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 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. Way is also the co-founder of DC Comics' Young Animal imprint. He wrote the comic mini-series The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys and the Eisner Award-winning comic book series The Umbrella Academy.
Way performing in 2012
|Born||April 9, 1977|
Summit, New Jersey, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Home town||Belleville, New Jersey, U.S.|
Lindsey Way (m. 2007)
|Relatives||Mikey Way (brother)|
|Associated acts||My Chemical Romance|
Way was born in Summit, New Jersey, on April 9, 1977, the son of Donna Lee (née Rush) and Donald Way. He is of Italian and Scottish ancestry. 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". Also, while in elementary school, the glam metal band Bon Jovi was instrumental in forming his love of music.
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]". 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. 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.
As teenagers, Gerard and his brother Mikey Way, who later became the bassist of My Chemical Romance, were influenced by artists like Iron Maiden, The Misfits, Danzig, Black Flag, Queen, 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. When he was not successful (one band kicked 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 became the first song by My Chemical Romance.
Way has also contributed vocally to other bands' songs 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 interviews, Way has stated that music and his art work were effective outlets for his longtime battles against depression, alcoholism, and prescription drug abuse. Using music to resolve personal battles has also led Way to create deeply personal songs such as "Helena," which he wrote in memory of his late grandmother.
On March 22, 2013, My Chemical Romance announced their break up.
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. Further to this he announced a new song, "Action Cat", released later in June as a promotional single to his new album and his first solo shows at Reading and Leeds Festivals 2014. He later announced another solo performance that took place at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms on August 20. On August 19, Way streamed a new music video for the song "No Shows", released as the first single off the new album on August 19. The album, titled Hesitant Alien, was released on September 30, 2014.
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.
In early 2015, it was announced that he would perform at the Boston Calling Music Festival in May 2015.
On October 28, 2018, Way released his first major solo single in over two years, titled "Baby You’re a Haunted House". The single features Way's brother and former bandmate, Mikey Way, on bass.The official lyric video, featuring four skeleton-masked musicians performing the song, was released on YouTube on the same day.
On November 15, Way released another single, "Getting Down the Germs", which was co-written with former bandmate Ray Toro. The single "gives a peek of where [Way] will be headed musically," according to a statement released by Way.
On December 14, Way released a third single, "Dasher", which features additional vocals from Lydia Night of The Regrettes. The single is a Christmas-themed story about a girl who falls in love with a reindeer as they await to be reunited after a long absence.
On January 24, 2019, Way released a cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter" by Simon & Garfunkel, once again in collaboration with Toro. The song was featured in the trailer for the Netflix television series adaptation of Way's The Umbrella Academy, which was released the same day.
As a solo artist, Way performs with a live band to provide additional instrumentation and vocals.
Note: This is the most recent touring line-up in support of Hesitant Alien.
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. "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".
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.
In 2007, Way began writing the comic-book miniseries The Umbrella Academy. Way wrote the story and illustrated the original version, but cartoonist Gabriel Bá redrew the art in the first volume, Apocalypse Suite.
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 entitled "Safe & Sound", which appeared in a collection of stories entitled MySpace Dark Horse Presents Volume One. The first official issue of The Umbrella Academy was released on September 19, 2007. The first issue sold out and consequently there was a second printing released on October 17, 2007. Apocalypse Suite also won the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Limited Series. The next installment of the series, Dallas, was released on November 26, 2008, 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. 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 Bá will be working on parts three and four of his comic book series Umbrella Academy beginning in the new year.
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.
In 2014, 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. His story introduced Peni Parker, a Japanese-American student who pilots a bio-mechanical suit named SP//dr.
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.
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. The following year, the episode was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the category for "Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series".
Way struggled with alcoholism and prescription drug addiction for many years but as of 2007 was maintaining sobriety. 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.
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. Their daughter, Bandit Lee Way, was born on May 27, 2009. The family lives in Los Angeles, California.
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."
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."
