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A Little Reminder That I’ll Never Forget: The Legacy of Lostprophets

 
By on Tuesday, 8th October 2013 at 11:00 am
 

In the past 6 months, I’ve lost two cornerstones of my teenage identity. No I haven’t lost my virginity aged 21, nor have I misplaced my GCSE certificates. I’ve lost Lostprophets and My Chemical Romance. Two bands that I directly relate to my discovery of rock music – gone under two sets of completely incomparable circumstances, but gone nonetheless and hardly likely to be doing any reunion tours, ala Fall Out Boy anytime soon. So how did my love affair with the two juggernauts of emo start?

I still remember innocently flicking onto Kerrang! on Sky at my parents’ house in Guernsey when I was 14 years old, and the video to ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ was in full flow, Gerard Way leading his macabre marching band. However, at that time I was none the wiser to who it was, but I became utterly obsessed with it. I was relatively unfamiliar with popular music at that time, other than what I listened to on the island’s commercial radio station Island FM as my Mum drove me to school. I was subjected to an eclectic mix of all that was popular around the 1970ss mixed with about every Robbie Williams track ever recorded, played at least once every hour. And Dido. But I fucking loved Dido. (Actually, I still do.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDWgsQhbaqU[/youtube]

So as I played ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ constantly on the home computer, I got deeply engrossed in the lyrics and the music and suddenly I decided I was rock and roll. I was cool, I got to hang out with the kids with long hair and listen to music that was draped in darkness. I allowed myself to grow an identity that was defined by music that other people called ‘emo’ and ‘goth’ and I bloody loved it. It was a sense of identity that I, along with any teenager at that point in their life, yearned for which My Chemical Romance and later Lostprophets fuelled.

Alongside my obsession with ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’, I discovered Lostprophets’ ‘Liberation Transmission’, another album that I still remember around this massive juncture in my life. Okay, so I wasn’t standing on a rooftop screaming my heart out, however much this is painting me to be a dreadfully folorn figure at just 14. In fact, life was pretty cosy, but if it helps to visualise me as a deeply depressed loner in the playground than feel free. Although no visualising me with glasses. In their music I found an identity, which as I mentioned set me apart from the Radio 1/Island FM dogma. I wanted to use that identity so that girls would think I was a bit quirky, a bit edgy, not just that spotty curly-haired gimp that was pretty good at maths.

However, there was this whole stigma sticking around these bands, MCR especially. That they were the problem behind suicide cults, a stigma that I as a news-blind 14-year old was completely unaware of. Was I interested in that side of the story? Was I? Fuck. I just wanted to at least try and be cool and this music was my stepping board, my way of bizarrely expressing MY individualism through such uber-creative mediums as MySpace and Bebo. (Warning: do not search for my MySpace or Bebo page, they may cause cringe-induced comas.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z5FWlUN1go[/youtube]

Now, in 2013, as both of these bands have packed up their eye-liner, binned the horrendously tight skinny–jeans/marching band gear (delete as appropriate) and done away with the lyrics about death and slashed wrists, there’s a juncture for any fan of this age. I’m sure I’m not the only one who stumbled upon the videos to ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’, ‘Rooftops’, etc. and now feels rather upset that undeniably a bit of their childhood which defined them now as adults has disappeared, probably forever.

With Lostprophets, it is walking on uneasy grounds. Grounds which as a news-focused journalist in my day job I am extremely legally terrified of touching – so I won’t, I’ll instead focus on the musical legacy left by the Pontypridd rockers. It is a legacy somewhat tainted by the relative inadequacy of their most recent two records, ‘The Betrayed’ and ‘Weapons’. Two pieces of work that in comparison to the band’s earlier efforts really just stunk of a yearning to make another ‘Liberation Transmission’, or even another ‘Start Something’, but which tragically fell short. In their pre-2007 career, Lostprophets were part of a small group which defined the very genre that they were part of. Creating experimental rhythms and beats, slapping it on top of a chugging bass line with a chorus catchier than the flu – Songs like ‘Burn Burn’, ‘Rooftops’ and ‘Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja’ were utterly fantastic rock songs and have arguably inspired a generation of new bands to follow suit.

To name but a few, their countrymen The Blackout, pop-rockers You Me at Six and more, in fact you’ll struggle to find a band of that ilk who wouldn’t cite Lostprophets as one of the reasons that they donned the skinnies and started jumping up and down with their legs together whilst screaming at the top of their voice. It’s a generation of bands who now live on past the legacy that Lostprophets, in my opinion, set.

Over the past few years the band may have fallen flat, but the generations of teenagers and musicians which they inspired live on, through the music. They’re a band who sung about making their mark, who sung about how they’ve always tried. Well, they did leave a legacy, one which I hope people will remember, above the controversy no matter what happens.

