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Gerard Way

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Gerard Way
My Chemical Romance @ McCallum Park (5 2 2012) (6825192746).jpg
Way performing in 2012
Born (1977-04-09) April 9, 1977 (age 39)
Summit, New Jersey, United States
Residence Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • record producer
  • comic book writer
Years active 2001–present
Home town Belleville, New Jersey, United States
Spouse(s) Lindsey Ballato (m. 2007)
Children 1
Relatives Mikey Way (brother)
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
Labels
Associated acts My Chemical Romance
Website gerardway.com

Gerard Arthur Way (born April 9, 1977) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and comic book writer who was the lead vocalist and co-founder of the American rock band My Chemical Romance from its formation in September 2001 until its split in March 2013. His debut solo album Hesitant Alien was released on September 30, 2014. He also wrote the comic mini-series The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys and the Eisner Award-winning comic book The Umbrella Academy.

Early life

Way was born in Summit, New Jersey, on April 9, 1977,[1] the son of Donna Lee (née Rush) and Donald Way. He is of Italian and Scottish ancestry.[2] Raised in Belleville, New Jersey, alongside brother Mikey Way, he first began singing publicly in the fourth grade, when he played the role of Peter Pan in a school musical production. His maternal grandmother, Elena Lee Rush, was a great creative influence who taught him to sing, paint, and perform from a young age; he has said that "she has taught me everything I know".[3] Also, while in elementary school, the glam metal band Bon Jovi was instrumental in forming his love of music.[4]

At the age of 15, Way was held at gunpoint. As he said in an April 2008 Rolling Stone interview, "I got held up with a .357 Magnum, had a gun pointed to my head and put on the floor, execution-style." He went on to say that "no matter how ugly the world gets or how stupid it shows me it is, I always have faith [in it]".[5] At age 16, he appeared on an episode of Sally Jesse Raphael to discuss the controversy surrounding the publicizing of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's crimes in comic books.[6] Way attended Belleville High School until he graduated in 1995. Deciding to pursue a career in the comic-book industry, he attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1999.[3][7]

Music career

Gerard Way in Montreal, Quebec, during the Honda Civic Tour in August 2011

2001–2013: My Chemical Romance

Main article: My Chemical Romance

As teenagers, Gerard and his brother Mikey Way, who later became the bassist of My Chemical Romance, were influenced by artists such as Iron Maiden, The Misfits, Danzig, Black Flag, Queen,[8] Pulp, Blur, Morrissey and The Smiths. Way originally wanted to be a guitarist. His grandmother bought him his first guitar at the age of eight and he played in short-lived bands such as Ray Gun Jones and Nancy Drew with future bandmate Ray Toro, but when he was not successful (one band kicking him out due to his lack of skill with the guitar), he chose to concentrate on his art career.[9]

Way was working as an intern for Cartoon Network in New York City during the September 11, 2001 attacks. Seeing the effects of the attacks first-hand prompted Way to change his views on life in the following weeks. He told Spin magazine, "I literally said to myself, 'Fuck art. I've gotta get out of the basement. I've gotta see the world. I've gotta make a difference.'"[10] To help deal with the emotional effects the attacks had on him, Way wrote the lyrics to the song "Skylines and Turnstiles", which has since been identified as the first song by My Chemical Romance.[11] Soon after, My Chemical Romance began to assemble as a band.

Way has contributed vocally to bands such as Every Time I Die's "Kill the Music", Head Automatica's "Graduation Day", Say Anything's "In Defense of the Genre", and The Oval Portrait's "From My Cold Dead Hands" and "Barnabus Collins Has More Skeletons in His Closet Than Vincent Price".

