My Chemical Romance Rumors & Responsibility
So, when the internet at large, massive news outlets included, lost its collective shit about perceived changes to the My Chemical Romance website and uploads to the band's official YouTube channel, drawing a very flimsy line between what would appear to be some regular web presence housekeeping and the band's "possible reunion," it was hard to know what to say or how to address it in a significant way...
There's a feeling I have about these recurrent reunion rumors that I have been grappling to understand. It makes me both roll my eyes and become pained. It's that feeling I'm going to attempt to work out in writing here, because my actual response to the rumors is simple:
Are you fucking kidding me? If My Chemical Romance comes back, it will be an event. It will be through something none of us could predict. It will be wholly deliberate, intricate and without mistake.
And perhaps it is knowing that which makes these rumors and the way people talk about an MCR comeback more annoying than anything and a conversation I'm not interested in. In most of these discussions I've been roped into, the band and their motivations tend to be simplified in one of a few ways:
Money. How much of it they have and how much they want and how much they would make from a reunion. This is a go-to topic for my friends within the music industry in particular, and it bores me. I hear the he-said, she-said within this realm constantly. "I hear this management company is planning..." "I hear they've been offered..." "I hear this about booking venues." Blah, blah, blah. MCR's business is their, well, business. And if you know anything about how much money has gone into art they were very much taking a gamble on, you'll know that the business is very much secondary. ("The aftermath is secondary," as they say. Sorry.)
Obligation. A phrase I hear a lot during these "comeback" conversations is that they "have to" come back. Oh, do they? From day one, this band has done everything on terms that they've defined and for reasons they've truly believed in. Perhaps they will "have to" come back some day. Perhaps the band will find that they are needed. But, their comeback will not be for the mere sake of coming back, should it ever occur.
Trends, Growing Acclaim and Nostalgia. It cannot be refuted that MCR have only become more popular since the last time we saw them in action. For a while, I'd been predicting that MCR were to be our generation's Nirvana, and it would appear that that level has been reached or nearly so. With today's prominent musicians being the fans who grew up listening to MCR, the conversation about them is resurfacing in a different way and the cyclical nature of artistic trends is pointing back to a time which you would be remiss to discuss without mention of MCR. Those of us in our 20s want to go back to the mid-2000s (see the endless "emo night" events we attend these days) and those who weren't there are learning about the magic of that era through the new music they're discovering. My Chemical Romance are, of course, at the forefront in this new revival of culture. Because of all of this, people argue, it's the "right" time for an MCR comeback. Or, going back to "money," certainly a profitable one.
It's all so impersonal, and that's the bit that fucks me up, I'm realizing. For many of us, My Chemical Romance are our lifeblood, and these rumors aren't accounting for the nuances that make the band great. The rumors prey on desperation and stink of marketing schemes. They take autonomy from a fiercely artistically autonomous band. They paint a band that never did the same thing twice with the brush of nostalgia rather than the creative innovation for which they're known.
It comes down to this, perhaps. In the constant struggle to resurrect something magical, the magic is being forgotten.
And fuck that.