Ray Toro

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Ray Toro
Toro live with My Chemical Romance in 2011
Toro live with My Chemical Romance in 2011
Background information
Birth nameRaymond Toro
Born (1977-07-15) July 15, 1977 (age 45)
Kearny, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • drums
Years active1994–present
Member ofMy Chemical Romance
Formerly ofReggie and the Full Effect

Raymond Toro (born July 15, 1977) is an American musician who serves as lead guitarist and backing vocalist of the band My Chemical Romance.[1]

Early life

Toro was born July 15, 1977,[2] in Kearny, New Jersey.[1][3] He is of Puerto Rican-Portuguese heritage. He grew up in a small house on the border between Kearny and Harrison, New Jersey, which he shared with his parents and two brothers.[1]

By the time he entered Kearny High School, he had become interested in music. Toro's brother introduced him to several bands whose guitarists influenced him greatly. He enrolled in guitar lessons, as well as typing lessons to improve his manual dexterity.[4]

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 1997. 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.[5]

In an interview with Rock Sound, Toro said 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." Ray himself has also stated he enjoyed Release the Bats by Pete Wentz.[6]

Music career

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.[4] After Gerard's younger brother Mikey joined the trio as a bass player My Chemical Romance was formed.[1]

In 2007, Toro appeared as himself in the slasher/horror/comedy movie Punk Rock Holocaust 2, with bandmate Frank Iero.[7]

Ray Toro (right) in 2007

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 said in an interview: "I appreciate [the comparisons]. He's one of my favorite guitarists. I just love his work. That guy is capable of 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 honor for anybody to say that I play like him or that parts remind them of Queen".[4] My Chemical Romance performed a portion of their 2011 Reading and Leeds Festivals headline concert with May.[8]

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.[9] 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.[9][10]

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.[11]

On May 24, 2013, Toro posted a solo song, "Isn't That Something", to his SoundCloud account.[12][13] He also stated how the track was entirely a solo effort: "I played everything. Sang everything. Recorded everything. Mixed everything. Myself" via his Twitter.[14]

Later in 2013 Toro joined James Dewees's band, Reggie and the Full Effect for a tour and contributed to his album No Country for Old Musicians.[1][15]

In 2014, Toro provided guitars for Cuban American dark cabaret singer Voltaire's tenth studio album, Raised by Bats.[16][17]

On January 1, 2015, he released a new song, titled "For the Lost and Brave", on his website, mentioning Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who committed suicide, in the blog post.[18][19] In an interview with Toro, Kerrang! magazine described the song's style as "aching synth-rock brimming with [My Chemical Romance]'s us-against-the-world spirit" and revealed that Toro intended to release his debut solo album later in 2015; Toro also commented that this was the first time he's ever "written lyrics or songs on [his] own".[20]

On November 18, 2016, Toro released his debut album, Remember the Laughter, after recording it primarily at his home since 2013.[21][22]

On October 31, 2019, My Chemical Romance announced they would be reuniting with a date in Los Angeles on December 20 and a new merchandise line.[23]⠀They later announced a 2020 North American tour, as well as dates in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The tour was later postponed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[24][25]


Toro has cited heavy metal guitarist Randy Rhoads and hard rock musician Brian May as his two biggest influences.[26] 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."[26] Later he began to listen to classical guitarist Andrés Segovia and Christopher Parkening. He admitted to being 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.[27]

Despite declaring to be a "music snob" when it comes to new artists, he praised Muse's work.[28] 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.[29]

Toro 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.[30] Toro also credits him for introducing him to bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Mötley Crüe, and Metallica.

The first CD he bought was Cowboys from Hell by Pantera.[31]

Personal life

Toro married wife 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 two sons, one born in September 2012, the other in April 2016.[32]


Solo albums


  • "Isn't That Something" (2013)
  • "For the Lost and Brave" (2015)
  • "I Think You're Really Cool (Ray Toro Remix)" (with Guardin, 2021)

The Rodneys

  • Soccertown U.S.A. (Sellout Soon Records) – 1997[33][34]

My Chemical Romance

Reggie and the Full Effect

Production discography

  • 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)
  • 2019 – Frank Iero and the Future Violents – Barriers (mixing)[35]


