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Gerard Arthur Way (born April 9th, 1977) is the co-founder and lead vocalist of the American rock band My Chemical Romance and is the older brother of the band's bass guitarist, Mikey Way.
Early Life[edit | edit source]
Gerard was born April 9, 1977 in Summit, New Jersey to Donna Lee (née Rush) and Donald Way. He is a quarter Italian from his mother's side and half Scottish from his father's side. He was raised in Belleville, New Jersey and first began singing publicly in fourth grade, when he played the role of Peter Pan in a school musical production. His maternal grandmother, Elena Lee Rush, was a prominent creative influence who taught him to sing, paint, and perform from a young age. He has referred to her in interviews, stating that "she has taught me everything I know". She is also the subject of the song Helena. The glam metal band Bon Jovi was also instrumental in forming his love of music throughout elementary school.
He has said that he was very scared of death at a young age when he found out that everybody dies, and then he sort of became obsessed with it.
At the age of 15, Way was held at gunpoint. He stated in an interview with Rolling Stone in April 2008 that "I got held up with a .357 Magnum, had a gun pointed to my head and put on the floor, execution-style." The incident did not, however, impinge on his views of the world. 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."
Gerard Way was also in the audience of the talk show Sally Jesse Raphael for one episode at the age of 16. There is a part of the show where he talks, but that clip cannot be found on YouTube.
Way attended Belleville High School and 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.
Career[edit | edit source]
Music[edit | edit source]
As teenagers Gerard and his brother Mikey Way, who later became the bassist of My Chemical Romance, were influenced by the bands Iron Maiden and The Misfits as well as British artists such as Pulp, Blur, Queen, 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.
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.'" 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. 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".
Music has turned out to be an effective means for Way to deal with his longtime battles against depression, alcoholism, and prescription drug use. 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.
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 is entitled "Safe and Sound" and was released on iTunes on April 29, 2009. "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.
On March 22, 2013, the band officially broke up, but 6 years later on October 31st, 2019, it was officially announced by the band via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. that they were officially reuniting (minus former drummer Bob Bryar, who will be replaced on drums by former MCR touring drummer Jarrod Alexander) for their first show together on December 20th, 2019 in Los Angeles, California at the Shrine Expo Hall.
Writing[edit | edit source]
Gerard Way's first attempt at writing a comic was at the age of 16, writing a short-lived comic series called 'On Raven's Wings', which was cancelled after Issue 2 due to losing the art team; he was credited as Garry Way.
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 recreated all of Way's original drawings in the final version. A few of Way's first drawings of the characters can be seen in the last few pages of the first book in the series, "The Apocalypse Suite".
The Apocalypse Suite was first released by Dark Horse Comics in their Free Comic Book Day issue on May 5, 2007. Since then, an eight-page story has been published on MySpace, entitled "Safe & Sound". The first official issue was released on September 19, 2007. The first issue to sell out and consequently there was a second printing released on October 17, 2007. The next installment was released on November 26, 2008.
He and fellow artists Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan are currently in the process of developing and creating a new comic-book series titled "The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys", which Way announced at Comic Con 2009. In 2011 My Chemical Romance confirmed the comic's connection with their music, and they also stated that they are working on another comic book project which they have kept under wraps as of mid-2011.
Cartoons[edit | edit source]
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.
Interests[edit | edit source]
- Tea (I'm just going to sip my tea now -Gerard Way, MCR Reunion 2019)
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Way had struggled with alcoholism for many years. "Gerard is Gerard. From all I saw him, Gerard's drinking was just... Gerard's drinking" -Bryan Ross, Reprise Records. It wasn't until Way was plotting suicide in 2004 and admitted to doing Cocaine that his bandmates decided changes needed to happen; after being drunk for four years, he completely sobered in just 17 days. He became sober in August of 2004, but relapsed in 2011; again sobering after the band broke up in 2013. Gerard admits in an interview, "When I look back at Danger Days, I see a man who had turned back to drugs and alcohol, and was starving himself to death--as much as I hate to admit it, those white jeans from 'Na Na Na' were way too small for me. I knew it wouldn't get any better, and I think it was just a good option for the band to split up."  In a recent issue of Spin magazine, he said that, having become a happier person and feeling more in control, he has been able to enjoy life much more.
During his early band days, Way was subject to controversy regarding his love life. Including possible affairs with the band's rhythm guitarist, Frank Iero, The Used lead singer, Bert McCracken, and other celebrities. Way hasn't directly commented on any of these relationships, but some people claim that the evidence is too strong. Everyone is subject to their own opinion.
Gerard is a distant cousin of the UFC commentator turned popular podcast host Joe Rogan.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
- "It's okay to love something a little too much as long as it's real to you."
- "As soon as I go into a Starbucks I take off my sunglasses. I want to be recognized and I want free coffee."
- "One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching"
- "Anything can be art. Anything can be self-expression. Now you take the weapon and run with it."
- "Stay beautiful, keep it ugly."
- "I just got so emo I fell apart, that's what actually happened."
- "Keep your bad vibes out of my cornflakes"
- "You betta stay on that side of the street motherfucka. I'll knock you out"
- "Jacket slut"
- "I'm sick of seeing my face. But I am aloud to be sick of seeing my face cause its my fuckin face!"
References[edit | edit source]
- ^ "Future of Music: Gerard Way". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/future-of-music-gerard-way-20071115
- ^ "SPIN Magazine Cover Stories My Chemical Romance". Spin Magazine. http://www.spin.com/features/magazine/covers/2005/05/05312005_mcr/
- ^ "My Chemical Romance Biography". http://music.yahoo.com/ar-309929-bio--My-Chemical-Romance
- ^ "Safe and Sound - Kyosuke Himuro feat. Gerard Way". http://www.himuro.com/jpn/safeandsound/
- ^ "Exclusiver First Look at MCR's Gerard Way's On Raven's Wings". pulpsecret.com. http://www.pulpsecret.com/post/5949/exclusive-first-look-at-mcrs-gerard-ways-on-ravens-wings
- ^ "Free Comic Book Day 2007". darkhorse.com. http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/profile.php?sku=14-602
- ^ "Dark Horse Presents". myspace.com. http://www.myspace.com/darkhorsepresents
- ^ "Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1". darkhorse.com. http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/profile.php?sku=14-482
- ^ "Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1 2nd printing". darkhorse.com. http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/profile.php?sku=14-482+a
- ^ "The Umbrella Academy: Dallas #1 (of 6)". darkhorse.com. http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/15-604/The-Umbrella-Academy-Dallas-1-of-6
- ^ "Gerard Way Biography". TV.com. http://www.tv.com/gerard-way/person/441539/biography.html
- ^ http://www.imnotokay.net/my-chemical-romance/gerard-way/
13. ^ "My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way is Joe Rogan’s Cousin"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHAL-XA6YDE