My Chemical Romance Interview
This was done on September 20, 2002 outside of the Hawk's Nest. It was a full moon.

Josh: This has nothing to do with anything, but what if vampires really do hurt me?

Gerard: Umm...

Mikey: Ut-oh.

Gerard: No, I promise you, they will never. Umm... Yeah. I don’t have an answer for that.

Frank: And you don’t get a refund on the CD.

Ray: Then you get to live for a really long time.

Gerard: Yeah, exactly. It’s kind of cool actually.


Frank: I think he’s waiting for a better answer.

Gerard: Ok, let’s introduce ourselves.

Mikey: Ok, I’m Mikey and I play bass.

Gerard: I’m Gerard, I sing.

Frank: I’m Frank, I play guitar and scream.

Matt: I’m Matt, I play drums.

Ray: I’m Ray, I play guitar.

Josh: And what if vampires really do hurt me?

Gerard: Oh, come on. With the vampires again... You’re not getting your money back.

Ray: Call our entertainment lawyer.

Josh: Ok, this is a serious question now. You guys are from New Jersey, so, given that, what if vampires really do hurt me?

(everyone laughs)

Gerard: You know what we’re gonna do? We’re gonna tie you up, take you in our van to downtown Newark...

Matt: You might not meet your first vampire, but you’ll meet something else.

Gerard: That’s what happens if we get that question again.

(I whisper to Clair to get her to ask it)

Ray: Is he gonna ask it one more time?

Gerard: I can see you, dude.

Josh: I know.

Gerard: He’s asking her right in front of us.

(everyone has a good laugh)

Josh: Ok, this seriously has nothing to do with vampires anymore.

Frank: What if vampires really do hurt me? I hope they hurt you.

Josh: Werewolves... No, I’m kidding.

(everyone laughs)

Gerard: That’s so weird, we were talking about that today. We have a side project called Wolfen and we were going to play because we only play during full moons.

Mikey: Yeah, only during full moon cycles.

Josh: Is it full right now?

Ray: Yeah.

Gerard: That’s why we were going to play as Wolfen tonight.

(Mikey is drinking an entire bottle of Pepto Bismol and everyone makes reference to it)

(There are two breaks here- the tape recorder gets paused twice- and I remember why the second time but not the first)

Josh: When I first heard the name My Chemical Romance, I thought it was going to be techno. Do you get that a lot?

Mikey: We played Philadelphia once, and they called us the Chemical Brothers. And we didn’t even draw as the Chemical Brothers.

(everyone laughs)

Mikey: It was one of our first shows, and I’m sure people knew that the Chemical Brothers weren’t playing the Fire.

Gerard: We really just wanted a name that wouldn’t sound like any other. There are a lot of trends in names right now. We tried to stay away from that. We went through five or six different names, a couple of them are actually band names now with different bands.

Frank: One is a song title for Thursday.

Gerard: Yeah, a Thursday song title is very close to one of the original names we were going to use. But... Yeah, we get a lot of Brit-pop. People think that we’re Brit-pop. That’s kind of cool.

Josh: But you are Brit-pop.

Gerard: Yeah, basically.

Josh: I want to go back to New Jersey, but I’m not going to bring up vampires again.

Gerard: Ok, good. ‘Cause you know what happens to you if you bring that up again.

Frank: You’re gonna go to Jersey.

(everyone laughs)

Gerard: Yeah, the seedy side... Where we’re from.

Josh: It seems like there was a time when every band was coming out of New Jersey, and that may still be happening now but people stopped paying so much attention now. At one time, it seemed like everything was coming out of Jersey and now it’s kind of died down. Like it’s ok to be from Jersey again or something.

Gerard: Yeah, I think that what happened was Thursday and Saves the Day broke, and they’re Jersey bands. Then there was a shitload of Jersey bands coming out at the time, and the ones doing really well were opening a lot of doors.

Josh: And Midtown.

Gerard: And Midtown. So I think people took their attention away from the emerging New Jersey bands for a while, and concentrated more on the bands that were doing well. And I think that since those bands have kind of been doing well for a while now, they’re kind of focusing back on Jersey again and what’s coming from New Jersey next. So I definitely see excitement building on Jersey again.

