28 September 2014 @ 10:32 pm
Blog Post: Ray  
September 28, 2014

Got to do something really incredible yesterday. Was at Container Park in Las Vegas for the Karaoke For The Kure event run by the fine people at Because Of Ezra, an incredible charity organization who's goal is to cure childhood cancer. Kyle and Robyn Matthews shared the heartbreaking story of their son Ezra, who lost the battle to cancer at the age of 2. Earlier that same year, they lost another child due to complications in a premature birth. The loss of a child is hard to contemplate, but losing two in one year? Unfathomable. And yet Kyle and Robin have found a way to continue on, and turn what could (and rightly should) have been an experience that stops you from ever wanting to wake up, into a battle with the formidable monster called cancer.

And how do they fight?

With positive energy. With song and dance. With love.

Each year they organize this event around Ezra's birthday. To laugh and sing. To let the joy of music fill their hearts as it did Ezra's until his last days. And to celebrate the will to fight in the countless children that have been diagnosed with this horrible disease.

Truly inspiring, and an experience I won't soon forget.


11 September 2014 @ 09:52 am
Blog Post: Ray  
September 11, 2014

Spending some time with the family up in Northern California. Really beautiful here. Love the trees.

Getting a bit of work done as well. Took me a while, but I finally got a handle on my new string samples. On a good recommendation, I went with Audiobro's LA Scoring Strings. There are a ton of features that I still haven't fully grasped yet, but the default settings were set up in a way to get me composing quickly. The sounds are impressive, much better than the Logic strings I was using before. I would love to get a real string section to record, but that ends up getting really expensive, so this is the next best thing.

As I was working, I constantly found myself in awe of the classic composers, creating grand symphonies with nothing but quill, paper, and an unending imagination. To have been able to hear the end result in their minds before a note had actually been played is astounding to me. Today, we can poke at MIDI staves and hear in an instant how the parts stack up, and if something isn't right, a few clicks here and a time stretch there will have each section singing in harmony.

Boy, do we have it lucky these days...
03 September 2014 @ 05:14 pm
Blog Post: Ray  
I'm Cured.
September 03, 2014

I am happy to say I have been cured of an extremely debilitative disease. I have suffered its destructive effects for about a decade, but I finally feel I am free of its hold on me. This dreaded disease is called...


I've always had a hard time moving on from demos. I mentioned in a prior post about my love of rough mixes, and it is a similar thing. Demos have a certain character. The performances are usually not rehearsed, so you are creating in the moment as tracking happens. Sometimes scratch vocals, while not being perfectly sung or in time, have a level of spontaneity that can't be recaptured. So when you go to re-track songs in the endless pursuit of capturing a great performance AND a clean recording, it can be hard to pull yourself away from the demos you have been living with, in my case, for months.

So on Thursday and Friday, when I went in to track with Tom, Chris, Tim, and Jamie, I decided to keep an open mind. I knew I needed the parts I had written to be played with better sounds and awesome players, but I also knew that creatively I was tapped on these songs, so getting new ideas was welcome and necessary.

I couldn't have been happier with what everyone brought to the sessions. The path to finishing each song was different. Sometimes we replaced sounds, and sometimes we kept the old sounds. On some songs, a hybrid version of my parts with the guys' ideas worked best, while other times completely new ideas worked incredibly well.

Now on to the players...

Tom Rasulo, the assistant at the studio, is a mother f'er of a drummer and percussionist, and he brought a great balance of energy, groove and technique to the tracks.

Chris Chaney played bass, and took the parts I had played to another level. Doug kept talking about it, but there is such a difference between how a guitarist plays bass and how a true bassist plays. Sometimes the parts were exactly the same, but the feel was completely new and fresh. Also, Chris is an old school player and plays bass with his fingers, which gives a warm and fat character to the bass. It is really how the instrument is meant to be played.

Tim Pierce did the Tim Pierce thing and was fast and awesome. The parts he improvised are now so integral to the songs, I can't imagine how they sounded before. On some songs, I didn't even know what I was looking for, but he seemed to find something that sat right in with the energy of the song. He was also super accommodating. When a part he was trying wasn't working, he went back to his house to get some different instruments to find the sound I was looking for.

Jamie Muhoberac put the final sprinkling of awesome dust on the tracks, adding great counter melodies, piano, and his trademarked samples that he's personally been creating since he was a child.

I want to thank all of you, Chris, Tom, Tim, Jamie and Doug, for bringing your talents to my project. The songs are getting better and better, and that would not have happened without you all.

