Gerard Way recalls the origins of My Chemical Romance's opus "Welcome to the Black Parade" in Anthems We Love: 29 Iconic Artists on the Hit Songs That Shaped Our Lives, an upcoming book by music writer Steve Baltin.
In an excerpt from the book, published by The Daily Beast, Way explains how "Welcome to the Black Parade" came together, sharing that he and his bandmates "knew it was special."
"The song actually had started as this song called 'The Five of Us Are Dying,' which is like a riff on an old Twilight Zone episode title," Way says. "It was these chords we really liked, it was a striving kind of a punk song."
The track began to take on a new meaning, Way says, as the concept for what became MCR's The Black Parade album began to take shape.
"I started to realize during the actual tracking of the album that there was no song that introduced or encapsulated some of the concepts on the record in that way," Way explains. "There was definitely stuff that was capturing certain conceptual elements, like hell, and being raised Catholic and mothers, and it had a lot of stuff, there's like a war theme. But there was no 'Black Parade' song, and I had known that that's what I wanted to call the album."
Anthems We Love, due out October 25, dives deep into 28 other iconic songs by artists including U2, Linkin Park, The Beach Boys, Aerosmith, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, KISS, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Bob Marley and Toto. Among those interviewed include U2's The Edge, Brian Wilson, Linkin Park's Brad Delson and The Doors' Robby Krieger. The foreword is written by acclaimed director Cameron Crowe.