There are some artists who put their heart and soul into writing and singing without having the ability to perform live or produce outstanding videos. Conversely, there are some artists with amazing vocals and performance ability that have songs you would rather switch off. Few occupy the middle ground and attain both, however one man in particular can lay claim to achieving just this In My Chemical Romance, each member of the band participates in making every element an exciting, breathtaking and enjoyable experience, from lyrics to musical style, live performance to videos however the band's founder, lead vocalist and one of the most dedicated and enthusiastic artists in the industry at the minute is undoubtedly top-dog. And he is frontman, Gerard Way.

Way's journey to stardom came about soon after the September 11th attacks on New York City, when he was inspired to write the track 'Skylines and Turnstiles' to express his feelings about the event. Music turned out to be an effective means for Way to deal with his long-time battle against depression, alcoholism, and prescription drugs. Shortly after the band formed they signed to Eyeball Records to release their debut album 'I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love'. They signed with Reprise Records in 2003 and the following year released their major label debut 'Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge' which went platinum within a year becoming a major commercial success and selling over two million copies. With this album, the band was praised for being aggressive and melodic and quickly became one of the biggest bands on the modern rock scene. It didn't matter how theatrical and dramatic this album was, it was a mere dress rehearsal for their dark 2006 album 'The Black Parade'.

The band have cited musical influences from The Cure, Queen, Iron Maiden, The Misfits, The Smiths, Green Day and the Beastie Boys to name just a few. As well as music artists, the lads were very influenced by horror films and comic books growing up and this can be heard within their music, lyrics, and image; each with overt elements of fantasy, storytelling, horror and theatrics. While categorising the sound of the band as "rock", the exact subgenre of the band's recordings has been a subject of debate among fans and the media could it be punk-rock or perhaps post-hardcore?

Inspiration for the lyrics the bands have come up with has come from many different directions. From films and comic books as mentioned to life growing up, dealing with depression, world events and family deaths. One of their most deeply personal songs is 'Helena' was written after the death of Way's grandmother. 'Honey, This Mirror Isn't Big Enough for the Two of Us', the first single from their debut album deals with drug use, reflecting on front man Gerard Way's past problems and about Mikey's previous girlfriend. 'Headfirst for Halos' is about depression and contemplating suicide. The lyrics, "Now the red ones make me fly, and the blue ones help me fall" could refer to antidepressants, and "think happy thoughts" refers to thinking happy thoughts to stop yourself committing suicide. On a brighter note, 'Our Lady of Sorrows' is about friendship and the will to do anything for your friends. While 'Three Cheers' and its predecessor 'I Brought You My Bullets' were loose concepts lyrically, 'The Black Parade' is a breathtaking, fully formed epic.

My Chemical Romance have released numerous hit singles across the world, each having varied musically, but been accompanied by an outstanding video. 'I'm Not Okay' deals with emotional issues relating to relationship break-ups and being different and wanting to fit in. In the video the lads take on the lives of students and the heartache and problems some individual go through. The video for the emotional 'Helena" has a simple plot, with Gerard as a priest/entertainer at a funeral. There are mourners who dance and mourn the death of Helena, who near the end, rises and dances representing crossing over into the afterlife. 'The Ghost of You' video takes an emotional turn when Mikey is shot and killed by German fire, 'Welcome to the Black Parade' features 'The Patient' the individual the album is about dying, and being taken by death in the form of a Black Parade. 'I Don't Love You' is about two lovers in a strange abstract world, and the video seems to tell the story of how their love slowly withers away until one leaves the other alone. Their latest video 'Teenagers' is about kids being viewed as meat by the government and society. In the music video, the band performs in an auditorium and as the chorus starts, teenagers break down a pad-locked door, and end up climbing onto the stage and begin to take over. The end message was to influence viewers in hopes that it will deter from committing acts of violence to deal with their anger.

If you have ever seen a video featuring My Chemical Romance you would have seen the level of detail and enthusiasm that has gone in. Not only do many of the videos associate with the meanings behind the lyrics of the songs, but also Gerard doesn't just 'mime the song' as most artists do, he sings his heart out and acts his shoes off. During the shoot for 'Famous Last Words' for example, Gerard Way suffered torn ligaments in his ankle due to his ambitious and passionate performance.

The future looks bright for My Chemical Romance. With an up coming UK tour, why not attend a show and judge for yourself the quality of the music, and the tremendous effort put into each and every aspect of this band.