Original My Chemical Romance Producer Thought “I’m Not Okay” Was “Weird,” “Wimpy”

Sometimes we make bad calls. For Thursday singer Geoff Rickly, it was his initial opinion of My Chemical Romance’s iconic track “I’m Not Okay.”

The folks over at Alternative Press have launched a new podcast series titled Cautionary Tales And Lessons Learned. Hosted by AP Editor-In-Chief Jason Pettigrew is a place “where musicians talk about how they navigated the pitfalls of the industry in the most unforgiving ways possible.”

The series launched with an episode featuring Thursday singer Geoff Rickly, who served as producer on My Chemical Romance’s first full-length album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. Rickly talks at length about what it was like being so close to the MCR camp and watching them rise far beyond the heights of success that Thursday ever achieved.

Perhaps most interesting, however, is how Rickly thought the band were making all the wrong moves. “I remember when they signed [their major label deal,” Rickly told AP. “I was like, ‘Guys, you signed when you didn’t have any real success of your own. They’re going to own you. You’re never going to be able to say what you’re going to do. You’re not going to get them to push you.’”

He continued, “When I heard the first single, which was ‘I’m Not Okay,’ I said, ‘Guys, even the single is wimpy and weird; I don’t even like it that much,’ and they were so hurt. We didn’t talk for a week, but they sent me the record [Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge] and I heard the first song, ‘Helena,’ and I was like, ‘Holy shit, why wasn’t this the single? This is pretty great.’And then I was thinking, ‘It’s a shame the label probably doesn’t care about them because this song could be huge.’”

It is interesting to go back and see how people truly felt when they experienced something that would become iconic for the first time. Rickly had his own vision for how MCR should’ve gone about their career, but it is obvious now that the steps they ended up taking during those early years were the right ones. As for “I’m Not Okay” specifically, it went one to become a Platinum certified single.

Rickly later adds,”Then I realized that, yeah, all the stuff Thursday said we wouldn’t be and wouldn’t do, My Chem had done with a little twist of sarcasm and a trace of their own uniqueness, putting their spin on it in a way [and] saying, ‘This is what we wanted the whole time.’ I said I didn’t want it; they said they did want it…They got it; I didn’t. We both got what we wanted. I should be happy,” he said laughing.

You can listen to the entire episode and subscribe to the show on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher and AltPress.