They’re gone, but not forgotten. They really did ‘Start Something’.

 

Video of the Moment #949: deadmau5 and Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance)

 
By on Saturday, 1st September 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

deadmau5 and My Chemical Romance‘s Gerard Way join forces in a spoof of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) tv show in this promo video for ‘Professional Griefers’. This would make far better television than what all those UFC, WWE, etc. shows. Watch it all unfold below. (I’m suspicious that the mischievous robot cat is an electronic rendering of none other than Joel Zimmerman’s own cat Professor Meowingtons.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr2Bc5qMhE4[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #687: My Chemical Romance

 
By on Saturday, 21st January 2012 at 10:00 am
 

My Chemical Romance‘s new video for forthcoming single ‘The Kids for Yesterday’ came out of a fan’s previous ideas released to the world. It’s described by the band as follows:

Hello friends… Here is the official video for our new single ‘The Kids From Yesterday’. This will be the last single released from our album ‘Danger Days’, and we decided what better song to end on than our collective favorite. This song means a lot of different things to us individually and we hope it speaks to you as well. When deciding what kind of video would work the best with the song we immediately thought of a “video collage” …something that would show the progression of the band over the past 10 years leading up to one of our most memorable moments, closing the Reading and Leeds festivals this past summer. We began collecting footage and literally stumbled upon an incredible video done by a talented young lady named Emily Eisemann. She had made a fan video, put it up on YouTube and it summed up what we had been trying so very hard to make, perfectly. So we gave her a call, put our videos together, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXiLHIYqb_Y[/youtube]

 

Leeds 2011: Day 2 (John’s Roundup)

 
By on Wednesday, 7th September 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Five minutes of rain was all the heavens had in store for us on Saturday at Leeds. On a day which promised to be the heaviest of the weekend, with acts like Bring Me the Horizon, Rise Against and headliners My Chemical Romance gracing the main stage, the weather held off and it was primarily dry.

To kick off the day of music were the Blackout, who brought by far the Welshest set of the weekend. ‘STFUppercut’ was loud and hit with the ferocity of a festival goer with a full bladder running to the loo. ‘Children of the Night’, which in my humblest of opinions is their most solid track, sounded weak and laboured, no matter how much front men Sean Smith and Gavin Butler bounced about the stage.

New Found Glory were up next and found themselves in a familiar position to last time they played in 2009 where they were 3rd on the main stage once before. They opened with easily their best offering ‘All Downhill From Here’ and well… It really was. Nobody was expecting a set full of hits, because the band doesn’t have any. ‘My Friend’s Over You’ simply sounded like the whines of an unwanted child and the rest of the set just isn’t worth explaining. Poor throughout. As expected.

The failure of the Main Stage bands to whet my appetite led me to fresher pastures. My first port of call was the Festival Republic stage, where acts like Franz Ferdinand have cut their teeth and gone on to headline. A band familiar to TGTF were next up; they played 2nd on the bill on TGTF’s stage at Brighton’s Great Escape this year. Foster the People are currently riding on the crest of a wave with their hit single ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ that has been played to death on Radio 1. This has done them a world of good though, because as with all hotly-tipped acts on the stage the tent was bursting to the brim. For good reason, these boys were fantastic and thoroughly deserve all the plaudits being given to them by the press at the moment. Even with the briskly cold weather Foster the People managed to create a ray of sunshine in the tent.

Back to the Main Stage I ventured then. Up next was punk rockers Rise Against, who immediately came out with a mission, it was going to be mosh pit central and I don’t think we had a choice about it. To go from Foster the People to Rise Against was a bit of a culture shock, but festivals are about diversity in music and I think there can be few similarities seen between these acts. Rise Against’s set was frantic, with guitars roaring above the wind, with ‘Savior’ sounded positively epic in the Main Stage’s surroundings and ‘Prayer Of The Refugee’ had the entire crowd singing along.

Booze by this point was taking its toll on my body and my decision making capabilities, so it was to no surprise that I was convinced by my fellow festivalers that going to the Dance tent for some sweaty raving was a fantastic idea. Nero were playing a DJ set and with hits like ‘Promises’ and ‘Guilt’, they were going down an absolute storm in the confines of what the day before was the Lock Up Stage. It was the set afterwards that really, excuse the cliché, blew the roof off though. ‘Sub-Focus’ took the crowd in the palm of their hand and easily had people skanking to their will. The beats were infectious, dirty and the perfect mix for a bunch of booze infused teenagers with 90% attempting to pull.

With a quick dash/stumble across the site to the NME stage I was able to catch the spectacle that is Noah and the Whale. The nu-folk dealio had been done last year with Mumford and Sons, but while nobody can fully excuse Noah from being mainstream there was by far a more eclectic crowd gathered than for the heaving mob created by Marcus Mumford and co. The tracks from their new record didn’t seem forced upon the crowd: the masses received them with joy and while movement was low, the joy amongst the fans was apparent to all. They are a band on top of their game at the moment, playing beautiful music to fans who adore them.

