Bob Geldof feeds the poor in Africa. Madonna adopts the supposedly orphaned. Bono does anything political under the sun. My Chemical Romance… talk about teenage gun crime. The issue seems to pale in comparison, but then again, that is their demographic, and they seem to take up that cross with enough vigor to feed their army of followers.
Prior to the official release of their third album, The Black Parade, on October 23, the emo/Queenmo quintet have spoken to NME about the issue of teenage gun crime. Constantly-changing frontman Gerard Way expressed the band's feelings about the problem. He even reached far back into his memory of when he was in high school, saying "the only thing I learnt in high school is that people are very violent and territorial."
The band have committed an entire two minutes and forty one seconds of album space to the issue. The song "Teenagers" talks about the issue with the accompaniment of a punkified Scissor-Sisters-esque melody, and almost countryish guitar riffs. The song doesn't seem to take the issue too seriously, but, according to their image over time, neither do they.
The army motif has been a part of their image since their second album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, and fair enough, that's pretty harmless. However, last year, My Chemical Romance took the form of action figurines, dolled up (excuse the pun) in black suits and red ties. Their packaging was in the form of a coffin, and, where the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt were buried with jewelry, it seems the bands' members prefer to be buried with miniature guns.
Of course, it is unfair to take a band who are subject to their 12- to 14-year old demographic seriously. While these mixed messages have occurred, the same link probably wouldn't be made in a world where, one minute, Britney Spears is the perfect virgin, and the next she is pretty much lined up for a spot on the Jerry Springer Show. Sad, to say the least, but unfortunately with stardom comes the responsibility to make really bad decisions.