Former My Chemical Romance Frontman Gerard Way Details Shoegaze and Britpop Inspired Solo Debut Album - Rolling Stone
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Gerard Way Shares How Britpop-Inspired Solo Debut Differs From MCR

Former My Chemical Romance frontman set to debut new material at Leeds and Reading festivals

Gerard Way Chemical RomanceGerard Way Chemical Romance

Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance.

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Former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way detailed the heavy British influences of his forthcoming solo debut in an interview with NME, saying he was inspired by a litany of U.K. groups from Britpop era bands like Blur and Pulp to post-punk outfits like Wire and Gang of Four.

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“The sound of it is rooted in a lot in shoegaze, also Britpop — the whole thing largely feels like a British album,” he said. “I was going for a lot of things that were completely new to me. Even the way we attacked the vocals and tried to make them sound was very different from ways that I had ever been recorded.”

While Way said he would often chase these influences on My Chemical Romance songs, he admitted they didn’t always mesh with his old band’s sonic fingerprint. On his solo LP, however, he was able to explore the depths of fuzz-soaked guitars and tweak the way he recorded his own voice. “My vocals over the years have been so used to being triple tracked and quadruple harmonized and compressed to shit,” he said. “But we didn’t do that. A lot of the time it’s a single vocal, which is cool.”

Fitting the heavy U.K. influences of the new LP, Way is set to premiere the material during gigs at two of the country’s biggest festivals, Reading and Leeds, both of which take place August 22nd to 24th. Way said the U.K. felt like a natural place to make his live solo debut, not just because of his new sound, but because the country has always responded positively to his music.

“This was the first place to get us, to fully understand My Chemical Romance, and I feel like it’s going to be the same situation here,” Way said. “I think in the States, it’s going to be a bit of a fight — I think it’s going to be a bit of a fight here too, for different reasons, because it always should be a fight. But I think just the influences alone, because they’re so rooted here, it needed to be set off here.”

Way announced that he’d signed to Warner Bros. as a solo artist back in May, promising new music in the near future, though there’s still no word on a release date or title for the LP. His solo venture comes just a little over a year after My Chemical Romance split up following an impressive 12 years together.

“We were spectacular. Every show I knew this, every show I felt it with or without external confirmation,” Way wrote afterwards in a lengthy open letter to fans. “There were some clunkers, sometimes our secondhand gear broke, sometimes I had no voice – we were still great. It is this belief that made us who we were, but also many other things, all of them vital – And all of the things that made us great were the very things that were going to end us – Fiction. Friction. Creation. Destruction. Opposition. Aggression. Ambition. Heart. Hate. Courage. Spite. Beauty. Desperation. LOVE. Fear. Glamour. Weakness. Hope. Fatalism.”


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