As some proclaim the death of rock and roll – including Gene Simmons, who felt last year that new bands “haven’t taken the time to create glamor, excitement and epic stuff” – others have much more hope for the future of guitar music.
Take Alice Cooper, for example, who reminded the Kiss bassist earlier this year that “there’s a bunch of 18-year-old kids” out there “who learn Aerosmith and Guns N ‘Roses,” and aspire to a resurgence in “this whole area of hard rock”.
And now My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way has added his voice to the chorus of those who are optimistic about the shape of things to come.
In a new interview with NME, the singer addresses the cyclical nature of mainstream guitar music.
“In the 2000s, when we emerged, you saw other bands like Green Day have almost a whole revitalization: it was the era of rock and roll,” he says. “Rock and roll was a really dominant thing. And then pop starts taking a lot of risks, and then all of a sudden you see people trying to get bands to use guitars less.
“You keep hearing ‘Rock is dead’,” he adds. “If someone gave me a free guitar every time someone said ‘Rock is dead,’ I would have a lot of guitars.
He continues: “What I believe happened when the rock was gone, [when] you wouldn’t hear guitars in things i think people really missed what you can get from a rock band and you can’t go anywhere else. They just missed the sound of the guitar.
“I think that’s why you start to hear them in pop. I think as this cycle continues the sounds are going to get heavier and more visceral because I think people just need that. I think people just need it.
Elsewhere in the interview, Way talks about his love for Nirvana and how they “had the grunge tag and [MCR] got the emo tag ”.
“I don’t think any of our bands have ever felt comfortable with these tags,” he says. “I never really liked [other] grunge; it was Nirvana for me. I didn’t necessarily see them as grunge – I guess they embodied it, but at the same time, no one else who was a grunge band really sounded like them, you see?
“I also felt that about My Chemical Romance. We had emerged in this second wave emo scene, and it never really felt right. “