Bandom (Decaydance+, My Chemical Romance)
|Scope/Focus:||Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, My Chemical Romance, and associated bands|
|Date(s):||2005 - Present|
|See also:||Pete Wentz and His Humans, Bandom (Music Source Text), Bandslash, Popslash|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
For other definitions, see Bandom (disambiguation).
Bandom, as it is used to describe the Real People Fiction fandom featuring a large but specific group of bands primarily composed of My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, and Panic at the Disco, is a portmanteau of bandslash and fandom. The term's first use is hard to pinpoint, but it first became popular in early 2007 when a new wave of fans became interested in the bands and their surrounding fandom. See Bandom Terminology Debate.
The bands that make up Bandom are all interlinking, usually having developed a relationship through touring together, being on the same record label (specifically Fueled by Ramen/Decaydance), or having band members who were previously in other band together. In fact, because of the degree of interconnectedness of these bands, many will, often jokingly, make reference to Six Degrees of Wentz, where all the bands can be linked back to Pete Wentz (bassist of Fall Out Boy) and each other with less than six degrees of separation. As a result, most of these band members will often appear in supporting roles even in fanworks not centered around their band, making crossover a popular genre (though intra-Bandom crossovers would not often be labeled as such).
See this flowchart of Bandom interconnections, created by wistfuljane as part of the comprehensive Subset Bandom Connection primer:
- Fall Out Boy (FOB) is a pop-punk band from Chicago. The members are Patrick Stump (lead vocals; guitar), Pete Wentz (lyrics; bass), Joe Trohman (guitar), and Andy Hurley (drums). Founded in 2001, the band went on hiatus in 2009, though come-back rumors were numerous. The band returned in 2013.
- My Chemical Romance (MCR or My Chem) is a punk-rock band from New Jersey, formed in 2001. The members are Gerard Way (lead vocals; lyrics), Frank Iero (guitar), Ray Toro (guitar), and Mikey Way (bass). Touring musicians for the band include James DeWees (keyboard; backing vocals), Mike Pedicone (drums; 2010-2011) and Jarrod Alexander (drums). Former members include Bob Bryar (drums; 2004-2010) and Matt Pelissier (drums; 2001-2004). The band announced that it was breaking up in March 2013.
- Panic! at the Disco (P!atD or Panic!) is a band from Las Vegas that happily defies categorisation (but has been called anything from punk, pop, punk-cabaret, dance-punk, to emo). The original outfit founded in 2004 included Brendon Urie (lead vocals; guitar; keyboard), Ryan Ross (lyrics, occasional lead vocals; backing vocals; guitar), Brent Wilson (bass) and Spencer Smith (drums). In 2006, Brent Wilson was replaced by Jon Walker (bass; backing vocals), the lone Chicagoan of the band. In the summer of 2009, Panic split up, an event sometimes referred to as "The Divorce": Ryan and Jon created The Young Veins, while Brendon and Spencer remained as Panic! At The Disco (taking back their exclamation point). Ian Crawford and Dallon Weekes joined as touring musicians on guitar and bass, respectively. Dallon was added as a core member in 2012. Spencer Smith left the band in early 2015, due in part to struggles with drug addiction. Many fans have jokingly referred to the band as Brendon! at the Brendon, because of the fact that he is the only original member of the band left, and the biggest influence on where the band is heading.
Other FBR/Decaydance Bands
- Cobra Starship - Gabe Saporta, Nate Novarro, Vicky-T, Ryland Blackinton and Alex Suarez. Ryland and Alex left the band in late 2014. The band formally announced two new members: Eric Halvorsen and Andy Barr. The band announced its breakup in November 2015.
