|Name:||Unleash The Bats.|
|Date(s):||7 September 2002-?|
|Type:||general discussion and band news|
|Fandom:||My Chemical Romance|
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chemicalromance was the first MCR-related community on LiveJournal. It was created by a fan a month and a half after the first album was released, but became more active after the second album came out.
As of 2016, the community had 12,142 posts; 353,463 comments; and 6,257 members. Some posts may have been deleted, and users have likely unsubscribed or deleted their accounts in the intervening years.
chemicalromance was not an RPF community, and its members held a wide range of opinions regarding fanfic. Judging by how the community reacted to the existence of the incest slash comm geeheartmikey, its membership in 2004 did not overlap considerably with what later became Bandom. On the other hand, as of 2005, a lot of members seemed interested in the onstage kissing between Gerard Way and Frank Iero, as well as the friendship between Gerard and Bert McCracken of The Used. (Other members were decidedly unimpressed.) In July 2005, someone even asked a canon question and admitted they needed it to write "a fiction"; the responses were neutral to positive. By November 2006, when Ray Toro complained about aspects of fanfic in an interview ("Stop making us have sex with each other!"), the majority of responses were amused and unrepentant. Some of the later mods were fic writers.
For anyone willing to read through the twelve thousand posts, the community serves as a partial record of MCR canon and the fanbase's feelings about the band in real time: it includes tour dates, eye-witness accounts, press interviews that later became fanon (e.g. Mikey vs. technology), and fan reactions to various events good and bad. In 2010 spuzz requested the ability to tag posts because "The community is a wonderful resource for recaps from years and years ago as well as articles and interviews but they've become difficult to find as the community has grown older." Unfortunately, by this point no one could reach the maintainer, so the tagging project was saved on Delicious.
Demographics and polling
In March 2005, someone posted a poll to find out the demographics of the community. Out of 331 participants, 77% were between 14 and 19 years old, 44% had been fans for less than a year, and more people liked Frank than Gerard.
In October 2005, another poll showed that 62.8% of the community preferred the first album to the second.
In July 2007 according to another poll with 598 participants, the comm was 97.6% female, 50.2% American, and 65% were between 14 and 19.
Community rules and content
Due to its longevity and uncertain mod history (see below), chemicalromance was not particularly well organized, and its focus narrowed over time. Much of its content in early years was later banned.
The comm had rules against posting advertisements, fanfic, rumors, or gendered slurs against the band members' wives/girlfriends. See the community profile. (The prohibition against fanfic was not in the 2005 rules; it is not clear if anyone ever tried to post fanfic, since posting was moderated, but a few fic finder-type posts were made before people were directed to mcrficfinder instead.) The community's FAQ, posted in 2008, is a list of known information about the band members and links to other canon resources.
Posts to the comm included: new fans introducing themselves (mostly teenagers), excitement about seeing shows, disappointment about show cancellations, other upcoming events (e.g. being extras in the "Helena" video shoot), fan photos, screencaps and scans, transcribed interviews and video links, requests for media, requests for concert tickets, debates over whether the band's new music was as good as the old, debates over whether fans who discovered MCR on MTV counted as real fans, hipster complaints about liking something that then became popular, complaints about the aforementioned elitist fans, complaints about MCR being mislabeled as emo, and the occasional advertisement (from journalists, musicians, merchants, and other lj communities). Fans also posted fanart and graphics (portrait drawings, stenciled t-shirts, icons, colorbars, wallpapers, tattoos, etc.).
chemicalromance was created by an early adopter account on 7 September 2002, and no one else posted in the comm for the first two months. However, as MCR's (and LiveJournal's) popularity increased, so did the comm's. By 2004 new posts were appearing on a daily basis, and by 2005, the daily posts were in the double digits. Comm activity seemed to rise and fall with tours and album releases, with interest dropping off in 2008-2009, but picking up again in late 2010 with the Danger Days album (though not to 2005 levels). The comm was mostly abandoned after September 2011, when the Honda Civic Tour ended.
In late 2004 users were complaining about the proliferation of new MCR communities that they felt were redundant. Meanwhile, the original moderator appeared to have abandoned the community (evillindsay hadn't posted since June 2003), and users were complaining about duplicate and off-topic posts. However, as of January 2005 there was at least one new active moderator, callhomicide. callhomicide turned on post moderation, but it was turned off again by March. dorkamatic, who was co-mod by February, turned post moderation on again in April after many complaints about the comm going downhill. In May 2005, coveredinraiin mentioned that there were four mods. gloryfades joined the mod team in September 2005 and quickly posted a request that members practice more self restraint in making icon posts.
In January 2006, the comm was briefly hacked, and 800 members were mysteriously granted maintainer privileges. Posting resumed shortly, and no further mention was made of the incident.
