Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Emo Goth Danger?

We mentioned before this strange saga (More media lies about goths and emos ) in the press from this stupid article EMO cult warning for parents | the Daily Mail which focused particularly on My Chemical Romance. They have often promoted anti self-harm message so pinning the blame on them is stupid.

But what can you expect from the Daily Mail who loved the colour black in the thirties when it was worn by the British Union of Fascists famously running the headline "Hurrah for the Blackshirts!". They frequently said good things about Hitler and Mussolini and supported the appeasement line.

The Guardian interview with My Chemical Romance at the time was interesting:

Alexis Petridis meets My Chemical Romance The Daily Mail says they're a threat to society. Rival bands say they're dangerous. Are My Chemical Romance really as evil as all that? Alexis Petridis finds out

Friday October 27, 2006
The Guardian

"I'm surprised a newspaper thought we were such a threat that they had to write a whole article about us and our fans, calling them a death cult," frowns Gerard Way. His brother wearily points out that we have been here before. "In the 1980s, people thought Judas Priest was promoting suicide," he sighs. "They were like, Dee Snider from Twisted Sister? Dude's in league with the devil, man!"

In addition, they claim not to be an emo band at all: "We're so opposed to it because when we started out there were emo bands all around and we stuck out as not being emo," complains Gerard. "What that translated to is that we couldn't get booked up for shows, no one would take us on tour with them apart from Christian metal bands. We didn't get any of the benefits of being an emo band, our influences didn't come from emo. We just became emo by default, because we became one of the biggest bands from that scene." He quickly corrects himself: "That we weren't even a part of."...

The other factor is the band and their fans frequently have faced rivalry from others like metal bands etc which has led to fights :

The other factor in My Chemical Romance's rise to mainstream stardom seems to have been their appearance at this year's Reading Festival. Plenty of artists have sealed their elevation to the big time via a triumphant summer festival appearance, but My Chemical Romance stole the show at Reading by the unlikely expedient of having bottles thrown at them by disgruntled fans of metal band Slayer, who preceded them on the bill. The Slayer fans were either provoked by My Chemical Romance's music, or Gerard Way's frenetic, mincing stage manner ("right from when we started," says Iero phlegmatically, "people have yelled 'fags' at us"), or the youth of their fanbase. Either way, the column inches most expected to go the Arctic Monkeys or Muse went their way. The hype was increased when fellow alt-rockers Kasabian and the Killers' Brandon Flowers dismissed them in terms your average 14-year-old is likely to find irresistible: the former called them "dark and weird", the latter "dangerous".

Mention of the Reading performance evokes mixed emotions. Iero claims he thought the incident "ruled", but still seems a bit angry - "we have more heart in one fuckin' bead of sweat than most of those people have in their entire bodies". Gerard Way seems positively delighted: "That was our greatest victory as a show," he smiles. "This band was always about facing adversity. We got bottled for being dangerous. We oppose everything that's conventional about rock'n'roll in this country, our home country, everywhere in the world. That weekend, kids were getting beat up in the audience, the guys on stage were getting beat up, and we got through it, just like the kids got through it."

This article covers the same ground:
New Emo Goth Danger?

The band’s young audience is a concern to know-nothing sorts who’ve been campaigning against the alleged persuasive nature of rock music for what feels like forever. Only recently, in August 2006, The Daily Mail ran an article warning parents of the ‘New Emo Goth Danger’ – those are exact words they used, and the piece can be read online here. One of only three bands mentioned in the piece – bands that apparently encourage behaviour such as self-harm – was My Chemical Romance. Gerard doesn’t know whether to laugh out loud or cry silently to himself.

"Papers like that will never do their homework, but it is kind of funny to call it ‘emo death cult’, or whatever it was called."

“The funny thing is that I’ve met more kids that have stopped self-harming because of us, than anything,” he says, his face masked with absolute seriousness. “That’s the case with most of the kids I meet, especially in the UK, so I guess it is some sort of epidemic. Most of the kids that I meet, that say thank you, are kids that used to self-harm. Kerrang! was involved, as one of their readers wrote in about it, and I ended up having a very personal discussion with this girl. I noticed she had all these cuts, and it really bummed me out, and I was hoping that she didn’t feel that she needed to do that in order to come to the show. And I ended up meeting the girl and her mother – the mother had written a letter to Kerrang! – and she said because of the band she’s now stopped doing that. Papers like that will never do their homework, but it is kind of funny to call it ‘emo death cult’, or whatever it was called. ‘New Emo Goth Danger’?”

Iero cackles: “Ha! I like that! That’s the title of the next album, New Emo Goth Danger!”

The matter raises a final point, though. My Chemical Romance are superstars nowadays, playing to thousands of kids – and we do mean kids – at each and every show they play. They must come in for a lot of stick from right-wingers who haven’t taken the time to realise that the band’s fantasy-horror lyrics are just that: fantasy. The music's immediate and the lyrics fun: there are no hidden messages calling for kids the world over to scratch their best friend's eyes out. Sure, the five-piece have posed for photo shoots covered in fake blood, playing-dead models lying at their feet, but that doesn’t make them a bad influence. They just like, as has already been mentioned, playing it up, theatrically.

“We live in a very sick bubble, made of concrete and bullet-proof casing,” says Gerard. “If you acknowledged all the ignorant stuff you heard, you’d never sleep, we’d never sleep. There’d be no time. I gotta say I’m not a fan of that Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back movie, but it has one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen. They literally go around to peoples’ houses that have talked shit about them on the internet and give it back to them. It’s the coolest thing in the world.”

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