In many interviews, Way has stated that music and his art work turned out to be an effective outlet to deal with his longtime battles against depression, alcoholism and prescription drug abuse. The use of music as a way to resolve personal battles has caused Way to create deeply personal songs such as "Helena," which was written in memory of his late grandmother.[12] On March 22, 2013, My Chemical Romance announced their break up.[13]

2014–2016: Hesitant Alien

Gerard Way at Webster Hall in New York City in October 2014

In May 2014, Way launched his Tumblr-based website where he announced that he had signed to Warner Bros. Records as a solo artist and was nearing completion of his first solo album.[14] Further to this he announced a new song, "Action Cat", released later in June as a promotional single to his new album[15][16] and his first solo shows at Reading and Leeds Festivals 2014.[17] He later announced another solo performance that took place at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms on August 20.[18] On August 19, Way streamed a new music video for the song "No Shows",[19] released as the first single off the new album on August 19.[20] The album, titled Hesitant Alien, was released on September 30, 2014.[21]

When Way was asked why he chose to implement the Britpop genre into his music he stated that he enjoyed the energy and style of the music and its scene, and was urged to revive the genre in America.[22]

In February and March 2015, Way performed as a solo artist with The Hormones on the main stage of the Australian 2015 Soundwave music festivals, and headlined an additional sideshow in Melbourne.[23]

In early 2015, it was announced that he would perform at the Boston Calling Music Festival in May 2015.[24]

On Record Store Day 2016, Way released two exclusive, unreleased tracks from Hesitant Alien titled "Don't Try" and "Pinkish".[25]

Gerard Way and The Hormones

Current line-up
  • Gerard Way – lead vocals, piano, ocasional rhythm and bass guitar (2014-present)
  • Ray Toro – lead guitar, backing vocals (2016-present)
  • Matt Gorney – bass guitar, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2014-present)
  • Jarrod Alexander – drums, percussion (2014-present)
  • Jamie Muhoberac – keyboards, synthesizer, piano, backing vocals (2014, 2016-present)
Past members
  • Ian Fowles – lead guitar, backing vocals (2014-2016)
  • James Dewees – keyboards, synthesizer, piano, backing vocals (2014-2016)
Timeline

Other musical collaborations

In 2008, Way and musical project Julien-K remixed a version of the song "Sleep When I'm Dead" by The Cure for their EP Hypnagogic States. All profits gained from the sales of the EP go to funding the International Red Cross.

In early 2009, Way and Japanese singer Kyosuke Himuro co-produced the new theme song for Advent Children Complete, the Blu-ray director's cut of the movie sequel to the popular video game franchise, Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. He is also credited with writing the lyrics, and singing alongside Himuro. The song, titled "Safe and Sound", was released on iTunes on April 29, 2009.[26] "Safe and Sound" is only heard on the Japanese release of the film; the English release uses Himuro's "Calling" (the original ending theme for Advent Children) in place of it. He also contributed vocals for the vocal mix of the deadmau5 song "Professional Griefers".

A longtime supporter of the British rock band LostAlone, Way is the executive producer of their second studio album I'm a UFO in This City (2012).[27]

Way contributed guest vocals to "Falling in Love Will Kill You" from Wrongchilde's debut solo album Gold Blooded, a pseudonym project from Kill Hannah frontman Mat Devine.[28]

In 2015, Way contributed on Andy Black's debut solo album The Shadow Side, a pseudonym project from Black Veil Brides vocalist Andy Biersack.[29][30][31]

Other ventures

1993–present: Writing

Way's first attempt at writing a comic was at the age of 16 in 1993, writing a comic book series called On Raven's Wings, published by Hart D. Fisher's Bonyard Press, which was cancelled after Issue 2 due to losing the art team; he was credited as Garry Way.[32]

In 2007, Way began writing the comic-book miniseries The Umbrella Academy. Way wrote the story and illustrated the original version, but cartoonist Gabriel Ba redrew the art in the fist volume, Apocalypse Suite.

Apocalypse Suite was first released by Dark Horse Comics in their Free Comic Book Day issue on May 5, 2007.[33] Since then, an eight-page story has been published entitled "Safe & Sound", which appeared in a collection of stories entitled MySpace Dark Horse Presents Volume One.[34] The first official issue of The Umbrella Academy was released on September 19, 2007.[35] The first issue sold out and consequently there was a second printing released on October 17, 2007.[36] Apocalypse Suite also won the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Limited Series.[37] The next installment of the series, Dallas, was released on November 26, 2008,[38] and, following speculation that Way had retired indefinitely from comics, a third installment entitled Hotel Oblivion is currently in the works.