In May 2006, gloryfades banned icon posts. "i've been away for a few days and i opened up my e-mail to find a ton of messages complaining about icons. it's just gotten out of hand... people are posting icons that aren't of mcr, they're not lj-cutting... there are just too many." One commenter noted that mcr_icons existed for a reason.
In July 2006, gloryfades said she was the only moderator left and asked people to apply to become mods. The next day five new mods were added: daynadesastre, gunshotbeauty, kiimp, nest_freemark, x_storyofagirl.
In February 2007, gloryfades asked for more people to volunteer as mods to replace the three who were leaving. The new mods were announced a few weeks later: wertica_, azrielen, vagary, lia_blackstar, and needlehabit. A week later, after complaints about the volume of concert reviews being posted to the comm (The Black Parade World Tour had just started), azrielen announced that concert reviews were now banned and directed members to post future reviews to the recently created mcr_tourdiary. (Incidentally, mcr_tourdiary only had 53 posts total, from 2007 to 2008.) As of August 2007, this rule was not being enforced.
After a failed attempt to get a new mod via poll, gloryfades set up another community, chem_mods, for members to discuss administrative aspects of the comm in December 2007. Some of the posts were locked. Topics discussed included community rules, finding more mods, and rejecting posts. An unlocked 2008 post announced the creation of a new ticket request/exchange community because these posts were now banned from chemicalromance. Ticket posts were reinstated in 2010 after everyone forgot the ticket community existed.
In January 2008, cheapglue, captain_gromit, and _greatguitarsex were added as mods. In April, gloryfades announced cheapglue had stepped down and invited rayla_ to be a mod; this turned out to be gloryfades' last post to the comm.
In February 2010 an alternative discussion community, mcr_unofficial, was created. mod wertica_ commented:
A new community has been made for the people that enjoy a more organized community because we as mods in this particular community dont have any access to other areas except approving/rejecting posts. Thus the absess of tags, updating the FAQ nor any other improvements to the community. This community will still be active as long as people post here too but this post was approved for people to know that there is something even better out there :)
As of 2017, gloryfades is still listed as the owner of the community.
In a rare 2013 post after the band had split up, some of the commenters reminisced about the comm's heyday.
i feel like all of the Chem fans that used to live on Livejournal all moved to other sites... or bands. It's really kinda sad because it seems that a lot of us were pre-killjoy fans and I think it would have been interesting to get a pre-killjoy point of view and discussion on all of it. Don't get me wrong there are some decent killjoys out there but they aren't the same as the old LJ fans.... This was the place to be back in the day and I made a ton of amazing friends here in LJ land. Thank you all for that!
This community was my life back in 04/05. That's almost ten years ago though so I know no one remembers me. But the vibe here was really fun then and I've never felt such a sense of community in any fandom since. But of course the internet has changed and livejournal as a whole isn't what it was before the rise of social networking and blogging.
This community (and The Immortality Project) was a big deal to me from 2004 to around 2006-7, I loved feeling connected to My Chem and fans from different parts of the world, sharing content and stories and just being a part of a fun, chill community. I'm super grateful to you all - MCR will always be my favourite band, and my experience of them in those years would not have been the same without you all!
Panic! at the Disco connection
Two weeks after MCR's second album and major label debut was released in June 2004, Ryan Ross made a one-sentence post to the comm. This was before Panic! at the Disco was signed, so he only got a few comments in reply; the post acquired a bunch more in 2007 when Bandom rediscovered it. The entire post:
hey im ryan im new i live in las vegas my chemical romance makes me dance
Since many posts to the comm at that time were new members introducing themselves, his post was not out of the ordinary, though shorter and with fewer punctuation marks.
- Reference to Bullets-era catch-phrase that may have appeared in the liner notes of the first album and/or been yelled by Gerard during shows. chemnightmare. untitled post, Archived version, posted in chemicalromance, 2007-08-10.
- In 2010 a mod described it (too narrowly) as "a news comm. We post news, and then discussion happens, but we do not exist for the sake of the discussion itself." azrielen. Mod Post: Discussion Community/Blog Post + New Layout Ideas!, Archived version, posted to chemicalromance, 2010-09-25.
- community profile page, 4 November 2016
- According to FanHistory, in July 2009 there were 12,238 posts and 8919 members. Chemicalromance (LiveJournal) size, archived.
- A Wayback Machine page capture from August 13, 2011 shows 9586 members, but only 6536 watchers.
- untitled post, Archived version by ameyxcore, posted 20 July 2005.
- mizgnomer. Ray says "Stop making us have sex with each other...", Archived version, posted to chemicalromance, 2006-11-14.
- spuzz. Tags & Community layout, Archived version, posted to chem_mods, 2010-01-25.
