At a recent Comic-Con panel in Los Angeles, former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way spoke about how, in the wake of 9/11, MCR became a kind of therapy for him, prompting him to write I Brought You My Bullets… cut ‘Skylines and Turnstiles’.
“So 9/11 happens, and I pick up the guitar again and I write ‘Skylines And Turnstiles’, and then I called Otter [Matt Pellissier, drummer] and then I called Ray [Toro, guitarist], and we got Mikey [Way, bassist] in – and we just started building this momentum,” says Way about the band’s formation.
“It became my therapy from the PTSD that everyone had experienced from 9/11, and processing that.”
My Chem formed in 2001 shortly after the September 11 attacks. They would go on to release debut album I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love the following year.
“We were trying to take bits of everything we loved, like driving and fast punk, but then it’ll have metal, and the lyrics will be like storyteller lyrics.
“I really liked Nick Cave and he was a storyteller, and there wasn’t a lot of storytelling happening in rock music at the time, it was very much about relationships and boyfriend-girlfriend stuff. It was about relationships, but no one was really doing this conceptual stuff, or telling stories.”
Way goes on to explain feeling alienated by pop-punk at the time, a genre which tended to have a lyrical preoccupation for “high school experience, boyfriend-girlfriend stuff.”
“I wanted to build worlds with music, and that’s what we started to do together in bringing in gothic elements, or bringing in vampires, and building this thing.”
Watch the full panel below.