  1. ^ a b c d e Apar, Corey. "Ray Toro Bio". AllMusic.
  2. ^ "Ray Toro biography". ray-toro.com. November 30, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  3. ^ Ray, Michael. Alternative, Country, Hip-Hop, Rap, and More: Music from the 1980s to Today, p. 87. Britannica Educational Publishing, 2012. ISBN 9781615309108. Accessed November 8, 2017, "The group's original lineup consisted of Way, brother Michael James (Mikey) Way (born September 10, 1980, Newark, New Jersey) on bass, drummer Matt Pelissier, and guitarists Ray Toro (born July 15, 1977, in Kearny, New Jersey) and Frank Iero (born October 31, 1981, in Belleville, New Jersey)."
  4. ^ a b c Haydn, Reinhardt (2008). My Chemical Romance: This Band Will Save Your Life. London: Plexus Publishing Limited
  5. ^ Bryant, Tom. "My Chemical Romance Interview". Kerrang!. "My Chemical Romance Kerrang! | Tom Bryant - tom-bryant.com". Archived from the original on May 1, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  6. ^ {Haydn, Reinhardt (2008). My Chemical Romance: This Band Will Save Your Life. London: Plexus Publishing Limited
  7. ^ "Ray Toro and Frank Iero get murdered...?". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXvMkPKaUWs
  8. ^ "My Chemical Romance joined by Queen's Brian May at Reading Festival". NME. http://www.nme.com/news/my-chemical-romance/58869
  9. ^ a b "My Chemical Romance Interview with Gerard and Frank (03.05.2011)". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NviPfsowdfU
  10. ^ Toro, Ray. "#SINGITFORJAPAN". "#SINGItForJapan". Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  11. ^ "My Chemical Romance: 'Our new album won't just be a collection of songs'". NME. http://www.nme.com/news/my-chemical-romance/61780
  12. ^ Bryant, Tom (June 12, 2014). "Life After My Chemical Romance: Exclusive Ray Toro Interview". Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  13. ^ Kraus, Brian (May 24, 2013). "Ray Toro (ex-My Chemical Romance) posts new song, "Isn't That Something"". altpress. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  14. ^ raytoro [@raytoro] (May 25, 2013). "I played everything. Sang everything. Recorded everything. Mixed everything. Myself" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ "Frank Iero And Ray Toro (Ex-My Chemical Romance) To Appear On Reggie And The Full Effect Album". Alter The Press!. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  16. ^ "Voltaire – Raised by Bats". Archived from the original on June 23, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  17. ^ Raised by Bats: A star-studded Gothrock album from Aurelio Voltaire
  18. ^ Weldon, Casey (January 4, 2015). "Former My Chemical Romance guitarist Ray Toro dedicates song to Leelah Alcorn". Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  19. ^ "For The Lost And Brave". January 1, 2015. Archived from the original on January 2, 2015.
  20. ^ "'When I Heard About Her Death... I Knew It Was Time to Return' (Interview with Ray Toro)". Kerrang!. No. 1551. January 17, 2015. p. 6.
  21. ^ Pettigrew, Jason. "MCR guitarist Ray Toro readies solo debut: Check out "Take The World" now". altpress. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  22. ^ Gracie, Bianca (November 7, 2016). "My Chemical Romance's Ray Toro Responds To Reunion Rumors". fuse.tv. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  23. ^ "Like Phantoms Forever... Tickets on Sale Friday 11/1/19 at 12:00 PM Pacific". Archived from the original on December 26, 2021. Retrieved October 31, 2019 – via Instagram.
  24. ^ "Check Out My Chemical Romance's Rescheduled US Tour Dates for 2021". June 16, 2020. Retrieved July 14, 2020 – via NME.
  25. ^ Campbell, Rachel (April 16, 2021). "My Chemical Romance reschedule tour dates for 2022". Alternative Press. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  26. ^ a b "Ray Toro of My Chemical Romance". seymourduncan.com. July 16, 2007.
  27. ^ "Ray Toro of My Chemical Romance: Which players had the greatest influence on your musical style?". seymourduncan.com. July 16, 2007.
  28. ^ "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. July 16, 2007.
  29. ^ "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. July 16, 2007.
  30. ^ "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. July 16, 2007.
  31. ^ "Interview My Chemical Romance – Ray Toro (part 1)". FaceCulture. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021.
  32. ^ "Life After My Chemical Romance: Exclusive Ray Toro Interview | Louder".
  33. ^ "The Rodneys – Soccertown U.S.A." Discogs.com. hadituptohere1. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  34. ^ "The Rodneys - Soccertown U.S.A." mp3-track.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  35. ^ "Frank Iero On That MCR Lyric Reference, The Future Violents & Playing Warped Tour 25". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021.


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

External links