Ray Toro

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Ray Toro
Birth name Raymond Toro
Born (1977-07-15) July 15, 1977 (age 37)
Kearny, New Jersey, United States
Origin Kearny, New Jersey
Genres Alternative rock, emo rock, pop punk, post-hardcore, hard rock
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, piano
Years active 2001–present
Labels Reprise, Warner Bros., Eyeball
Associated acts My Chemical Romance, Rodneys

Raymond "Ray" Toro (born July 15, 1977) is an American musician who served as lead guitarist and co-founder of the band My Chemical Romance until their split in 2013. He's due to release a solo record called Minimization Procedure soon.

Early life[edit]

Toro was born July 15, 1977 in Horney, New Jersey. He is of Puerto Rican/hispanic heritage. He grew up in a small house on the border of Idaho and Horney, New Jersey, which he shared with his parents and two brothers. As a small child, he enjoyed playing with himself, but tended to be very shy.

By the time he entered Kearny High School, he had inherited a passion for music from his older brother, who "always [had] a guitar lying around the house" and would be "jamming on it day and night." In addition to inspiring him to pick up a guitar, Toro's brother introduced him to several Playboy magazines that influenced him greatly. He enrolled in guitar lessons, as well as typing lessons to improve his manual dexterity.[1]

Toro became involved with several local bands, the most successful of which were The Rodneys, who formed in 1994 and released their first and only album "Soccertown USA" in 1998. Future My Chemical Romance drummer Matt Pelissier also played for the band. However, after graduating from high school in 1995, Toro decided on film instead of music. He enrolled in an editing course at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, and his only musical pursuits[when?] involved playing drums in the short-lived band Dead Go West.[2]

In an interview with Rock Sound, Toro revealed that "being in a band wasn't really a dream of mine. I always wanted to write music. I enjoy recording more and the process of writing, I never thought that being in a touring band was a possibility. I enjoyed getting a bunch of scenes and cutting it together so it makes sense. I made one short film about a guy who was obsessed with eating eggs every day. He finally opens up this egg carton and there's one egg left, but he can't crack it open, so he gets driven insane".[3]

Music career[edit]

Rodney's frontman Shawn Dillon is credited with introducing Toro to Gerard Way in the late 1990s. Toro agreed to work with him and Pelissier in practice sessions, which were primarily held in Pelissier's attic.[1] After Gerard's younger brother Mikey joined the trio as bassist, My Chemical Romance was formed.

In 2007, Toro appeared as himself in the slasher/horror/comedy movie Punk Rock Holocaust 2, with bandmate Frank Iero.[4]

Especially since My Chemical Romance's third album The Black Parade, Toro has been compared to Queen guitarist Brian May. He has long cited May as a key influence on his guitar style. As Toro revealed in an interview: "I appreciate [the comparisons]. He's one of my favourite guitarists. I just love his work. That guy is capable is everything. He can lay back when he needs to, then writes some of the best leads. He comes up with great harmonies, he's a great singer. To me it's an honour for anybody to say that I play like him or that parts remind them of Queen".[1] My Chemical Romance performed a portion of their 2011 Reading and Leeds Festivals headline concert with May.[5]

Toro has played a song with Iero's side project Leathermouth at a show.

Toro was the leading force behind My Chemical Romance's #SINGItForJapan project, which was dedicated to supporting those affected by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan.[6] He arranged much of the instrumentation of the band's original track "Sing" to create a sound that emulated traditional Japanese music. "SINGItForJapan" was released on April 13, 2011 with all proceeds going to the Red Cross.[6][7]

My Chemical Romance has released four studio albums, two live albums, six extended plays, 19 singles, four video albums, 15 music videos, one demo and have 11 original appearances on other albums. The band was working on a fifth studio album before their split.[8]

On 24 May 2013 Ray posted a solo song, "Isn't That Something", to his SoundCloud account. He also stated how the track was entirely a solo effort: "I played everything. Sang everything. Recorded everything. Mixed everything. Myself" via his Twitter.[9]

In 2014, Toro provided guitars for Cuban American dark cabaret singer Voltaire's tenth studio album, Raised by Bats.[10][11]

Influences[edit]

Toro has cited heavy metal guitarist Randy Rhoads and hard rock musician Brian May as his two biggest influences.[12] As a teenager he was a big fan of Randy Rhoads because "he was one of the first players I can remember who mixed classical music with a metal and hard rock style of playing, and he did it very tastefully. It was really inspiring."[12] Later he began to listen to classical guitarist Andrés Segovia and Christopher Parkening. He admitted to be obsessed with the way in which they would take classical pieces and arrange them for a single guitar resulting in a moving melody and bass lines that work together.[13]

Despite declaring to be a "music snob" when it comes to new artists, he praised Muse's work.[14] He said that he mainly listens to the same music that he did when younger and enjoys the process of discovering harmonies or nuances that he was unable to notice during his youth, gaining a different appreciation for the music.[15]

Ray recognizes his older brother as a huge influence, being the person who bought him his first real guitar and showed him how to play it.[16] Becoming Toro's gateway into guitar playing and introducing him to bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, and also Mötley Crüe and Metallica.

