A spider with a lighting bolt down it’s back, ripping it in half. When the lights roll over the stage, a bunch of adults and colored-haired teenage girls go equally as crazy. Fog covers the floor as five men run out on stage. One is currently pink-haired and smiling.
Gerard Way. Singer and frontman of legendary band My Chemical Romance. They performed from 2001 to 2013 with albums infamously angsty; the beloved emo ballad I Brought You Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love in 2002, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge in 2004, the notoriously recognizable The Black Parade in 2006 (I don’t think there’s a 90s baby that doesn’t sing along to at least one track on that album), and the beautiful, more colorful, end of Danger Days in 2010 (as well as Greatest Hits albums and released singles).
From emo to arguable pop-punk, Gerard Way has been all over the board. From a emo-gothic, ‘rawr’ing 20 something to an educated pink haired hero (and now onto bigger, better, salt-n-pepper dad-like things). Scrolling through his instagram – ok, stalking or creeping I guess – it’s littered with his avid collection and
consumption of comic books and other superhero related media. It is easy to see the transition from the melancholy melodramatics of the Gothic Days to the neon, energetic dramatics of Danger Days. Looking forward to his passion for comics, it’s more surprising how the last concept album was not more influenced by that creative world. After My Chemical Romance broke up, Way released a solo album, Hesitant Alien, in 2014 as well as a mini series The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys (a continuation of his Danger Days concept) and an award-winning comic book The Umbrella Academy.
Like a lot of other artists, Way struggled with drinking and prescription addiction in the past. He is currently sober – light, recreational drinking only. In 2007, he married Lyn-Z, a fellow performer and musician, the bassist of Mindless Self Indulgence. Their daughter, Bandit Lee Way (fitting the whimsical comic-book theme) was born in 2009.
In a more personal shift, Way’s description of gender and gender identity is more fluid. “I have always been extremely sensitive to those that have gender identity issues as I feel like I have gone through it as well…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….Masculinity to me has always made me feel like it wasn’t right for me,” (Fuse). The gender-identity fits into the creative ideology of his Gothic past – the Romantic era of men wearing makeup and frilly blouses – as well as the line-bending fantasy control created through the comic world.
Gerard Way is a beautiful example of an artist. A creator. He is not My Chemical Romance; rather he wears MCR like a pin on his breast pocket next to being a writer, a solo artist – art for the sake of creating. Creating for money, sure, but creating because at the end of the day that’s what needs to be done, an outlet and a lifestyle. Thorough literature or music and sounds, with others or his own accord. He is an example of how music and art are a product, a tool, of the bigger picture of the force of creativity.