My Chemical Romance’s frontman Gerard Way has revealed that “Welcome to the Black Parade”, the instantly recognisable five-minute epic that first ignited emo teen hearts across the world on 2006’s The Black Parade, almost didn’t make the album’s final cut.
Celebrating the album’s 15th anniversary, Way said that the song was “the hardest one to finish” and needed to be “deconstructed and kind of broken in order to rebuild it into something better” before it was included on the final tracklist.
“Originally, that song was called ‘The Five of Us Are Dying’,” he told Apple Music 1. “We played it and we really liked it, and I had felt that we needed that one song on the record, that touchstone that kind of introduces your concept, and the lyrics and the themes of that song kind of embody the themes of the record.”
“All the other songs had really strong themes and titles and things like that,” he said. “But we didn’t want to just give up on the song, so then I started to bring the concept into the musical side of things, where I was like, ‘I want to call this ‘Black Parade’, I want there to be a parade on the record’, and we started breaking the song and reconstructing it.”
It was at this point that Way wrote the iconic piano melody that opens the song: “Once we re-approached it from the perspective of starting with a completely new introduction and a new way to start the song, it helped us fix the rest of it.”
He added: “Anytime it got brought up before we started breaking it, any time it kind of got brought up, especially by my A&R, Craig Aaronson, I would just kind of shoo him away about it and be like, ‘Yeah, that song’s about nothing. I’m not interested in that one.‘”
MCR would, of course, go on to release the track as the record’s first single in 2006 – it’s arguably one of the band’s most famous tracks. Refresh your memory below.