This Day in Music 09.04.2016
Gerard Way, singer songwriter, he was the lead-singer and co-founder of the American alternative rock band My Chemical Romance from its foundation in 2001 until its split in 2013.
Way was considered one of a few key musicians responsible for bringing emo and punk music into the mainstream eye. Gerard was born on April 9, 1977, in Newark, New Jersey. His grandmother Elena was a huge source of inspiration and encouragement to him growing up, teaching the young Gerard how to sing, draw, and perform.
He spent a lot of time indoors with his younger brother Mikey creating imaginary worlds to which they could escape. Despite his passion for drawing, Gerad never lost his love of music and taught himself how to play guitar as a teenager. He was a withdrawn kid, he listening to bands like Iron Maiden , The Smiths, The Cure, The Misfits and Queen.
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 wrote the lyrics to the song Skylines and Turnstiles, which has since been identified as the first song of My Chemical Romance.
Pressed with a sense of urgency he founded his band, with his school friend Matt Pelissier on drums, Ray Toro on guitar and his brother on bass. My Chemical Romance's popularity grew over the next few years, especially after the success of their second album Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. 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.
By the time of the fall 2006 release of the group's wildly popular concept album The Black Parade, Way appeared in the media noticeably several pounds lighter and with bleached-blonde hair in contrast to his prior jet-black locks. My Chemical Romance released one final album, 2010's Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Kilijoys, along with a series of EPs called Conventional Weapons , prior to splitting in 2013.
My Chemical Romance – Teenagers (from The Black Parade, 2006)
Way never lost his passion for art and comics, and continued to sketch while on the road. He created a comic book series called The Umbrella Academy that was due to be released in late 2007 via Dark Horse Comics; Way wrote the story, broke it down into issues, and designed the characters, leaving the actual drawing in the hands of two other artists, however. Recently Way announced that he will be making his debut with the Marvel Universe by writing for the alternate universe Spider Man series Edge of Spider-Verse.
Way also released his debut solo album, Hesitant Alien, on September 2014, it debuted at 16 on the Billboard 200.
Gerard Way – No Shows (from Hesitant Alien, 2014)