- The Academy Is... (TAI) was discovered in 2004 by Pete Wentz, who convinced Fueled By Ramen to sign them. This inspired, by their success, Wentz to create his own label, Decaydance. Frontman William Beckett is highly popular in Bandom, but often appears coupled in fanfiction with members of other bands, such as Gabe Saporta (Cobra Starship) or Travis McCoy (Gym Class Heroes), rather than members of his own band. Butcher/Sisky also appears as a background pairing in some fics, and as the focus of a Racebending Revenge fic Home is hard to tell by redsnake05. Mike Carden is often paired up with Kevin Jonas in the So Damn Skippy pairing. Mike Carden/Michael Guy Chislett also exists.
- The Cab was a late addition to the Bandom bands, signing to Decaydance in 2007 with the help of fellow Las Vegans Panic! at the Disco. Along with Panic! at the Disco, it is one of the most popular bands to feature GSF. The name stands for "The Cash and Alex band," a play on drummer Cash Colligan and the fact that most of the other members are called Alex (Alex DeLeon, Alex Marshall, Alex Johnson), apart from guitarist Ian Crawford (who went to join Panic after the Panic divorce.)
- Gym Class Heroes (GCH) is signed to the FBR/Decaydance label. Lead singer Travis McCoy commonly appears in fic (especially Cobra Starship and TAI fic), but the other members appear more rarely.
- The Hush Sound (THS) is a FBR/Decaydance band that has been on hiatus since 2008 and whose members are currently involved in other projects. Singer Greta Salpeter is notable as the only other female band member in the main of Bandom besides Cobra's Vicky-T, and thus Greta/Vicky-T femslash is relatively popular.
- Hey Monday is signed to the Decaydance label. They rarely appear in fic.
Other Associated Bands
- The Used - features in early Bandom fic due to multiple connections to MCR: TU's touring manager was Brian Schechter, their sound guy was Bob Bryar and frontman Bert McCracken and Gerard Way shared a brief but intense friendship.
- All-American Rejects (AAR)
- Mindless Self Indulgence (MSI) is notable for their connections to My Chemical Romance. MSI bassist Lyn-Z and MCR frontman Gerard Way got married backstage after Projekt Revolution in 2007, for which the two bands toured together. Kitty, their drummer, also often appears in fics which need an extra minor female character.
- The Sounds is a Swedish band, associated with Bandom by singer Maja Ivarsson's appearance on the Cobra Starship debut single "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)" for the 2006 film Snakes on a Plane. At the time, Cobra Starship had only one member, singer Gabe Saporta, but the single also featured William Beckett (TAI), Travie McCoy (GCH), and Nick Wheeler (AAR).
- The Like is an all-girl band, so popular when someone tries to include more female characters or femslash in their fic. Z Berg, the lead singer, came to the attention of bandom when she and Ryan Ross were dating and got fake-married on Twitter. Their first incarnation was Z, Tennessee Thomas and Charlotte, then Charlotte left amid drama (see lyrics to Narcissus in a Red Dress on their second album), and Laena and Annie joined. picspam intro by annemaris
- The Long Island bands--a collective term for Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and Straylight Run, who are all bands from Long Island--are also of peripheral interest to bandom. These bands all share a significant link, as members of each band were in a band together at some point in the past. Taking Back Sunday has also toured frequently with MCR and are good friends with them.
Associated Pre-Bandom Bands
Many of the band members have been in bands prior to their current ones and those bands are rather notable within Bandom, including Pencey Prep, Midtown, and 504Plan.
Fueled By Ramen/Decaydance
Fueled By Ramen (FBR) is a record label, founded by John Janick and Vinnie Fiorello (drummer of Less Than Jake) in 1996 and based out of Florida, to which Fall Out Boy is signed; FBR is sometimes referred as Fall Out Boy's indie label as they are also under contract with Island Records. When Pete Wentz (bassist of Fall Out Boy) founded Decaydance Records in 2005, it was an imprint label under Fueled By Ramen - any acts signed to Decaydance Records were also signed to Fueled By Ramen, i.e. Gym Class Heroes, Panic at the Disco, The Hush Sound, Cobra Starship, The Cab, but the contract between Decaydance Records and Fueled By Ramen has since expired.
