, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. But the finished product wasn't what they originally intended. The band ended up leaving a reported 28 songs on the cutting room floor, which has led to much speculation as to the future of the unused tracks.
Speaking with Exclaim!, My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way discussed what led to scrapping a full two albums' worth of material.
"I think the first attempt at this record was a reaction to the ambition of [2006's Black Parade], unfortunately," Way says. "And, I guess, thinking if we kill the ambition, strip it down, cut our hair and present ourselves as respectable and make a very safe rock record that will avoid for us any hardships, potentially, and we won't rock the boat or make so much noise. Which means we could keep doing what we like: make music together. But Danger Days ended up being a rebellion against that rebellion, like saying, 'We have to do this again if we really believe in this and each other.'
"It was definitely a reaction to the toll it took, but we took it and turned it into something really positive. If it took a heavy toll on us again, we'd say, 'Okay, it's taking a heavy toll on us so let's go on a really fun, bright, colourful dance party adventure, so then we get to live that every night. We don't have to live something so dark.'"
But now that Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys has finally seen a release, what about the scrapped album? Will it remain locked and guarded like Green Day's Cigarettes and Valentines or Weezer's space rock opera, Songs from the Black Hole? Way says he's up for giving the untitled record a release somewhere down the line.
"I think it will see the light of day," he says. "I think it would be fun for a fan to hear that. I think it would be important too. In the aftermath of Danger Days, if that means two years or 15, I don't know. It would be cool for people to see the process and what it was like and how we got to Danger Days. We wouldn't work on it anymore, we would just put it in order and then put it out. It's unfinished, in that we just ran out of time and it wasn't that great, so we abandoned it. But there were a lot of songs recorded."
Danger Days is out now on Reprise. As previously reported, My Chemical Romance are set to embark on their Canadian-friendly "World Contamination Tour." You can see all the dates here.