Up next were gloom rockers White Lies. Opener ‘Farewell to the Fairground’s’ trademark drums got the people in the tent excited, and for good reason, as this was surely to be one of the sets of the festival so far. White Lies didn’t fail to disappoint; Harry McVeigh’s voice resonated among the punters with an eerie gloom, while the bass roared to life in the background. Set closer ‘Bigger Than Us’ for sure has to be nominated for the loudest song of the festival award, as I was surprised the people at Reading couldn’t hear the drum beat blasting along.

Headlining the evening was My Chemical Romance, another band with a troubled Reading and Leeds history. MCR were bottled off during their last visit to the Reading site in 2006 and vowed that they would never return to the festival unless they were headlining. Five years later and the emo pin-up boys had done it. They were headlining the Main Stage and wow, you could tell they loved it.
‘Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)’ was greeted to roars from the crowd, as Gerard Way patrolled around the stage akin to a general directing his troops. The energy was frantic during the opener; you could tell the boys on stage were playing like their lives depended on it. It was paying off though; naysayers and MCR skeptics all about the Main Stage crowd surely were having their heads turn by the display of blasé rock ‘n’ roll on show in front of them.

If that wasn’t enough they followed it up with their now classic ‘I’m Not OK (I Promise),’ fists were already pumping all around the crowd, flares being lit left right and centre. The band powered through a set with all the hits and songs from their newest record, with the highlights including the glorious sing-along that is ‘S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W’ and a ferocious rendition of ‘Famous Last Words’. To finish the set though there could only be one song. The anthem that saw them loved my millions, yet tarnished by the brand of a suicide cult. ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ was everything it was meant to be though that night, a triumphant call to arms, awry with guitar solo’s that Queen would be proud off. A successful set then for MCR, one which can leave few doubting that this band deserves to headline bills like this.

 

This week’s Gonzo – the Kills grace the Gonzo couch, and Jamie Woon wows

 
By on Friday, 1st April 2011 at 11:00 am
 

MTV Gonzo gets an interesting visit this week. Well, I’m saying this because we have been advised that “pleather meets leather” when the Kills (Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart) stop by for a chat with Alexa. Jamie has been quoted as saying “You never woosh back at Nick Cave“. Now, I dunno about you, but considering Nick Cave has been busy with Grinderman these days, inquiring minds want to know what spurred on that comment. Jamie Woon, the artiste that with his track ‘Night Air’ has been making fans swoon, plays a tune. (Haha, that rhymed!)

On the video front, Richard Ayoade (whose recent debut film directorial effort ‘Submarine’ has been getting rave reviews) talks us through the rest of his back catalogue in a very special Director’s Cut. Viewers will also get a sneak peek of a live unplugged performance by the woman who had been fending off the opposition on the UK album charts for weeks, Adele. The video of the week on this episode of Gonzo? My Chemical Romance’s brilliant new video for ‘Planetary (Go)’. It’s a good night to stay in.

MTV Gonzo airs tonight (Friday) at 7 PM on MTV Music, with a repeat at 8 PM on MTV Rocks.

 

This week’s Gonzo – Alexa chats with Katy B, Foo Fighters and Everything Everything

 
By on Friday, 25th March 2011 at 11:00 am
 

This week’s episode of MTV Gonzo is filled with bands currently on everyone’s lips. Dubstep queen Katy B has a chinwag with Alexa that can only be described as rather intimate. She talks about dancing naked and confides “‘Tinie Tempah gives a good hug!” The life of rock stars, eh? Foo Fighters have an exclusive appearance on Gonzo, no doubt to talk about their new song ‘Rope’ and the new album that is soon to follow, ‘Wasting Light’. Via the technological wonder that is Skype, Everything Everything checks in on the road, giving their heartiest “guten Tag!” on the road in Munich.

For the weekly Director’s Cut feature, My Chemical Romance takes you behind the scenes of filming their classic video for ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’. It’s a must-see for diehard MCR fans. For a laugh, the always dapper and always nattily-dressed Hurts play the ‘Would You Rather…?’ game. For more laughs, Alexa tries her hand…er…voice at karaoke and we’ve been told it’s a bit painful. But it’s all saved by Midwest American band Cage the Elephant (pictured above on the famous couch) performing the single ‘Shake Me Down’ from their new album, ‘Thank You Happy Birthday’ (released in the UK on Monday). It all happens tonight on MTV Gonzo.

MTV Gonzo airs tonight (Friday) at 7 PM on MTV Music, with a repeat at 8 PM on MTV Rocks.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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