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 is the name given to a Real People Fiction fandom featuring a large but specific group of American bands, many of whom became popular in the mid 2000s. The three "core" bands are My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, and Panic at the Disco. In this context, the term is a portmanteau of bandslash and fandom, though it is understood differently in other fan communities. See Bandom Terminology Debate. 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.
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.
- See also: Timeline of Bandom
Before Dreamwidth and AO3, Bandom lived on LiveJournal, where it slowly emerged from the primordial ooze of general band RPS around 2004-2006 and gained a sense of identity. Many key canon events for Bandom occurred around 2004-2007, including The Summer of Like in 2005, linking musically distinct bands together in a complex web of personal and professional relationships that defined the scope of Bandom. The name of the fandom also evolved from Bandslash to Bandom, though as it transpired, this name caused confusion with fans of other rock bands in 2007.
In July 2004 a LiveJournal community called rareslashpairs was created "for people who are sick of reading the regular Good Charlotte and Mest stories out there and are looking for something a little different. Here you can post stories about bands that are not written a lot about or cross overs from different bands." In the first month, fans posted a Fall Out Boy fic, a My Chemical Romance/The Used crossover, a Mest/The Used crossover, and a story about Geoff Rickly of Thursday, along with various other bands that were popular at the time. Also in July: patrickxpeter. A few months later, the band-specific comm mychemicalslash was created. In 2005, slashatthedisco (for PATD) and midnight-party (for FOB) were created.
As fannish excitement about the bands grew, adult fans created several smaller communities, often friendslocked and with moderated membership to keep out teenagers and other newbies who frequented the general fic comms. Some of these fans were former Popslashers, including the mods of both yeahchemical and damnyouwentz. yeahchemical, an MCR comm, was created in 2005 and in turn inspired the creation in 2006 of damnyouwentz, a multi-band comm that may have been a significant factor in defining Bandom and encouraging its growth. In 2007 weemo_closet was created along similar lines as damnyouwentz, but with looser membership requirements. In July 2007, fans discussing damnyouwentz's restrictive membership policy noted that the explosion of Bandom on livejournal had already rendered these early closed communities irrelevant. In the meantime, a whole slew of new bandom communities were being created with no such restrictions, including bandslashmania and bandflesh.
In a 2008 discussion about fanfic writing styles, kalpurna contrasted Bandom with Due South fandom (which started in 1994):
Bandom has no history, and the teenagers for whom this is their first fandom vastly outnumber the people who even know what a mailing list was. Not to mention the live canon and the RPS thing and the four hundred meta issues that I've never seen mentioned in any fandom before. (What do you do when an RPS subject replies to fic (directly, on LJ, logged into their own account) with "dialogue rings true"? WHAT?!) And all of these things, these young-fandom-characteristics, influence the fic in tiny imperceptible ways that you get used to without knowing what you're getting used to.
In a 2009 discussion about the wankiness of Bandom, fans pointed to sidelining of BNFs and adult bandom communities as a possible factor:
The other thing is that there really wasn't centralization in the form of bandom BNFs. Initially there was, but when bandom grew so quickly almost overnight, a lot of the early fic writers stepped back/away for various reasons. So there was a massive influx of people into a fandom that isn't just splintered by pairings, the way others are, but by bands.
Bandom grew exponentially, almost overnight. In the beginning, when it was a (relatively) small group of people in the fandom, there were set rules and standards that were similar to other online fandoms. There were a few centralized Elders/BNFs and they and their friends created the communities, hosted the challenges, and established the rules. And then suddenly, the number of people in the fandom had ballooned dramatically.
Other fans contested the idea that more BNFs would have resulted in less wank, but one thing these meta discussions show is that Bandom was thought of as a single coherent fandom, which was not true before damnyouwentz. (If anything, thinking of itself as one fandom may have been a major source of Bandom's problems. See also Bandom Big Bang's endless rounds of arguments over which bands could be included.)