Many key events in Bandom occurred around 2004-2007, including The Summer of Like in 2005 and Projekt Revolution in 2007. Bessyboo describes the history of Bandom as consisting of two waves of fans, the first circa 2006-2009 and the second circa 2010-2013; the most popular pairings during the first wave were Pete/Patrick, Brendon/Ryan, and Frank/Gerard, and the most popular pairings during the second wave were Frank/Gerard and Brendon/Spencer. During the first wave, Panic! At the Disco was the most popular band for fanfic, but when it split in 2009, everyone's OTP was ruined, so the fandom diminished considerably. Meanwhile Fall Out Boy went on indefinite hiatus in 2009, though later Patrick Stump released an EP and Pete Wentz toured with Black Cards so fandom didn't forget them completely. In 2010, MCR's album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys ushered in the second wave of fans and spawned a lot of fic set in the AU world of the concept album. (This has happened before for other concept albums and single videos in bandom, but not in such a large volume or as such a distinct subset of the fandom.) MCR was then the most popular band in Bandom until its breakup in 2013, after which many of the denizens of Bandom slowly packed up and moved on to other fandoms. However, shortly before MCR broke up, FOB reformed, so there was still plenty of new Pete/Patrick fic, possibly representing a third wave. As of 2015, the fandom's big bang challenge is still running, and some fan artists on DeviantArt continue to be interested in MCR members' solo projects.
Because the majority of the musicians in the bands are male, slash is the most common genre, though gen, het and femslash can be found (often featuring the female musicians and more commonly the wives and girlfriends (WAGs) of the musicians).
There are many popular pairings in bandom, both intra-band and inter-band, the latter of which are sometimes referred to as crossover pairings. The most popular pairings are usually based on band members' public or fan-perceived relationships with each other.
Almost any conceivable pairing can be found, and many fans don their tin hats and promote their favourite pairing using picspams, vidspams, and quotes to illustrate the connection between the band members involved. Individual pairing love is encouraged, and ship wars are almost non-existent. bandom_ships is a community created to celebrate one's OTP, OT3 or GSF with ship manifestos, much like the multi-fandom LiveJournal community ship_manifesto.
Common intra-band pairings
In order of popularity of pairing tag on AO3, as of Sept 11, 2014. (Note that AO3 might not be an accurate representation of the popularity of pairings as Bandom predates the archive and all works might not be reposted there):
- Frank/Gerard of MCR: 5114 uses
- Patrick/Pete of FOB: 2560 uses
- Ryan/Brendon of PatD: 1495 uses
- Spencer/Brendon of PatD: 1022 uses
Other common intra-band pairings:
- PatD GSF: Ryan Ross/Spencer Smith/Brendon Urie/Jon Walker
- Frank/Mikey of MCR
- Ray/Mikey of MCR
- Ryan/Jon of PatD
Common crossover pairings
Common inter-band pairings include:
- Pete/Mikey: Pete Wentz of FOB/Mikey Way of MCR
- Gabe/William: Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship/William Beckett of The Academy Is
- Gabe/Wiliam/Travis: Gabe/William/Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes
Unlike many other fandoms, bandom pairings are not usually referred to by a portmanteau, though some pairings, often the most popular ones, do have such commonly-used names. For example:
- Gabilliam for Gabe/William
- Peterick for Pete/Patrick
- Frerard for Frank/Gerard
- Ryden for Ryan/Brendon
It must be noted that while many early Bandom fans shared a dislike for smushnames, associating the terms with low quality fic and tinhatting, the relative decline of journal-based fandoms, the rise of Tumblr and Wattpad and the influx of newer fans have democratized the use of smushnames. See dedicated Tumblr communities such as:
A large subset of bandom fic features stories or universes in which multiple bands and pairings can be found. These can be either canon-based stories (commonly set during tours while the bands were out on the road together) or AUs. The various pairings might occur in the same story or be showcased in different parts of a same verse. For example:
- The Hammond Affair by queensheep (LJ): this 96,000-word Jurassic Park AU features no less than 10 pairings, both inter- and intra-band.
