“My Turning Point” podcast host Steve Baltin celebrates the show’s 100th episode tomorrow (October 12) with a very special guest: Gerard Way of My chemical romance.
Baltin, a well-known music journalist and Variety contributor, launched the podcast with Live X Live and producer Adam Chavez two years ago and contacted Way to attend the milestone event.
“I had never in a million years imagined we had hit 100 episodes, so I always wanted to do something special for this milestone episode,” Baltin says. “I interviewed Gerard earlier this year for a project that had not yet been announced, and in an attempt to come up with the right idea for this episode, I asked him if it was ok to use our interview – as it was such a fascinating talk. – for the podcast. As one of the nicest guys in music, he graciously gave his blessing. ”
Baltin – who has known Way since the first interview with the MCR frontman at a Warped Tour stop in 2000 – had plenty to cover, including Way’s decision to take a break after the band broke up in 2013, shows the victorious reunion six years later, his friendship with Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and stories on My Chemical Romance’s landmark album, “Welcome to The Black Parade.”
“As soon as you tune in, you can hear that we’ve known each other for a long time, so it was, like all my interviews, incredible conversation,” Baltin adds. “And the depth he gets into the stories behind the song ‘Welcome To The Black Parade’ is incredible for any proud music nerd.”
Asked about the New Jersey band’s triumphant, sold-out reunion show at Los Angeles’ The Shrine in 2019 — just before the pandemic — Way said, “It was the funniest thing I had ever played a My Chem show.” The show was the venue’s biggest revenue, clearing nearly $ 1,500,000.
“After the band broke up and I had a lot of time to think and change and grow and all that, I started to have a real problem with control,” Way added. “So I started researching my own role in it and thinking about playing big shows and working with a bunch and hyping a crowd. And we always tried to keep our shows really authentic, almost as if you did not know what would happen up there night after night, even though we played the same songs. So when it was time to do My Chem again, I had said to myself, ‘OK, I don’t want to control the audience. I will not instruct them. I do not really want to work them. I just want to let them do what they want. ‘And then it made the show even more rewarding. ”
On his decision to stay out of the spotlight after the group broke up, Way said he was partially inspired by Dave Chapelle, who took a time-out when his Comedy Central show went on the air.
Said Way: “So Dave Chappelle, post ‘Chappelles Show’, he had by the way gone away, which I was actually related to. When it had felt time to end My Chemical Romance, I found his situation, although very different from mine, obviously very relatable, as he was in this kind of machine that had become super big and felt a little out of control, and so will not do it any more for mental reasons. ”
That time away, Way helped understand what the band meant to fans, given the reaction to the music years later.
“I was just so grateful, and just really blown away by it,” Way said. “When I saw the shows, they just kept selling out. And we kept adding them, and it just kept selling again, and I was like, ‘Wow, something happened in the years when this band disappeared.’ “
Speaking of his move to California, Way Smashing credited Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan for offering guidance and support.
“He’s so smart, and he’s said so much to me over the years in the times I’ve been with him,” Way said. “He has just been really good to me. And when I moved to LA, he went with me to vintage rooms to try out amplifiers, [because] I was looking for a heavier sound. He would go and try things with me. But he has given me advice over the years. Some of it I was not ready to hear, some of it I had to find out for myself. ”
Way also talked about the Queen’s influence – especially the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” – had on the recording of “Welcome to The Black Parade.” ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was always an influence on this song, “he said.” Just these big sweeping section changes and stuff. But at the same time, we realized that when we were working on it, you could not re-record ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. a little inspired by it, but we can not try to do it. ”
Way continued: “The victory of the human spirit over the darkness was something that was built into the band’s DNA from the beginning. The self-actualization, the triumph of the spirit and similar things that come through really hard things. There is darkness in the world. And I seem to overcome the darkness, that the darkness externally and internally is a beautiful thing. It’s a challenging thing, but it’s beautiful if you can do it, if you can overcome it. So it’s a theme that’s definitely in ‘Black Parade’, the song, and it’s in my work. ”