My Chemical Romance Almost Didn't Welcome Us to 'The Black Parade'
Gerard Way says the band considered scrapping the iconic album centrepiece
Published Oct 21, 2021Even the very first note of My Chemical Romance's "Welcome to the Black Parade" has become a quintessential call to arms for a generation — but bandleader Gerard Way has revealed that the song was almost cut from the album.
The New Jersey rockers' canonical third LP The Black Parade is celebrating its 15-year anniversary this week. To commemorate the occasion, Way sat down with Apple Music 1 host Travis Mills to reflect on how the album came together — nearly sans "Welcome to the Black Parade."
"Originally, that song was called 'The Five of Us Are Dying'," the musician explained. "We played it and we really liked it, and I had felt that we needed that one song on the record — that touchstone that kind of introduces your concept — and the lyrics and the themes of that song kind of embody the themes of the record."
However, Way initially found it difficult to connect to the song on a personal level.
"But we didn't want to just give up on the song, so then I started to bring the concept into the musical side of things," they said, and this was the point where the conspicuous opening piano melody was written.
"I was like, 'I want to call this 'Black Parade,' I want there to be a parade on the record,' and we started breaking the song and reconstructing it. Once we re-approached it from the perspective of starting with a completely new introduction and a new way to start the song, it helped us fix the rest of it."
This was a turning point for the direction of not only the song, but the album as a whole. Obviously, "Welcome to the Black Parade" made the tracklist and was released as the lead single for The Black Parade. It has since become the song the band is best known for; but according to Way, it was quite a journey to get to that point.
"Anytime it got brought up before we started breaking it, any time it kind of got brought up — especially by my AR, Craig Aaronson — I would just kind of shoo him away about it and be like, 'Yeah, that song's about nothing. I'm not interested in that one,'" the musician recalls.
Oh how the tables have turned. "Welcome to the Black Parade" continues to inspire the masses to this day — Kevin Smith is even basing Clerks III on its lyrics.
Listen to the interview with Way in full below.
Due to COVID-19, My Chemical Romance postponed their reunion tour until 2022.