Way and fellow artists Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan co-created another comic-book series entitled The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, which Way announced at 2009 San Diego Comic-Con. At the 2012 New York Comic Con, the team announced that the first look at the series would be released on 2013's Free Comic Book Day.[39] The series continued the concepts introduced in the My Chemical Romance album of a similar title.

In 2011, My Chemical Romance stated that Mikey and Gerard were working on another comic book project which they had kept under wraps since mid-2009. As of 2015 nothing of this project has emerged.

On December 21, 2013, Gerard Way stated that he and Gabriel Ba will be working on parts three and four of his comic book series Umbrella Academy beginning in the new year.[40]

In a podcast interview on December 31, 2013 with Chris Thompson from Pop Culture Hound, Way discussed his new Umbrella Academy series in more detail and confirmed he would do two volumes back-to-back, with a couple of flashback issues in-between. In addition, he discussed his new comic series All Ages which first appeared as a series of images on his Twitter feed. Although the project doesn't have a publisher or an artist at this stage, he is actively working on the story of cats in high-school who are discovering their place in the world.[41]

It was announced that Way will be making his debut in the Marvel Universe by writing for the alternate universe Spider-Man series Edge of Spider-Verse.[42]

2001–present: Television

In 2001 Way co-created a cartoon with Joe Boyle called The Breakfast Monkey. They pitched it to Cartoon Network, but the network declined to pick up the concept on the grounds that it was too similar to the existing property Aqua Teen Hunger Force.[43]

In 2013, Way made his television directorial debut on The Hub original series The Aquabats! Super Show!, co-directing and co-writing the season two finale "The AntiBats!" with series co-creators Christian Jacobs and Jason deVilliers. Additionally, Way's brother Mikey appears in the episode, playing the lead singer of a fictional death metal band called Asthma.[44][45][46] The following year, the episode was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the category for "Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series".[47]

Personal life

Way in 2012

Way struggled with alcoholism and prescription drug addiction for many years but is now sober.[3] In a November 2010 issue of Spin magazine, he said that having become a happier person and feeling more in control, he had been able to enjoy the occasional recreational drink.[48]

On September 3, 2007, after a concert in Colorado, Way married Lyn-Z, bassist of Mindless Self Indulgence, backstage on the final date of the Projekt Revolution tour. A member of Live Nation's touring staff who was also an ordained minister performed the low-key ceremony.[49] Their daughter, Bandit Lee Way, was born on May 27, 2009. The family lives in Los Angeles, California.[50]

In 2014, Way began openly discussing his gender identity struggles online and in interviews. In a Reddit AMA hosted by Way in October 2014, he stated, "I have always been extremely sensitive to those that have gender identity issues as I feel like I have gone through it as well, if even on a smaller scale. I have always identified a fair amount with the female gender, and began at a certain point in MCR to express this through my look and performance style. So it's no surprise that all of my inspirations and style influences were pushing gender boundaries. Freddy [sic] Mercury, Bowie, Iggy, early glam, T-Rex. Masculinity to me has always made me feel like it wasn't right for me."[51][52][53]

In January 2015, Way was featured in The Boyzine, an independent zine published by SWMRS frontman Cole Becker. Way again discussed his gender identity, commenting, "I never really subscribed to the archetype masculinity growing up, I had no interest in sports or anything like that. There was a time where I was called a girl so often that when I discovered the idea of transgenderism I considered myself to be more of a girl. So I identify with trans people and women a lot because I was a girl to a lot of people growing up."[54]

Discography

My Chemical Romance

Solo

Studio albums
Other recordings
Featured singles
Guest performances
  • "Jet Black New Year" (by Thursday, backing vocals, 2002)
  • "Devil in Mexico" (by Murder by Death, backing vocals, 2003)
  • "Barnabus Collins Has More Skeletons in His Closet than Vincent Price" (by The Oval Portrait, backing vocals, 2003)
  • "From My Cold Dead Hands" (by The Oval Portrait, backing vocals, 2003)
  • "Kill The Music" (by Every Time I Die, backing vocals, 2005)
  • "Graduation Day" (by Head Automatica, backing vocals, 2006)
  • "In Defense of the Genre" (by Say Anything, backing vocals, 2007)
  • "My Space" (by Evelyn Evelyn, backing vocals, 2010)
Remixes