Frank: There are a lot of good bands in New Jersey.

Gerard: There are a lot of good bands coming out.

Josh: Like the Break.

Gerard: the Break.

Frank: the Break. December.

Gerard: Prevent Falls. the Banner. the June Spirit. Sense Failed- they just got signed to Drive Thru, we’re really happy for them. I’m sure there are more, we’ll think of them later on.

Frank: E-Town Concrete.

Josh: I heard about this singer/song writer from Jersey called Bruce Springsteen.

Frank: He sucks.

Gerard: I heard a demo and I think if maybe they put in some studio money, he’d be better.

Josh: So now, aside from being from Jersey, you’re on Eyeball Records. Which is the “birthplace of Thursday”. And then Geoff actually produced your CD too. Are you concerned that being from Jersey and on Eyeball, then on top of it to have Geoff in there, that people will just pass you off as like, “Oh, this band is like Thursday”? I honestly don’t think you sound like Thursday at all.

Gerard: That’s the thing. I think he wanted to be involved because it didn’t sound like them. The cool thing about Eyeball is they don’t sign bands that sound like Thursday. We work pretty close at their office, we’ll do our mail order sometimes, and we just try to help them. There are only two guys- Mark and Alex- who run it. They do a ton of fucking work. They get a ton of demos all the time. Everyone of them sounds exactly like Thursday. And they sign none of them.

Frank: Yeah, if you sound like Thursday, don’t send your demo to us.

Gerard: Because he won’t sign you. There are a lot of bands I’m not going to mention that got signed, but they’re not signed by Eyeball.

Frank: Yeah, since we don’t really sound like Thursday, we haven’t really gotten any of that backlash.

Gerard: I think we only get compared to them very rarely and when people do it without actually listening to our record.

(a little pause)

Gerard: You got this smile on your face like you’re going to ask about vampires again.

(Mikey continues to drink Pepto)

Josh: I was going to go into vampires next, but now you blew it...

Gerard: You know what’s gonna happen so you gotta think of something else. We don’t have much room in that van, but it doesn’t matter, we’ll shove you in.

Josh: Do you guys wanna be goth?

Gerard: Umm... No, no we don’t.

Ray: We just wanna be dark.

Gerard: I know it’s gonna happen, but we haven’t gotten any goth comparisons yet. But we’re basically like the Misfits...

Frank: We have been called fags though.

Gerard: Yes.

Mikey: Speak for yourself, g.

Frank: Just because you don’t hear it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

Gerard: And I’m a big fan of the Damned, so I guess I’m as goth as the Damned. The Damned is not a goth band, they’re a punk rock band. They just like dark shit. We like bats, they like dracula. Some people might be assuming that we might be, but we’re obviously not. We tried to play a goth club once though, just for fun, and because we have that whole vampire thing.

Josh: Were there vampires there?

Frank: Yeah.

Gerard: There’s this place in Newark that’s full of vampires. Jersey is full of vampires. They get together and play those roleplaying games, and then they think they’re really vampires so they sit around and drink each others’ blood.

Frank: I saw that shit on Ricki Lake, dude.

Josh: Do they come to your shows?

Gerard: Umm, no.

Frank: A couple. A couple goth kids started coming to our shows.

(an im received noise is heard)

Josh: That was an im!

(everyone laughs)

Gerard: Someone is fucking popular up there. But we don’t really get any goth crowds at our shows. We get a few here and there, but they probably get turned off by the sound.

Josh: There has actually been a lot of talk surrounding you lately, and hopefully around this time next year you’re going to be a lot bigger.

Gerard: But we’re staying indie. Just for the record, there’s been a lot of talk around our label and about us, but we’re staying on Eyeball and we’re staying indie. I just wanted to say that.

Josh: I think people are going to start buying your music and know it.

Frank: If they can get a fucking copy.

Josh: Now, you guys are probably going to be big soon- going back to that- and I've been working on some music of my own and I was wondering if I could sample some on you accapella.

Gerard: Ok.

Josh: (singing) It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes.

(everyone kind of looks around, not sure what to say)

Mikey: Do some Jay Z.

Josh: Well, will Eyeball sign me?

Frank: No, you sound too much like Thursday.