I was sick, but now I am cured.

And the best news?

We're just getting started...
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28 August 2014 @ 01:37 pm
Blog Post: Ray  
I'm fucking stoked.
August 28, 2014


Starting up tracking again after a few days off. I feel the pulsating energy in the air. Firing off like a billion electrons. Sparks and atoms cascading upon each other in an electric waltz.

I'm fucking stoked.
Tags: ,
26 August 2014 @ 01:54 pm
Blog Post: Ray  
The Lonely Tree
August 26, 2014

Waiting for a drop to drink.
Arms are falling bare.
Drying up inside this shell
With no one left to care.

Chipping at my hardened skin
The dirt scrapes at my knees.

Life can be a bitter thing
When no one cares for me.

Always wondered what it's like
To live outside these walls.
Birds and bees and pretty wings
Sing songs to wake them all.

Colors green, wish I could see
The long and grassy plain.
Blades between my gnarled feet
Feel soft and cool like rain.

Sail across forever sea
In trails of blue and white.
Yellow, red, and orange too.
My eyes weep at the sight.

To the sky, my heart takes flight
Aloft on mountain breeze.
Tiny brushes paint the hills
with pine and evergreen.

But here I stand
amongst the stone
and gravelly debris.

Life can be a bitter thing
When no one cares for me.
15 July 2011 @ 01:18 pm
Blog Post: Ray Toro  
iTunes Festival
Friday July 15, 2011 | Posted by: Ray

Thanks all for making this show a great night. After all the outdoor gigs, playing for our kids in a beautiful venue was exactly what we needed to keep spirits up.

Great news! I just finished mixing the show, and it should be going on sale at iTunes soon. Great live versions of SING, Hang Em High, and an old classic of a vampiric nature. Plus a few other deep cuts!

We'll let you know as soon as its up!

13 April 2011 @ 10:40 am
Blog Post: Ray Toro  
Wednesday April 13, 2011 | Posted by: Ray

My Chemical Romance has always shared a special connection with Japan. The food, the culture, the energy, the people...Since our first show there, we knew it would be a place we would keep coming back to.

While in the UK, we received news of the events unfolding after the massive earthquake. It affected us in a profound way. Moved by the terrible tragedy in Japan, and inspired by our fans, we set to work on #SINGItForJapan, a re-imagining of SING.

Dozens of musicians donated their time and talent to help bring this song to life. To complete the video, thousands of fans across the world submitted video, artwork, and pictures to show their love and support.

Using classic Japanese themes in the orchestration, we hope we have honored and paid tribute to the people of Japan. All of our proceeds from the sale of this recording goes directly to charity to assist relief efforts in Japan.

Thank you for all of your support.


Embed of #SINGitforJapan video behind cut )
05 April 2011 @ 11:38 am
Blog Post: Ray Toro  
Almost there...
Tuesday April 5, 2011 | Posted by: Ray

Got the full cut of the video last night. Its great. I can't wait for you guys to see it, not only is it a tribute to Japan but it is a tribute to you, our fans. The amount of work and effort you all put into your submissions great and small means so much, and I'm happy that the world will see you all in this light.

I also was sent a link to a great fan vid! You can check it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrURolaDZB4. It ends with the wise words of one Frank Iero. Your dedication to the #SINGItForJapan project has shown you heard him loud and clear. In case you haven't, here they are below...Thank you all again.


Three photos and a repost of Frank's blog post from a while back that appears in the video (also embeded) )
31 March 2011 @ 03:19 pm
Blog Post: Ray Toro  
Strings!!! Part 2
Thursday March 31, 2011 | Posted by: Ray

Guys, another quick look into the string session at Oceanway! The great people there donated their time and talent. Thanks Oceanway and thanks to the musicians!

video embed behind the cut )

Can't view in your region? Watch here
31 March 2011 @ 01:41 pm
Blog Post: Ray Toro  
You guys rule
Thursday March 31, 2011 | Posted by: Ray

Thank you thank you thank you all for your amazing submissions to the #SINGItForJapan project. We have in you all a strong, giving community. Thanks for showing your love for Japan. We are currently going through the submissions, editing and we'll hopefully have some news in the next few days about the release. Speak soon...

30 March 2011 @ 06:27 pm
Blog Post: Ray Toro  
Wednesday March 30, 2011 | Posted by: Ray

Edited this on my iPad! A little video from yesterday's string session...

video embed behind the cut )

Can't view the video in your region? Watch here instead
29 March 2011 @ 04:08 pm
Blog Post: Ray Toro  
Thank You
Tuesday March 29, 2011 | Posted by: Ray

Just a quick update…

Thank you all for your incredible submissions. I knew that we could rely on your creativity in this project, but you've really taken it to another level. The quality and quantity of the work is really inspiring. Just remember to use the submission form so we don't miss any! Check out the pics to see some of the amazing work we are getting!