Bibliography

Story credits

Series

Short stories and single issues

  • The Umbrella Academy
    • "Mon Dieu!" (Bá, colorist Dan Jackson, letterer Jason Hvam, appeared on darkhorse.com, 2006)
    • "...But the Past Ain't Through with You." (Bá, Jackson, Piekos, appeared in Free Comic Book Day 2007, Dark Horse, 2007)
    • "Safe & Sound" (Bá, Stewart, Piekos, appeared in MySpace Dark Horse Presents #1, Dark Horse, 2007)
    • "Anywhere but Here" (Bá, Stewart, Piekos, appeared in MySpace Dark Horse Presents #12, Dark Horse, 2008)
  • "The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: Dead Satellites" (Simon, Cloonan, Stewart, Piekos, appeared in Free Comic Book Day 2013, Dark Horse, 2013)
  • "One Thing's for Sure: SP//dr Is Still Intact" (artist Jack Wyatt, colorist Ian Herring, letterer Clayton Cowles, appeared in Edge of Spider-Verse #5, Marvel Comics, 2014)
  • "Untitled" (artist Philip Bond, colorist Hi-Fi, letterer Sal Cipriano, appeared in Vertigo Quarterly CMYK #3: Yellow, Vertigo, 2014)

Interior art credits

Cover art credits

  • The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1 (variant) (Dark Horse, 2007)
  • Rex Mundi (vol. 2) #15 (cover colorist Dave Stewart, Dark Horse, 2008)
  • The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #1 (1:50 variant) (Dark Horse, 2013)
  • The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #1 (Ghost variant) (Dark Horse, 2013)
  • Neverboy #1 (variant) (Dark Horse, 2015)

