Current Mood: Welcome To The Black Parade – My Chemical Romance

My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade

So this week has not been one of the greatest.  It’s been raining and snowing all week…will we ever see spring?!?  And I  have been dealing with some stuff in my personal life that’s made me feel a little bit down.  Whenever I’m feeling really down, I like to listen to Welcome To The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance.  I know it’s not the happiest song and I know it’s probably not a good idea to listen to sad songs when you’re sad, but it helps me to deal with what’s going on in my life.  This is the album art for The Black Parade which I also love because of the skeleton guy. and the My Chemical Romance text (image property of Reprise Records)

The first time I heard this song, I was in 8th grade.  I was working on a group project with a bunch of kids I didn’t like.  I was put in their group because I was a good student and my teacher wanted me to keep them in line.  And of course, me growing up as a *good girl* did all the work.  I went to a small Catholic school from Kindergarten-8th grade.  I listened to Radio Disney for most of my life.  My Chemical Romance was so not something I would have listened to.  I listened to Jesse McCartney and The Click Five.  I would never have been allowed to listen to My Chem….like ever.

So I heard this song and I didn’t really like it to start.  It also didn’t fit the project we were doing (it was a history project on something that has long been gone from my memory).  They wanted to use it for the Powerpoint presentation and I think in the end we did.  But let me tell you, 14 year old me wasn’t happy that they were using this song.

Once I got to college, I started listening to other bands.  I was slightly depressed at college for the first semester…probably even the whole first year.  So I started listening to more music that reflected that.  Eventually I came across My Chemical Romance and I listened to Welcome to the Black Parade for the first time since 8th grade.  It really hit home.  I connected with the lyrics.  I loved it.  The song is probably still one of my most favorite My Chem songs.  I listened to that song on repeat for probably a week.  It really helped me get through some hard times and even now I’ll listen to the whole The Black Parade album when I’m having a bad day.  Something about the songs on this album make me feel a lot less alone when I’m not in a good mood.

The very beginning of the song is the part that’s the most meaningful to me.  I’ve included the lyrics to that part because it’s always stood out to me.

 “He said, ‘Son when you grow up,
Would you be the savior of the broken,
The beaten and the damned?’
He said ‘Will you defeat them,
Your demons, and all the non-believers,
The plans that they have made?’
‘Because one day I’ll leave you,
A phantom to lead you in the summer,
To join The Black Parade.'”

When I’m feeling down and having a terrible day, this is my default song because it talks about someone leading all the outcasts.  And when I’m upset, I feel like I don’t belong, so this song is very relatable to me.  It comforts me to know that I’m not alone.  And maybe it’ll help you when you’re feeling down too.  I encourage you to listen to it and really pay attention to the lyrics whenever you’re having a bad day.


Inspired By: Patrick Stump – Soul Punk

5. patrick stump sould punk soul-punk-500b4952e393d

This was a project I did for the anniversary of Soul Punk, a solo album from Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy.  I did an album redesign because I love album art and I figured that would be a good way to celebrate the anniversary of Soul Punk.  I love making album art and I had such a good time with this project.  The design on the left is mine and the other is the original album cover (property of Island Records).

So to start I wanted to keep the yellow boxes because they’re the focal point of the album.  I also wanted to keep a picture of Patrick Stump on the album cover since it is his album.  I made the yellow boxes smaller and filled them with different pieces of the original album: 3 sections from the skyline and the final piece from the shadow on the ground behind Stump.  The thin parts of the boxes are filled with text from the title of the album and the artist.  I changed the colors of the text  to match the skyline.  I found a picture of Stump from the Soul Punk era and made it white and black.  The background I made a solid black originally, then took it and added some noise and a stained glass filter.

This is one of my favorite designs I’ve ever done because I really enjoyed the music from the album and I chose to do this project for fun with no time limit and no guidelines.  I had a lot of fun listening to Soul Punk for the first time while designing this piece.  The music is very interesting and a very different style than Fall Out Boy.  I encourage you to give it a listen at least once over because it is a really great album.  It’s been added to the Inspired By Playlist!

Inspired By: Fall Out Boy – Save Rock and Roll

3. FOB Bauhaus Posterfob save rock and roll album cover

This piece was done for one of my beginner graphic design classes.  Also, right around this time, I  had started listening to Fall Out Boy.  For this assignment we had to take inspiration from Mike Joyce’s Swissted project.  Swissted is an ongoing project that combines Bauhaus style designs for old concert and music posters.  It’s honestly one of my favorite design series and Mike Joyce is one of my favorite designers.  For this project, my Professor told us to each pick an album and following Joyce’s example, turn it into a Bauhaus inspired poster design.  So I chose to do my Bauhaus inspired design on Fall Out Boy’s album Save Rock and Roll, which was their first album after coming back from a three year hiatus.  On the left is my Save Rock and Roll inspired poster and on the right is Fall Out Boy’s actual album cover design (not my image, property of Island and Decaydance Records).

I started this piece by looking at what colors took up most of the design.  I noticed that two of the main colors were black and maroon.  I also noticed several different browns and the white of the text and the smoke.  I tried to balance the black and maroon as they were in the original album artwork.  I added a thick black vertical line to the left, and a slightly thinner horizontal maroon line at the top.  I also used maroon as an accent color to prevent the piece from being too bland.  I chose two different tans, one darker, one lighter, both very similar to the ground in the album artwork and broke it up into two big chunks since the ground is a large area in the original artwork.  The darker brown that I used for some of the thinner lines was taken from the blurred part of the background.  The white in most of the text is taken from the white of the text in the album art.  The grey-blue of the “Save Rock” was taken from the left boy’s jeans.

The font for the Fall Out Boy on the left of my design, is very similar to that of the actual album art.  I wanted to keep the primary font as close to the original as I could so that it would translate between the two images.  I chose the font for “Save Rock and Roll” different from the title font, because I wanted the band name to be the primary focus of the design.  I chose that font because it was a sans serif like the original, but not as serious as the typeface used for the band name.  Looking back now, I might have chosen a different typeface for “Save Rock and Roll” but I don’t mind the font I chose a few years ago.

I don’t remember if I listened to the album specifically while working on this piece, but it’s influences can be seen in the original artwork which is where I got my inspiration from.  I added the whole album to the Inspired By Playlist and I hope you’ll give it a listen.  This album is one of my favorite all time albums.  I also encourage you to check out Mike Joyce and his Swissted project if you have the chance because his work is amazing and he’s been such an inspiration to me.  Overall, I think this is one of my most favorite musically inspired pieces because of the beautiful simplicity of it and because it’s artwork for one of my favorite bands.