Also, later today we'll have some pictures of a special tracking session we're doing. A great group of musician has donated their time and talent, and we're gonna get it all on video. Keep an eye out for it!

Lastly, I got the domain name singitforjapan.com, so we are working on putting up a site there to centralize any future news, as well as host the video and track when they are ready. Also want to figure out a way to consolidate all the artwork we've gotten, so everyone who doesn't make it into the video has a chance to shine.

Thanks again for all your hard work!


Artwork behind the cut (+3) )
25 March 2011 @ 07:11 pm
Blog Post: Ray Toro  
Friday March 25, 2011 | Posted by: Ray


It's time to call the MCRMY to arms. I mentioned last post that we would need your help. Now is the time. We've been working on an idea which will hopefully help raise money for the recovery effort in Japan. We would like you to know the idea was inspired by you, the fans.

After the news of the earthquake and tsunami spread, I did what most people did. I stopped and stared at the TV. I sat at the computer, constantly refreshing CNN in hopes of some good news. And I went to Twitter to see what people were saying. I noticed a hash-tag, "#SINGItForJapan," where you kids were writing messages of hope, saying prayers and sending your condolences and well wishes to survivors. It moved me in a profound way.

A week later, after talking with the guys about what we could do, here we are. I've been working backstage and on planes to put together a special version of SING. Our plan is to release it with all proceeds going to Red Cross Japan. We also feel we need a video to share on Facebook and YouTube, so this is where you come in.

We'd like to send messages of hope to Japan from people all over the world. We're asking for you to send video, pictures, drawings or written messages to the people of Japan. Go wherever your creativity and heart takes you. It could be as simple as you holding up a sign with "#SINGItForJapan " written on it, or anything else you can dream up. From what we've seen on tour, we know you guys can dream bigger than we ever could.

Don't be afraid to get your families involved. If you are inspired to do something alone, that's great too. But we encourage you to get a big group of people from your community together. We want Japan to know just how many people are behind them. The one request we have is for you to somehow include where you're from in your video, photo, or drawing. Using YouTube, Flickr, Twitpic, etc, upload your contribution. Remember to include the tag #SINGItForJapan. Then, send your submissions to us by filling out the form below.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to include everybody, but know that we will see everything, and your submission is meaningful and appreciated.

Thank you all for your help in this.

Speak soon.


[Go here for submission form and terms and conditions.]
22 March 2011 @ 05:14 pm
Blog Post: Ray Toro  
Tuesday March 22, 2011 | Posted by: Ray

On a flight home from Helsinki, so close to LA. It's been an incredible 2 month journey, starting on one side of the world, and ending in another.

I will say this...never before has My Chem had so much fun playing shows, meeting you outside when we can, and at meet and greets. From city to city, we noticed a love of life, an exuberance and maturity in you all that wasn't their 4 years ago. Maybe not for us either.

Your letters, drawings, art pieces, and everything in between kept the mood up. All of you are so creative and we love to see you express yourselves in that way. Positivity begets positivity.

We've also been collecting flags, which I thought would make a great backdrop once all sewn together. I think we got one in most every country we hit, so US, it's your turn to bring out the state flags all "Killjoys" like.

It's crazy to think we started this run in Japan, and 2 months later it is a changed place. You all know we have a special love and respect for Japan. Our hearts go out to all affected by the tragedy. We know that Japan will pick itself up as it has done in the past.

We have some news to announce shortly about a plan to help raise funds for the recovery. Just our small way of trying to help. You all should know too that the idea was inspired by you fans, so keep watching and we'll give you news soon!

06 February 2011 @ 02:52 pm
Blog Post: Ray Toro  
Hello from Japan
Sunday February 6, 2011 | Posted by: Ray

Hey all,

My Chemi is back in Japan!!!

We've been here for a few days taking in the sights, tastes, and sounds of this great country!

Osaka was our first stop, where we spent the day walking the shopping arcade, spending yens on toys and trinkets you can't get in the states. We also hung out with giant killer crabs, and treated ourselves to ramen 10,000 years in the making...

