Emo music, and My Chemical Romance in particular, have been under an unpleasant spotlight in the U.K. this month since a depressed teenager from Kent took her own life. And the fact that she was a fan of the genre has been blamed.
The scapegoating of alternative music in the press is nothing new. But what's all the more disturbing about this case is that the coroner singled out the emo genre as playing a part in Hannah's death. Roger Sykes said, "The emo overtones concerning death and associating it with glamour I find very disturbing."
This was all the Daily Mail newspaper needed to revive their crusade against a culture that actually has much more to do with uniting people and sending a message of hope. Nevertheless, they whipped up another editorial about this apparent "suicide cult" designed to panic parents, even going as far as to make inaccurate claims that MCR's "Black Parade" is "a place where all emos believe they go when they die."
"The message and theme of our album The Black Parade is hope and courage. Our lyrics are about finding the strength to keep living through pain and hard times. The last song on our album states, 'I am not afraid to keep on living'--a sentiment that embodies the band's position on hardships we all face as human beings."
The Daily Mail whipping up fear and misunderstanding is nothing new either, but the fans who feel this music has helped them through their problems, not exacerbated them, are not standing for it.
Tomorrow, an estimated thousand fans will march upon the newspaper's London offices, in a show of solidarity, and respect for Hannah. Organizer Anni Smith told NME.com: "The [Daily Mail 's] words 'suicide cult' really stand out for me, because it's just so far from the truth. As a fanbase it's such an insult because we fight so hard and so many of us suffer from depression, and we fight every day to ward it off.
"The way [many teenagers are] fighting it is with My Chemical Romance's help and it's just such an insult to tell us that the last thing we have to hold on to and the last thing that's keeping us alive is killing us, because it's not."
NME.com will be at the march tomorrow.