My Chemical Romance is very OK, OK?

They’re from New Jersey, they like comics, they’ve done drugs, they’ve fought and now they’re everywhere. For My Chemical Romance the climb to the top of the charts has not been easy, but its success is super sweet. Prompted by the release of its new album Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, the band has gathered a fanatical following and garnered worldwide attention.

Part goth, part punk, part emo and definitely rock, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge is like a mini horror story with tracks laced with tough lyrics and experiences taken from the band. On tour for more than two years now, with the latest tour co-billed with rockers The Used, Taking Back Sunday and Story of the Year, the band explodes on stage. For guitarist Ray Toro it’s all about the chemistry. “We play with passion and energy and we love what we do; we wouldn’t want to be doing anything else,” he says.

On tour Ray says the boys get through the schedule with constant video games, movies and music. “Every time we stop at a Wal-Mart or something we try to raid the $10-and-under bin. For me, being on the phone is the way to keep in contact. For the guys, whenever we come home from a tour their suitcases are no longer packed with clothes, filled with DVDs or CDs. Those kinds of things help you when you’re away for awhile.”

Despite a heavy touring schedule the boys play hard and try to get their audience really involved in the music. “One of the most fun songs is the first song off of the new record, “Helena;” it’s just a really somber but uplifting song and it hits home because it’s about Mikey’s grandmother who really helped us get started. It has a very personal meaning and we feel it every time we play it,” Ray says.

While the records both have a rock sound, Ray says there were changes in the band that really affected the recording of the second album. “We actually were more of a band when we recorded this second album,” he says. “Frank came and that week we started recording. We tried not to be self-indulgent; we really tried to get down to the bare bones of what makes a good song.” Tackling some tough issues lyrically, the music of My Chemical Romance is intense. “We wanted to make music that really moves you emotionally,” Ray says.

While being constantly promoted on MTV and playing on shows such as Letterman, Ray and the band seem to stay grounded. “All the people we’ve met are just really normal, they have normal things to talk about,” he says. “We do ordinary things, people we met are just chill, its hard to believe.”

From starting in a garage in New Jersey to definite success, Ray says the band is still in awe of the fame and the hype that surrounds it. “We’re all taken aback by the success and we don’t understand why it’s happened, we work hard but we consider ourselves really lucky. We haven’t really had the chance to look back at what we’ve accomplished because we’re always trying to look ahead,” he says. With the success and dedication of the quintet, expect big things in the future.

Joanna Davila can be contacted at