Gerard Way on rock music resurgence: “People missed the sound of the guitar”

My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way has discussed the resurgence of rock music in popular culture, saying that people “missed the sound of the guitar”.

In a new career-spanning interview, Way discussed the antiquated ‘rock is dead’ arguments, his love of Nirvana and why he believes rock music motifs are infiltrating pop music once again.

Discussing how Nirvana “had the grunge tag and [MCR] got the emo tag,” Way said: “I don’t think either of our bands ever felt comfortable with those tags. I was never really into [other] grunge; it was Nirvana for me.

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“I didn’t necessarily consider them grunge – I guess they epitomised it, but at the same time, nobody else that was a grunge band really sounded like them, you know? I felt that way about My Chemical Romance too. We had emerged into this second-wave emo scene, and it never really felt right.”

Discussing My Chemical Romance’s emergence in the early 2000s and how views of rock music have shifted since, Way added: “In the 2000s, when we emerged, you saw other bands like Green Day have almost a whole revitalisation: it was a time for rock and roll. Rock and roll was a really dominant thing.

Gerard Way
Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. CREDIT: Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty Images

“And then pop starts to take a lot of risks, then all of the sudden you see people trying to get bands to use guitars less. You keep hearing, ‘Rock is dead.’ If somebody gave me a free guitar every time somebody said ‘Rock is dead,’ I’d have a lot of guitars.

He added: “What I believe happened in that time that rock was gone, [when] you wouldn’t hear guitars in things, I think people really missed what you can get out of a rock band and you can’t get anywhere else. They just missed the sound of the guitar.

“I think that’s why you’re starting to hear them in pop. I think as this cycle continues, sounds are going to get heavier and more visceral because I think people just need that. I think people just need it.”

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Last week, My Chemical Romance announced seven new dates in Europe as part of their 2022 reunion tour.

Following on from a handful of extra UK dates, the New Jersey band have confirmed additional shows in France, Germany, Hungary and Poland to go alongside their already announced run of rescheduled reunion shows.

My Chemical Romance broke up in 2013 but reunited in 2019 for a show at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles. Soon after, they announced tour plans but those were delayed because of the coronavirus.