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9/11 was ‘one of the biggest reasons’ why Gerard Way started My Chemical Romance

Amelia Jones

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9/11 was ‘one of the biggest reasons’ why Gerard Way started My Chemical Romance

Featured Image Credit: B.A.E. Inc. / drew farrell / Alamy Stock Photo

While you might fondly remember their noughties emo anthems and aesthetic - what you might not realise is that it was witnessing the tragic events of 9/11 that inspired Gerard Way to form My Chemical Romance the following day.

Interning at Cartoon Network at the time, he was sketching when the first plane hit.

In an interview with Newsweek in 2019, The Umbrella Academy creator said: "One of the biggest reasons I started My Chemical Romance was because I was one of the people to witness 9/11 in New York City.

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"That felt like the end of the world. It felt like the apocalypse.

Gerard Way said 9/11 'one of the biggest reasons' why he started My Chemical Romance. Credit: Sam Kovak / Alamy Stock Photo
Gerard Way said 9/11 'one of the biggest reasons' why he started My Chemical Romance. Credit: Sam Kovak / Alamy Stock Photo

"I was surrounded by hundreds of people on a dock on the Hudson River, and we watched the buildings go down, and there was this wave of human anguish that I’ve never felt before.

"Since then, I’ve continued to think about what we would do at the end of the world if we knew we only had a little time left."

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He continued: "Someone actually pointed out to me that the music video for ‘[Welcome to the] Black Parade’ also looked a bit like the aftermath of 9/11, and it came out just a day or two after the anniversary."

Speaking to Vice in 2013, he said: "It was like being in a science fiction film or some kind of disaster film—it was exactly that kind of feeling. You didn’t believe it. You felt like you were in Independence Day. It made no sense.

"Your brain couldn’t process it. And for me it was a little different. I’m very empathetic and I’m kind of a conduit emotionally, so I pick up a lot of stuff in that way.

Way witnessed the attack personally. Credit: World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
Way witnessed the attack personally. Credit: World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
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"There was about three or four-hundred people around me—and I was right at the edge.

"All these people behind me, they all had friends and family in those buildings. I didn’t. So when that first building went, it was like an A-bomb went off.

"It was like just this emotion and it made you nauseous."

At Los Angeles Comic Con in 2019, Way recalled the effect the event had on his PTSD, saying: “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], and we got Mikey [Way, bassist] in—and we just started building this momentum.

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"Music became my therapy from the PTSD that everyone had experienced from 9/11, and processing that."

Topics: Music, Celebrity

Amelia Jones
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