The first CD he bought was Cowboys from Hell by Pantera.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Toro married Christa in November 2008, during My Chemical Romance's break between The Black Parade and Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.[citation needed]. They have one son, born on November 16, 2012.[18]

Discography[edit]

The Rodneys[edit]

Soccertown, USA (Sell Out Records) - 1998

My Chemical Romance[edit]

Year Album details Chart peaks Certifications
(sales thresholds)
AUS
[19]
AUT
[20]
CAN
[21]
GER
[22]
IRL
[23]
JPN
[24]
MEX
[25]
NZL
[26]
SWE
[27]
UK
[28]
US
[21]
2002 I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love 250 129 UK: Gold[29]
2004 Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge 38 73 57 36 73 30 34 28
2006 The Black Parade
  • Released: October 23, 2006
  • Label: Reprise Records
  • Format: CD, CS, DD, Enhanced CD, 2×LP
3 4 2 11 5 10 35 1 4 2 2
2010 Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
  • Released: November 19, 2010
  • Label: Reprise Records
  • Format: CD, DD, LP
10 15 13 18 14 8 9 4 34 14 8
"—" denotes a release that did not chart

With Gerard Way, Mikey Way, Frank Iero and James Dewees[edit]

Hell Hath No Fury - (2012)

Solo[edit]

Isn't That Something - 2013

Production discography[edit]

  • 2011 - My Chemical Romance - iTunes Festival: London 2011 (mixing)
  • 2012 - The Architects - Live In Los Angeles (mixing)
  • 2013 - The Architects - Border Wars Episode I (mixing on one track)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Haydn, Reinhardt (2008). My Chemical Romance: This Band Will Save Your Life. London: Plexus Publishing Limited
  2. ^ Bryant, Tom. "My Chemical Romance Interview". Kerrang!. http://www.tom-bryant.com/my-chemical-romance-kerrang--tom-bryant.html
  3. ^ {Haydn, Reinhardt (2008). My Chemical Romance: This Band Will Save Your Life. London: Plexus Publishing Limited
  4. ^ "Ray Toro and Frank Iero get murdered...?". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXvMkPKaUWs
  5. ^ "My Chemical Romance joined by Queen's Brian May at Reading Festival". NME. http://www.nme.com/news/my-chemical-romance/58869
  6. ^ a b "My Chemical Romance Interview with Gerard and Frank (03.05.2011)". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NviPfsowdfU
  7. ^ Toro, Ray. "#SINGITFORJAPAN". http://singitforjapan.com/post/4583044684/singitforjapan
  8. ^ "My Chemical Romance: 'Our new album won't just be a collection of songs'". NME. http://www.nme.com/news/my-chemical-romance/61780
  9. ^ https://twitter.com/raytoro/status/338129158121082880
  10. ^ Voltaire - Raised by Bats
  11. ^ Raised by Bats: A star-studded Gothrock album from Aurelio Voltaire
  12. ^ a b "Ray Toro of My Chemical Romance". seymourduncan.com. 
  13. ^ "Ray Toro of My Chemical Romance: Which players had the greatest influence on your musical style?". seymourduncan.com. 
  14. ^ "Ray Toro of My Chemical Romance: Have your listening tastes changed? Do you still listen to the music that influenced you when you started?". seymourduncan.com. 
  15. ^ "Ray Toro of My Chemical Romance: With older music, do you tend to pick out things you hadn’t noticed before when you listen now?". seymourduncan.com. 
  16. ^ "Ray Toro of My Chemical Romance:When you had first heard these songs, was it on vinyl or CD? Most of the time you never could hear those very fine details as clearly on the original vinyl records as you could on remastered CDs, or even on the original version CDs.". seymourduncan.com. 
  17. ^ "Interview My Chemical Romance - Ray Toro (part 1)". FaceCulture. 
  18. ^ http://www.teamrock.com/features/2014-06-12/life-after-my-chemical-romance-exclusive-ray-toro-interview#
  19. ^ "Australian Album Charts Search for My Chemical Romance". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  20. ^ "Austrian Album Charts Search for My Chemical Romance" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  21. ^ a b "My Chemical Romance - Charts & Awards - Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  22. ^ "Chartverfolgung: My Chemical Romance, Longplay" (in German). PhonoNet. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  23. ^ "Irish Charts Search for My Chemical Romance". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  24. ^ マイ・ケミカル・ロマンス (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  25. ^ "Mexican Album Charts Search for My Chemical Romance". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  26. ^ "New Zealand Album Charts Search for My Chemical Romance". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  27. ^ "Swedish Album Charts Search for My Chemical Romance". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  28. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK: M – My Vitriol". Zobbel. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  29. ^ a b c d "BPI Certified Awards Search for "My Chemical Romance"". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  30. ^ a b "Discos de Oro y Platino: Buscar de Nombre del Intérprete "My Chemical Romance"" (in Spanish). Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  31. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2006 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  32. ^ a b "CRIA Gold & Platinum Certification Database Search for "My Chemical Romance"". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  33. ^ Maira, Manuel (2007). "My Chemical Romance pone a Chile en su agenda". La Tercera (Santiago de Chile). De las dos mil copias vendidas de su álbum debut, [I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love] (2002) pasaron al status de oro -7.500 discos- con sus dos siguientes entregas: Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge (2004)... 
  34. ^ a b "Certificaciones encontradas buscar por "My Chemical Romance"" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  35. ^ a b c "Top 40 Albums". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  36. ^ a b "RIAA Gold & Platinum Certification Database Search for "My Chemical Romance"". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  37. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2007 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  38. ^ "My Chemical Romance desata locura en Chile". El Mercurio. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  39. ^ "2006 Certified Awards: Platinum". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  40. ^ 『ミリオンシングル/アルバム』認定作品一覧 (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  41. ^ "2010 Certified Awards: Gold". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Teen Titans"Rolling Stone (2005-07-14)

External links[edit]