References

  1. ^ "Radio 1 Presents... My Chemical Romance". BBC Radio 1.  From the radio interview.
  2. ^ "My Chemical Romance channel Scottish roots at T In The Park". NME. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Gerard's Biography". ImNotOkay.net. Retrieved April 8, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Gerard Way & Jon Bon Jovi - Interview". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  5. ^ "Future of Music: Gerard Way". rollingstone.com. Retrieved February 28, 2011. 
  6. ^ Buzznet.com (February 27, 2008). "Sally Jesse Raphael with Hart D. Fisher". Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ Gustines, George Gene. "Superhero Stylings From Stars of Pop", The New York Times, October 20, 2007. Accessed November 27, 2007. "For Mr. Way, “Umbrella Academy” was another way to be productive when he wasn’t recording with the band. It also used skills he developed as a student at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan."
  8. ^ "100 greatest artists of all time - Rolling Stone". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Gerard Way at MASS Canvas". Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ "My Chemical Romance". Spin Magazine. May 31, 2005. Archived from the original on April 27, 2011. 
  11. ^ Alex Henderson. "My Chemical Romance Biography". Yahoo.com. Archived from the original on August 12, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2007.  Retrieved from Internet Archive 13 February 2014.
  12. ^ James Montgomery. "My Chemical Romance: They're Okay (I Promise)". MTVNews.com. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ "MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE". Mychemicalromance.com. March 22, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Gerard Way – Welcome to this site". Archived May 13, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "NME News Gerard Way unveils debut solo single 'Action Cat' - listen - NME.COM". Nme.com. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Gerard Way on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  17. ^ "Gerard Way to play first solo shows at Reading and Leeds Festivals". NME. March 29, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  18. ^ Emily, Carter (August 18, 2014). "Gerard Way announces secret show". Kerrang.com. Kerrang!. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  19. ^ Carter, Emily. "Gerard Way streams new video for No Shows". Kerrang.com. Kerrang!. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "Ultimate Music - Gerard Way "No Shows" (Video Premiere)". Josepviniaixa.com. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  21. ^ "Gerard Way". Gerardway.com. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  22. ^ Montgomery, James. "Inside Gerard Way's Crusade to Change American Music". Rollingstone.com. Rollingstone. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  23. ^ "Soundwave 2015 Will Be A Two-Day Festival". MusicFeeds. 28 June 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  24. ^ Ollman, Jonah. "Boston Calling Announces May 2015 Lineup". Sound of Boston. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "AP staff picks for Record Store Day 2016". Alternative Press. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  26. ^ "Celebrity Bios: Gerard Way". Wattpad. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Gerard Way Turns Tipster". NME. 
  28. ^ "My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way joins forces with Kill Hannah vocalist Mat Devine". Kerrang Magazine. March 6, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  29. ^ "GERARD WAY HITS THE STUDIO WITH ANDY BIERSACK". Kerrang!. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  30. ^ "Andy Biersack Welcomes Special Guest Gerard Way for Andy Black Album". Loudwire. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  31. ^ "Andy Biersack reveals exclusive new details on new Andy Black and Black Veil Brides albums". Alternative Press. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  32. ^ "Exclusive First Look at MCR's Gerard Way's On Raven's Wings". pulpsecret.com. Archived from the original on February 4, 2010.  Retrieved from Internet Archive 13 February 2014.
  33. ^ "Free Comic Book Day 2007". darkhorse.com. 
  34. ^ MySpace Dark Horse Presents Volume One. Dark Horse. 2008. ISBN 978-1593079987. 
  35. ^ "Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1". darkhorse.com. 
  36. ^ "Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1 2nd printing". darkhorse.com. 
  37. ^ "Eisner Awards Celebrate the Magic of Comics". Comic Con International. July 23, 2008. Archived from the original on August 24, 2008.  Retrieved from Internet Archive 13 February 2014.
  38. ^ "The Umbrella Academy: Dallas #1 (of 6)". darkhorse.com. 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  39. ^ "My Chemical Romance Gerard Way Talk Comic Con 2012 Announcement For Killjoys". Artisan News Service. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  40. ^ "Gerard Way Releasing Umbrella Academy Parts 3 and 4". Property of Zack. December 21, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  41. ^ Chris Thompson (January 1, 2014). "Episode 70 – Talking All Ages & Killjoys with Gerard Way!". Pop Culture Hound. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  42. ^ Johnson, Rich. "Gerard Way To Write A New Spider-Man In September". Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  43. ^ "Gerard Way Biography". TV.com. Retrieved September 14, 2007. 
  44. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (May 22, 2013). "My Chemical Romance Vocalist Gerard Way Co-Writes Episode for Kids' TV Series 'The Aquabats! Super Show!'; Continues to Work on New Music". Yahoo! Music. 
  45. ^ Frederick, Brittany (June 1, 2013). "Christian Jacobs dishes on the Gerard Way-directed episode of 'The Aquabats! Super Show!'". Starpulse. 
  46. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (May 30, 2013). "My Chemical Romance Alums Join Forces With 'Aquabats!'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  47. ^ "24 Daytime Emmy Award Nominations for Hub Network". TV by the Numbers. May 1, 2014. 
  48. ^ Eells, Josh (16 November 2010). "My Chemical Romance Bounce Back From The Brink". Spin.com. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  49. ^ "MCR: Gerard ties the knot". Kerrang Magazine. September 5, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2007. 
  50. ^ "Interview with Kevin & Bean". KROQ. July 14, 2008. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  51. ^ http://www.kerrang.com/23452/15-things-learned-gerard-ways-reddit-ama/
  52. ^ http://www.fuse.tv/2014/10/my-chemical-romance-gerard-way-gender-identity
  53. ^ http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2i1840/i_am_gerard_way_musician_artist_creator_and/
  54. ^ http://theboyzine.com/2015/01/i-considered-myself-to-be-more-of-a-girl-a-conversation-with-gerard-way/
  55. ^ "Tusk (2014) - Soundtracks". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2014-09-19. 

External links