Balancing chaos and rock perfection seems to be working.
Replete with a dead girl in a coffin, heavy rain and enough black eyeliner to make The Cure's Robert Smith cry in envy, My Chemical Romance's latest video "Helena" is arguably the most realized goth vision ever to receive airtime on MTV.
Add in the seemingly irreverent dancing of mourners around the coffin and the hair-raising moment of Helena's spirit rising from the dead, and this New Jersey band has created a lasting image for tortured souls everywhere.
"I'm sure with all of the black and red, and the casket and the makeup, everybody's psyched," said My Chemical Romance guitarist Ray Toro, calling from Charlotte, NC. "That's what is really cool about the video, that it works on a lot of different levels. It's scary. It's moving. It's also humorous."
Fittingly, such a description also applies to that of My Chemical Romance, which walks the fine line between controlled chaos and lighter, even rock pop fare.
The emo outfit appears to be on the fast track to superstardom with its sophomore release "Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge" quickly approaching platinum status. In just over two years, the quintet has gone from obscure hardcore band with its debut "I Brought You My Bullets You Brought Me Your Love" to supporting act de jour.
With increased publicity and hype, the band jumped from last summer's Vans Warped Tour to this past winter's "Taste of Chaos" outing to opener on the current Green Day "American Idiot" jaunt, which plays April 23 at Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena and May 6 at Cleveland's Wolstein Center/Convocation Center at CSU. There's also a return to the Vans Warped Tour planned for this summer.
Considering the group's meteoric rise, at what point did Toro and his bandmates experience the feeling of having made it?
"I don't know," Toro said. "In my eyes, I think we made it when people started telling us that they were affected by the band. That they listened to our music to feel better about themselves or feel better about their lives and that we maybe somehow influenced someone to think differently about how they treat people or maybe think differently about their own lives. To me, that's making it."
For now, the band is using all of its free time during the Green Day tour to write demo material in its touring bus lounge.