"A Hazy Shade of Winter" is a song by American music duo Simon & Garfunkel, released on October 22, 1966, initially as a stand-alone single, but was subsequently included on the duo's fourth studio album, Bookends (1968). It peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.In 1987, the Bangles recorded a cover version for the Less Than Zero soundtrack, which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 2019, American artists Gerard Way and Ray Toro recorded a cover version for the Netflix Original series The Umbrella Academy.Cancer (My Chemical Romance song)
"Cancer" is a song by American rock band My Chemical Romance. It is the eighth track from the group's third studio album The Black Parade. The album was released on October 23, 2006.Hesitant Alien
Hesitant Alien is the debut and currently only studio album by Gerard Way, former lead singer of the American rock band My Chemical Romance, released in the US on September 29, 2014 and on September 30 worldwide. It was officially announced in May 2014, although demos of the songs "Zero Zero" and "Millions" have circulated since 2012. The album was produced by Doug McKean, known for his work as recording engineer on a number of projects with producer Rob Cavallo, including several releases by My Chemical Romance. Hesitant Alien received mostly positive reviews, and was a moderate commercial success reaching No. 16 on the US Billboard 200 and some international charts. To support the album, Way assembled a touring band made up of select musicians who contributed to the album and were called "The Hormones".I'm Not Okay (I Promise)
"I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" is the lead single and fifth track from My Chemical Romance's second studio album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" was released to radio on September 28, 2004.Mama (My Chemical Romance song)
"Mama" is a song by American rock band My Chemical Romance. It is the ninth track from the group's third studio album, The Black Parade. The album was released on October 23, 2006. The song features guest vocals from actress and singer Liza Minnelli.My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance (MCR) was an American rock band from Newark, New Jersey, active from 2001 to 2013. The band's best-known lineup consisted of lead vocalist Gerard Way, guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero, bassist Mikey Way, and drummer Bob Bryar, accompanied by keyboardist James Dewees. Founded by Gerard, Mikey, Toro, and Matt Pelissier (and later joined by Iero), the band signed to Eyeball Records and released their debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, in 2002. They signed with Reprise Records the next year and released their major label debut, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, in 2004. Shortly after the album's release, Pelissier was replaced by Bob Bryar. A commercial success, the album was awarded platinum status over a year later.
The band eclipsed their previous success with their 2006 concept album, The Black Parade, which gained generally favorable reviews among music critics and was certified double platinum in the United States and the United Kingdom, the band's only double platinum. After the departure of long-time drummer Bob Bryar in March 2010, the band released their fourth studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, in November that same year, to positive reviews. After the addition of touring keyboardist James Dewees in 2012 and the release of Conventional Weapons, a series of singles recorded in 2009, released over the course of five months, the band announced its break-up on March 22, 2013, one month after the final release in the Conventional Weapons series. After the band's split, a greatest hits album entitled May Death Never Stop You was released in March 2014. A tenth anniversary reissue of The Black Parade was released in September 2016 titled The Black Parade/Living with Ghosts.Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
"Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" is a song by American rock band My Chemical Romance. It is the second track and first single from their fourth and final studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.Peni Parker
Peni Parker is a fictional character from Marvel Comics, a superhero and alternate version of Spider-Man. The character is depicted as a Japanese-American 14-year-old high school student who was adopted by Aunt May and Uncle Ben following the death of her parents. She pilots a psychically-powered mech suit known as the SP//dr, which is partially controlled by a radioactive spider that also shares a psychic link with the pilot.Planetary (Go!)