In 2007 fans were already distinguishing between two "waves" of bandslashers--the earlier, smaller group associated with DYW and the 2007 flood of newcomers. However, from the vantage point of 2015, fans described the history of Bandom as consisting of two main 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 2017, the fandom's big bang challenge is still running, though it is considerably smaller. Meanwhile, fan activity for many of the Bandom bands continues on Tumblr, with many fans not old enough to have participated in the earlier waves of Bandom. Both PATD and FOB are still touring, and MCR fandom appears to have had too much momentum to have stopped when the band did.
- See also List of Bandom Ship Names
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 with main pairings Frank/Gerard, Ryan/Brendon, and Spencer/Jon.
- 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.
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
- BANDSLASH POST O'DOOM by duendeoflorien on livejournal (2007-05-19)
- 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.)
- on the subject of damnyouwentz, archived, posted on 16 July 2007 at kalpurna's LiveJournal. comment by calathea: For about a nanosecond, I cared that DYW wasn't inviting new members, ENTIRELY because at some point in history a bunch of (apparently good) stories and a lot of primers were f-locked on the community. I came in about two days before the explosion to mid-sized fandom happened, and I was frustrated that there was (probably good) content out there I couldn't get to. Because the only alternative at that point was the large-ish open communities which are much with the 57-part, 200-words-per-part stories written by 13 year olds, which isn't my thing.... DYW has a lot of awesome fic linked to it, and some awesome writers are members, but it's not the ONLY place to be for the discerning slasher any more, so its membership being open or not is actually pretty much irrelevant to my life.
- livejournal comment by kalpurna, Archived version, on a post by seperis, something's lost in translation
- livejournal comment by idyll on On bandom as a fannish community, or: what the hell, people?, 7 July 2009. (deleted post)
- livejournal comment by druidspell on On bandom as a fannish community, or: what the hell, people?, 8 July 2009. (deleted post)
- comment by silverakira in kalpurna's livejournal post on the subject of damnyouwentz, Archived version, posted July 16 2007.
- "Here is why I am loving the Second Wave of bandslash: writers I knew and loved in other fandoms are suddenly spontaneously writing porn about Panic! at the Disco, and I get to READ IT." eleanor_lavish. Fic Rec!, Archived version, posted in damnyouwentz, 2007-04-04.
- Online Fandom » A query for the fanfic crowd, Archived version, onlinefandom.com blog post, May 18 2007. In the comment section, makesmewannadie describes the second wave as fans getting into Bandom "through the existing fans rather than through an initial interest in the music."
- In December 2007, someone complained to an anon meme that, "brendon/ryan and frank/gerard is overrated. i'm tired of reading those pairings, where's the diversity?" Unpopular bandom opinions ahoy!: untappedbeauty, Archived version, 28 December 2007.
- tweets by bessyboo on September 18-19, 2015: 
- Source: common knowledge. But comparing the activity on PATD and MCR's general slash communities on livejournal can provide a clue as to their relative popularity: at 22K posts, slashatthedisco beat mychemicalslash's 17K, despite being created almost a year later. FOB slash seems to have been spread out more to general bandslash communities and pairing-specific communities, so accurate numbers are hard to come by (it was probably smaller though).
- December 2007 anonmeme complaint: "Why, oh god WHY, does every fannish fic challenge end up with 92 bajillion Panic fics and a handful of FOB or MCR?" Unpopular bandom opinions ahoy!: untappedbeauty, Archived version
- 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.)
- December 2007 anonmeme example: "I hate the use of Brencer, Frerard, Ryden/Rydon, etc. Whenever people use them, they make me throw up in my mouth a little." Unpopular bandom opinions ahoy!: untappedbeauty, Archived version, 28 December 2007
- fandomsecrets thread on smushnames as pet peeve, archived, posted 2009-05-12. (Accessed Sept 11, 2014)
- gibson-fic, Meta: What About RPF?