- spuzz. new community., Archived version, posted to chemicalromance, 10 February 2010.
- If you've got question ideas for future polls, let me know. :) post in chemicalromance by dream_policer, 14 March 2005. archived.
- x_demolition. Poll #583582 MCR, posted to chemicalromance, 5 October 2005. archived. Poll results, 317 participants.
- Poll #1016028 asl? lol, locked discussion post, 5 July 2007.
- dobatochan. DANGER DAYS MEGAPOLL: chemicalromance, Archived version, 2010-11-28. Poll #1650774 DANGER DAYS MEGAPOLL
- For example: untitled post by jordanlover, Archived version, posted in chemicalromance, 2007-03-29
- For example, Hmm.., posted by hope_remains in chemicalromance, 23 February 2005. archived.
- Note the contrast with bandslashers who joined the fandom circa 2007, who embraced the term (probably because they were getting a lot of their info from the journalistic sources chemicalromance so despised).
- logic_fails. untitled chemicalromance post, Archived version, 2006-09-20. See comments, such as this one from cadette: "MCR aren't emo. It is the bane of my existence that people classify them as such.... I do think it is interesting to note how what qualifies a band as emo has somehow morphed to encompass bands like MCR, FOB and Panic! (especially when MCR should not be compared to FOB who is only their contemporary in the timing of their rise to fame) who, to me, hang more on the fringes of pop-punk than anything else."
- sparkygirl5000. I don't know what to make of this., Archived version, posted to chemicalromance 2006-10-08. See comments.
- andnightsgrow. untitled chemicalromance post, Archived version, 2006-10-14. "I think we've all had enough of being lumped together in an 'emo' scene, headed by a band that purportedy promotes self-harm and suicide - and I'd like to fight back in my own particular way."
- evillindsay. hambone the king of rock 'n roll, posted to chemicalromance 27 June 2003. archive.
- sosorryitsover. untitled post in chemicalromance, 18 December 2004. archived.
- 5 January 2005 post. archived.
- callhomicide. no more drama in my life., posted to chemicalromance, 2005-01-17. archived.
- comment by dorkamatic, 3 March 2005. archived.
- throb. throb. throb. THROB. THROB!, posted by dorkamatic to chemicalromance, 16 February 2005. archived.
- dorkamatic. untitled post in chemicalromance, 2005-04-05. archived.
- coveredinraiin. attention all members/posters of the chemicalromance community:, posted to chemicalromance, 2005-05-27. archived.
- gloryfades. Hi., Archived version, post in chemicalromance, 5 September 2005.
- gloryfades. So About Those Icons..., Archived version, posted in chemicalromance 7 September 2005.
- aliceofwonder. untitled chemicalromance post, Archived version, 2006-01-16.
- gloryfades. Icons..., Archived version, posted in chemicalromance, 2006-05-07.
- gloryfades. Moderation, Archived version, posted in chemicalromance, 2006-07-20.
- gloryfades. Moderators, Archived version, posted in chemicalromance, 2006-07-21.
- nest_freemark. Mod post., Archived version, posted to chemicalromance, 2007-01-21. An exchange in the comment section: "we all attack the people who say negative things but its the ones defending Gerard that keep the shit going most of the times. if people would just let it go then it wouldn't happen." "Agreed. You don't even have to say something mean, it can just be something that annoys you like, for instance, GUM. And then you have half the comm coming up with 13413 excuses as to why it is okay he is chewing the gum and so what if it's rude, HE'S JUST A MAN, HE'S NOT A HERO."
- nest_freemark. MOD POST 2 (sorry guys), Archived version, posted to chemicalromance, 2007-01-21.
- gloryfades. Hey Guys!, Archived version, posted to chemicalromance, 2007-02-02.
- gloryfades. New Mods!, Archived version, posted to chemicalromance, 2007-02-19.
- azrielen. FUTURE CONCERT REVIEWS, Archived version, posted to chemicalromance, 2007-02-26.
- comment thread in an untitled chemicalromance post started by rayla_, Archived version, 2007-08-18.
- gloryfades. BAH!, Archived version, posted to chemicalromance, 2007-12-20.
- cheapglue. Ticket Exchange/Resale/Requests., Archived version, posted to chem_mods, 2008-02-20.
- _greatguitarsex. Ticket posts!, Archived version, posted to chemicalromance, 2010-11-20.
- gloryfades. New Mod Hiring: Attempt Deux, Archived version, posted to chemicalromance, 2008-01-03.
- gloryfades. Sometimes I'm Alive..., Archived version, posted to chemicalromance, 2008-04-14.
- pandapeepers. MCR are over?, Archived version, post in chemicalromance 25 March 2013.
- untitled post by ex_i_amcland189 in chemicalromance, 2004-06-21. archived.