We also enjoyed some Kushikatsu, which is Japanese for deep fried goodness. Imagine dipping everything from beef, sausage, and chicken, to octopus in delicious corn-dog batter, frying it, deep dunking it in a milder A1'ish type sauce, and swallowing it whole piping hot. A delicacy indeed. You can watch the whole experience here.

We also managed to squeeze in a show, and it reminded us of why we love playing in Japan so much. We had a few technical problems, first show kinks, but the crowd powered us through.

For those of you who have never been to a show in Japan, the crowd reacts in a way completely unique to Japan. Between songs, they are whisper quiet, respectfully waiting for the next song to start. Once the music kicks, they begin to dance, chant, mosh and sing along at ear piercing levels. When the song ends, polite applause, and then silence. It makes for a special experience, that somehow feels more personal than the size of the show would indicate.

We then hopped on the bullet train to Nagoya. For all of the steel and concrete that fills the big cities, you forget that the much of Japan is filled with beautiful green trees, snow-capped mountains, and smaller, more traditional cities.

The gig in Nagoya went much smoother, and was just as fun as Osaka. DeWees, keyboard extraordinaire, played a beautiful piece on the spot before Black Parade. He always finds new ways to amaze us.

Now on the train to Tokyo, enjoying a green tea ice cream and on the hunt for Masterpiece Hot Rod...


Pictures behind the cut (+6) )
28 September 2010 @ 12:58 am
Blog Update: Ray  
Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) on iTunes today
posted by Ray on Sep 27, 2010 09:49pm

Hey everyone,

Got great news to share with everybody! Our new single, Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na etc…) will be available on iTunes today! Now you can take that jam with you wherever you want and crank it! Also, we are debuting our first ever lyric video for the song. We're really happy how it turned out, so enjoy!

I know we've been gone a while, so thank you guys for the constant requests to your local stations, the tweets telling us how much you like it, or in those isolated instances, how much you didn't like it at first and now its stuck in your brain for the end of time! You've helped get it to #1 on some stations, so thank you! Can't tell you how it makes us feel to know the MCRmy is still there to back us up.

We're only just getting started, so keep your eyes and ears open. Dr. D may be sending some more transmissions soon...

Video and picture under cut )
30 May 2010 @ 10:00 am
Blog Post: Ray  
My brother sent this to me today...
posted by Ray on May 28, 2010 04:57pm

and reminded me of this awesome moment. Good times, can't wait to do it again!
02 April 2010 @ 04:45 pm
Blog Post: Ray  
Hello Earth People!
posted by Ray on Apr 2, 2010 10:37am

Hey everybody, long time no post! Hope you guys are doing well. Been crazy busy in the studio the past month, working long hours and writing great music. Taking a few days off this holiday weekend, so thought I'd take the chance to give a quick update on some happenings in MCR world. First, a heartfelt thanks for voting for us in the MTV March Madness thing they have going on. Even after being away for a bit, it feels really good to know you are all still with us, ready to strike when called to arms! I'm not sure what it all means, but its always fun to win stuff, so keep voting! I once won $25 on a scratch off lotto ticket, and I can guarantee winning the MTV thing will feel at least 3 times as good as that... Got a new shot of Frank's up as well. Somehow, while shredding the guitar, tending to his family in Jersey, and looking dashing, Frank finds time to take great photos of us while we're tracking. This shot features Doug, our engineer extraordinaire. I would say he's a great dude, but he's been shredding me in Words With Friends! So while he may be good as his job, he is an utter bastard... Speaking of Frank's photos, the first 2 lithos in what will hopefully be an ongoing series go up for sale next week. Be ready and waiting to click the link as soon as its put up, I have a feeling they're going to sell out quick... Tomorrow, we're going to start a run of contests here. It begins with the first annual MCR Easter Egg Hunt. One of my favorite things to do each year is to paint eggs with my wife. Last year we painted up some Transformer themed eggs, so I'll be sure to put up a pic of what we do. So in that spirit, there will be four eggs hidden throughout the site. Find them, click them, enter your username and you'll get the credit and I think win a poster. Watson will have more detailed instructions up soon... Lastly, I will take a quick second to announce my unending obsession with the upcoming iPad. We all know I love gadgets. I probably love gadgets more than air. It will be awaiting on my doorstep Saturday, so after I put it through its paces, I'll put up my thoughts. Thanks for the time, talk to you all soon! Ray

+1 image )
23 January 2010 @ 09:46 pm
Blog Post: Ray  
Congrats Marc Webb!!!!
posted by Ray on Jan 23, 2010 02:28am

Getting the Spider-Man movie is HHHHUUUUUGGGGEEEE! Looking forward to see what you do with it!