- Gerard Way's (Vampire) Detective Agency verse by jjtaylor (AO3): 156k verse that includes pairings such as Frank/Gerard, Pete/Mikey, Lindsey/Jamia and Bob/Ray.
- Forever, Now by harriet_vane (AO3): 227k verse where Frank/Gerard, Ryan/Brendon, Spencer/Jon,are together.
- Straight Up Chicago Style verse by AirgiodSLV: a 41k strip club AU featuring Frank/Gerard, Pete/Ryland, Gabe/William and Brendon/Ryan.
- (To Die Will Be) An Awfully Big Adventure by FayJay (AO3): An urban fantasy, novel-length work (72k) that depicts polyamory as part of the plot. Polyamory is a relatively rare trope in Bandom.
The Fourth Wall
The Fourth Wall in Bandom has been described as being "more like a fringe curtain." There exist numerous occurrences of bands acknowledging fandom and commenting on fan activities, as well as extensive debate amongst fans as to appropriate behaviour relating to maintaining the Fourth Wall - or not.
See The Fourth Wall in Bandom for detail.
Bandom journal communities
- Dotcoms_refresh on LJ: a popular newsletter community, which links to fanworks, news and meta.
- Bandslashmania on LJ: pan-bandom fanworks community.
- angelsandkings: pan-bandom Dreamwidth community for fanworks.
- bandom-ships: "a comprehensive, all-squeeing OTP appreciation community" on LJ.
- mcrficfinder: a story-finding community for MCR.
- Six Degrees for Band Femslash, a dreamwidth comm attempting to counter the gender imbalance in Bandom. It only had 3 entries as of 30 August 2015.
- Bandom Big Bang on LJ - does what it says on the tin, and has had several popular rounds or waves.
- Bandom Reverse Big Bang on LJ is a Big Bang challenge where artwork, mixes, and voice performances are created and used as inspiration for fics.
- no_tags (on LJ and on DW): a short, anonymous ficlet exchange
- bandomstuffsit: a seasonal pan-Bandom fic exchange.
Other Fannish Resources
- Bandom (fbr/mcr) Primer/Reference by sightsee on livejournal (2008-01-15)
- The Subset Bandom Connection by wistfuljane: a comprehensive primer of the interconnections between all Bandom bands (last updated 2008)
- The Ultimate Cross-Bandom Timeline by mizubyte
- crack_van's Bandom Overview by iamtheenemy (last updated July 8, 2009)
- newbieguide's Bandom Overview by wistfuljane (last upated 2008-03-29)
- wistfuljane. Subset Bandom Connection. 16 December 2007. (Accessed 28 October 2008.)
- helluvalot at bandom_primers. Brand New/Long Island Primer. 12 May 2008. (Accessed 1 February 2011.)
- Schupak, Amanda. Fall Back Boy. Forbes, 2 July 2007. (Accessed 28 October 2008.)
- Levine, Robert. An Alternative Approach to Marketing Rock Bands. The New York Times, 5 May 2008. (Accessed 28 October 2008.)
- tweets by bessyboo on September 18-19, 2015: 
- cantarina and bessyboo twitter discussion, September 18-19, 2015:
- AO3 Frank/Gerard tag
- AO3 Pete/Patrick tag
- AO3 Ryan/Brendon tag
- AO3 Brendon/Spencer tag
- Gabe Saporta has been known to reference this portmanteau himself. See, for example, his instragram photo featuring him and Bill, entitled "Gabilliam." (Accessed 2 April 2012.)
- fandomsecrets thread on smushnames as pet peeve, posted 13/09/2014, retrieved Sept 11, 2014]
- gibson-fic, Meta: What About RPF?