"Planetary (Go!)" is a single from My Chemical Romance's fourth and final studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys as well as the fifth track on the album. Beneath the band's name and song title on the cover art of the single, the Japanese word for go, 行け (go) can be seen. The song was nominated for the Kerrang! Award for Best Single.Professional Griefers
"Professional Griefers" is a song by Canadian electronic music producer Deadmau5 featuring vocals by American singer Gerard Way. The song was released as the third single from his sixth studio album Album Title Goes Here. The song is featured in the game FIFA 13 and its soundtrack. The song is also featured in the game Asphalt 8: Airborne in the electronica playlist. The song was also featured briefly in season one episode five of the hit TV show Arrow.Reprise Records
Reprise Records is an American record label founded in 1960 by Frank Sinatra. It is owned by Warner Music Group, and operates through Warner Bros. Records, one of its flagship labels.Artists currently signed to Reprise Records include Enya, Michael Bublé, Eric Clapton, Green Day, Stevie Nicks, Neil Young, Deftones, Mastodon, Josh Groban, Disturbed, Idina Menzel, Gerard Way, Dwight Yoakam, and Never Shout Never.Sing (My Chemical Romance song)
"Sing" is My Chemical Romance's fourth track and second single from their fourth and final studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. The official single artwork was posted on the band's website on October 2010. "Sing" marks the first time a song of the band has reached adult contemporary stations; it began airplay through Chicago radio station WCFS-FM by March 2011.
The song was the second-best selling rock song of 2011 in the UK, ahead of Paramore's "Monster" and behind Foo Fighters' "Rope".The Only Hope for Me Is You
"The Only Hope for Me Is You" is a single from My Chemical Romance's fourth and final studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys as well as the sixth track on the album.The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys is a 2013 comic book limited series written by Gerard Way and Shaun Simon, illustrated by Becky Cloonan and published by Dark Horse Comics. The series serves as a sequel to the My Chemical Romance concept album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, focusing on the followers of the original Killjoys as they try to fight against the tyrannical megacorporation Better Living Industries.The Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy is an American comic book series created and written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá. The first six-issue limited series, The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, was released by Dark Horse Comics, between September 14, 2007, and February 20, 2008. It won the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Finite Series/Limited Series. A second series, The Umbrella Academy: Dallas, followed in 2008. The first issue of a third series, The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion, was released on October 3, 2018. A proposed fourth series is in development. On February 15, 2019 a television adaptation premiered on Netflix.The Umbrella Academy (TV series)
The Umbrella Academy is an American superhero web television series developed by Steve Blackman and Jeremy Slater for Netflix. It is an adaptation of the comic book series of the same name, created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, and published by Dark Horse Comics. The plot revolves around a dysfunctional family of adopted sibling superheroes who reunite to solve the mystery of their father's death, and the threat of an impending apocalypse. The series is produced by Borderline Entertainment, Dark Horse Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions.
The ensemble cast features Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Cameron Britton and Mary J. Blige. The adaptation began development as a film optioned by Universal Pictures in 2011. However, it was eventually shelved in favor of a television series in 2015, before being officially greenlit by Netflix in July 2017. The series is filmed in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
The first season was released on Netflix on February 15, 2019. It received positive reviews from critics, with many praising the cast and visuals, though the tone and pacing were criticized.Vampires Will Never Hurt You
"Vampires Will Never Hurt You" is the debut single as well as the lead single and third track from My Chemical Romance's debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. The cover features a shot from the film Halloween III: Season of the Witch.Young Animal (DC Comics)
Young Animal (trademarked as DC's Young Animal) is an inactive imprint of DC Comics founded in 2016. It was developed in collaboration with Gerard Way, an American musician and comic book writer, author of the Eisner Award-winning The Umbrella Academy. Its main focus is to relaunch characters and settings from the DC Universe in stories for mature readers, done with a more experimental approach than DC's primary line of superhero comics. The line is overseen by Vertigo group editor Jamie S. Rich and executive editor Mark Doyle. The line was placed on indefinite hold in August 2018, although Way has indicated it will return.Gerard Way has said that a shared theme of the Young Animal comics is "relationships between parents and children." Other themes he has cited are alienation, fame, change ("self-actualization and becoming something else"), as well as bullying, teenagers and drug use (in Shade, the Changing Girl), and eventually "a lot of personal stuff for me in Doom Patrol that deals with mature themes".