After My Chemical Romance suddenly announced their split last Friday, singer Gerard Way has followed up with a lengthy open letter devling into his thoughts on the band’s breakup. Starting with a long description of adjusting to his new reality, Way related a story of freeing a bird that had wandered into his house on his first day after the split. He wrote that it’s in his nature “to be abstract, hidden in plain sight, or nowhere at all,” before opening up about the band’s dissolution.
“We were spectacular. Every show I knew this, every show I felt it with or without external confirmation,” he wrote. “There were some clunkers, sometimes our secondhand gear broke, sometimes I had no voice – we were still great. It is this belief that made us who we were, but also many other things, all of them vital – And all of the things that made us great were the very things that were going to end us – Fiction. Friction. Creation. Destruction. Opposition. Aggression. Ambition. Heart. Hate. Courage. Spite. Beauty. Desperation. LOVE. Fear. Glamour. Weakness. Hope. Fatalism.”
Way stressed fatalism, noting a “fail-safe” or “doomsday” device for My Chemical Romance that meant they’d end the band before moving in uncomfortable directions. “Under directive to terminate before it becomes compromised. To protect the idea – at all costs,” wrote Way. “This probably sounds like something ripped from the pages of a four-color comic book, and that’s the point. No compromise. No surrender. No fucking shit. To me that’s rock & roll. And I believe in rock & roll.”
Way singled out a show in Asbury Park, New Jersey, on May 19th, 2012, as a turning point. “This is different – a strange anxiety jetting through me that I can only imagine is the sixth sense one feels before their last moments alive,” he wrote. “My pupils have zeroed-out and I have ceased blinking. My body temperature is icy. We get the cue to hit the stage.” But the show felt somehow empty to Way this time around. “I am acting. I never act on stage, even when it appears that I am, even when I’m hamming it up or delivering a soliloquy,” he wrote. “I have become highly self-aware, almost as if waking from a dream. I began to move faster, more frantic, reckless – trying to shake it off – but all it began to create was silence. The amps, the cheers, all began to fade.”
Though Way says he “hollowed out” and found the “vibrancy” he used to see “de-saturated,” he’s determined not to paint the band as some sort of victim. “For us to adopt that role right now would legitimize everything the tabloids have tried to name us. More importantly, it completely misses the point of the band,” he wrote.
Closing with an expression of love for his bandmates and many thanks for the fans, Way was sentimental. “Since I am bad with goodbyes. I refuse to let this be one. But I will leave you with one last thing – My Chemical Romance is done. But it can never die. It is alive in me, in the guys, and it is alive inside all of you. I always knew that, and I think you did too,” he wrote, “Because it is not a band – it is an idea.”