Ray Toro, a name you may be familiar with. As a kid, he grew up in a small town and learnt to play guitar while listening to his brothers records before playing in some local bands. Fast forward a couple of years and he teamed up with then little known Gerard Way (some of you may have heard of him) and created the emo rock powerhouse that is My Chemical Romance. Fast forward a few more years and just a few weeks after the birth of his child, MCR split up and Ray set out to write a solo record.
Now three and a half years on, that solo record is called Remember The Laughter and set for release on November 18. Now when you think of most ‘solo’ records, there is usually some form of guest on the record playing guitar/drums/bass etc but aside from his wife and then two year old son play a part on it. The record was mixed, engineered and almost all the instruments were played by Ray himself!
He explains the idea behind the concept record; “The story is this… A middle aged man returns to his childhood home. Hearing a familiar melody, he goes to the attic to find a memory box he never knew was there. As he goes through it, each of the itemsin the box sparks a memory, and each song represents one of those memories. He explores his loves, his losses, his pains, & his regrets, and recalls the words of hope that his father left him with when he passed. Thematically, the recordis about hope. That there is always a glimmer of light in the darkness.”
He continues; “The main page of my website www.raytoro.com has some of these items featured as photos (wedding ring, raffle tickets, necklace) for the song lyric they are connected to, as well as the interior artwork of the vinyl and CD.
Because the record was written over the course of 3 1/2 years, it feels very muck like the memory box the character finds on the record. Lyrically, I tried to communicate the lessons that I have learned from my parents, and explore what I would want to teach my son. In a way, it is my memory box to him.”