Things came to a head as they began early promo for the new LP. Their record label and media outlets who’d heard the new songs thought they were great, but even though MCR were gearing up to release the album, they were still finding themselves visiting the studio, unhappy with the finished product and adding keyboards, effects and extra layers of vocals in a desperate attempt to rescue the songs. By then, however, it was too late, as Gerard would later admit.
“That was the first experimentation that happened during the entire process and we had already recorded the album,” he told Kerrang! in 2010. “The only experimentation happened during the mixing. That’s pretty scary.”
But it wasn’t just the music that Gerard wasn’t happy with. Coming off the back of The Black Parade’s melodrama and show-stopping live production, he’d shied away from the pomp and fanfare the band had become associated with, but in the process, both he and My Chemical Romance had lost their identity.
Offers to be on the covers of men’s magazines rolled in, while he took part in a photoshoot for a music outlet which saw him dressed in a plain shirt, tie and raincoat. He looked like he could have been in almost any other rock band, and the media was treating him as such. That’s not what My Chemical Romance had ever been about. They needed to start over. They needed to rebel. They needed to become dangerous again.