How My Chemical Romance fans predicted the band’s long-awaited reunion


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

My Chemical Romance announced their reunion on Oct. 31. Their reunion was predicted by fans, who created theories about their return following their breakup in 2013.

Gabby Lucas

For those who haven’t heard (or haven’t opened Twitter since last week), My Chemical Romance are officially back together after a six-year hiatus — and emos everywhere are rejoicing. 

The prominent New Jersey rock band took the world by storm during their tenure from 2001 to 2013, most notably for releasing chart-topping tracks such as 2004’s emotional “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” and 2006’s epic “Welcome to the Black Parade.” The band is also credited for popularizing “emo” culture, making it a mainstream style in the early-to-mid-2000s.

My Chemical Romance abruptly announced their breakup on March 22, 2013, by issuing a statement on their website. This took fans by complete surprise, as the band had released a single only one month prior and were reportedly in the works of recording a fifth studio album. 

While fans prayed for a hiatus, the band adamantly denied that the group would ever get back together. The news was met with great dismay, but some more observant fans had a feeling that the breakup wouldn’t be as permanent as the band led on. Many believed that the band had been dropping hints at a reunion since the very beginning. Their faith was fueled by means of a popular, convoluted fan theory claiming that a My Chemical Romance reunion would take place in 2019. 

“Teenagers scare the living shit out of me,” is the line beginning the chorus of My Chemical Romance’s popular 2006 song “Teenagers.” Fans used this particular line to form the beginnings of the 2019 reunion theory by pointing out that the band was 12 years old when they broke up. Many fans speculated that the band were skipping their “teenage years” by breaking up, and would reunite in 2019 when the band turned 18, or rather, reached “adulthood.”

The theory continues with the ’90s alternative rock band Smashing Pumpkins. 

The Smashing Pumpkins’ influence can be prominently heard in many My Chemical Romance recordings, as frontman Gerard Way and bassist Mikey Way both cite the band as one of their biggest musical influences. In a 2006 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Mikey Way said that he and Gerard had somewhat of a revelation after seeing the Smashing Pumpkins perform at Madison Square Garden. “Me and [Gerard] were both like, ‘this is the band we want to be,’” Mikey Way said. Turns out, that statement could have been meant to be taken literally.

The Smashing Pumpkins formed in 1988 and were active for 12 years, breaking up in the year 2000 and reuniting after a six-year hiatus. According to the theory, My Chemical Romance, who formed in 2001, were active for 12 years, broke up in 2013 and returned after a six-year hiatus, may not have done so by coincidence.

The theory is backed up by the lore of the band’s final studio album “Danger Days,” released in 2010. The storyline of the album details a group of misfits called “the Fabulous Killjoys” who fight against the all-powerful corporation controlling the people of fictional Battery City, California. 

The band’s music video for “Na Na Na” reveals that the post-apocalyptic setting of “Danger Days” takes place in 2019, which falls in line perfectly with the Smashing Pumpkins and “Teenagers” conspiracies. 

Arguably the most damning piece of evidence that the band would one day reunite came from the release of “May Death Never Stop You,” a greatest-hits compilation that was released one year after the band’s breakup. Featuring songs over the span of My Chemical Romance’s entire catalogue, the compilation included a previously unreleased track titled “Fake Your Death.”

Fans saw this as the icing on the cake of their theory. On top of the speculated significance of the year 2019, fans came to the conclusion that My Chemical Romance had faked their “death.”

The “will you ever get back together” question followed the band members indefinitely throughout their solo careers. While completely denying the idea at first, the band eventually began to tease that something was in the works.

“I wouldn’t count [a reunion] out, but at the same time everybody’s doing stuff in their lives now that they’re really enjoying,” Gerard Way said in a 2017 interview with Billboard.

Earlier this year, Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers reported hearing MCR rehearsing in a studio space right next to where the Jonas Brothers were rehearsing. My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero denied this report, but left the possibility up in the air. “I survived a bus accident, so anything is possible,” Iero said.

On Oct. 31, it happened.

Whether or not this theory held any truth or played any part in the band’s reformation is yet to be confirmed. My Chemical Romance announced their return on social media with a link to buy tickets to their upcoming reunion show in Los Angeles (another possible allusion to “Danger Days,” which took place in “California 2019,” as denoted in the music video). Tickets went on sale Friday and completely sold out within 12 minutes.

The band made a statement on their Twitter account thanking their fans for the “warm welcome back.”

“We truly did not expect this,” said the band. Many loyal fans found this statement ironic, reminding the band that they’ve been waiting, hoping, begging and speculating all this time.

Whether the theory was true or not, it certainly held up. Theorizing fans have finally gotten their wish, and emotionally, they’re not okay (they promise).