In a 2008 interview with Rolling Stone, when asked about an optimistic future, Way said, "I always have faith in the world. When I was 15, I got held up with a .357 Magnum, had a gun pointed to my head and put on the floor, execution-style. No matter how ugly the world gets or how stupid it shows me it is, I always have faith. The events after 9/11, the moments of tragedy when people show their colors and pull together, have renewed my faith." Whoa.
Kerrang! writes that Gerard Way stripped down to his skivvies to record the controversial track "You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison" from My Chem's second album, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. Seriously, he was in the studio almost nude! A chorus of "Now, but I can't / And I don't know / How we're just two men as God had made us / Well, I can't. Well, I can!" seems to make a bit more sense knowing the song's origins. At least, more than the other tracks on the album. Could you imagine Gerard recording in his boxer briefs while standing next to Black Flag's Keith Morris for "Hang 'Em High"?
It's true! Gerard told Metal Underground the story in a 2004 interview, "The craziest thing that ever happened to me was being attacked by a black bird. It pecked the sh*t out of my head. We were at this hotel called The Phoenix in San Francisco. We were leaving to go to a show the next morning and the bird just f*ckin' attacked my head. And the next day Slipknot were there, they were coming in as we were leaving, and they got attacked my birds too." Black birds must have a thing against rock musicians, huh?
It seems like every rock musician in the world has a tattoo of some kind these days. It's no longer a taboo, just part of the lifestyle of creative people. The My Chemical Romance frontman is a very real exception, and the reason is his deathly phobia of needles. For someone who loves to draw, you'd think he'd try to overcome it. We'd wager that some fans out there have his comic art inked on them!
When Gerard was in 4th grade, he played Peter Pan in a school production. He was the only boy to audition for the role (historically, Pan is often played by a woman.) "I just kind of opened my mouth and was able to sing. My grandma was really excited about it. I wasn't so excited about it, and I guess I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Then after I got the part, I was just kind of stuck doing it," he explained of his Peter Pan role in the interview above. "I kind of wanted to escape my old elementary school, so of course it's a great idea to play f*cking Peter Pan your first year in a new school."
Rejects make great artists!
Children usually begin to grasp the finality of death somewhere around age six to nine, something Way has expressed he understood much earlier on in life. In the band's Life On The Murder Scene documentary, the frontman says he came to the realization that everyone dies and dies alone—the same way they enter life—early on. It's bleak stuff, but it definitely helps inform all the darkness and gore that was so prevalent in early MCR.
For those unfamiliar, The Aquabats! Super Show! is an action-comedy from the creators of the children's show Yo Gabba Gabba! It's based on the late-'90s, early-00's band the Aquabats and plays with the band's superhero costuming and sense of fantasy. Way co-wrote and directed a June 2013 episode, which was titled, "Anti-bats!" and featured a guest appearance from Gerard's brother and My Chemical Romance bassist Mikey Way. In the episode, two competitive bands seek vengeance on the the Aquabats! by becoming the Anti-bats! after seeking help from the not-so-friendly Silver Skull. Pretty nerdy stuff, so totally in Gerard's wheelhouse. Watch a clip of the episode above!
Ok, so this isn't a totally obscure fact, but Lyn-Z's claim to fame isn't just having a successful, famous and creative husband. Born Lindsey Ann Ballatto, Way's wife fronts Mindless Self Indulgence, the Hot Topic-ready emo electro-pop band. She's known for her crazy stage antics and superb bass playing. Let's hope their child, Bandit Lee Way, inherits some of that musical talent!
Seriously! "There are people who understand it, and there are people who don't understand it, the breakup," He told NME. "To be honest, I never saw My Chemical Romance going past The Black Parade. I plan things pretty far in advance...I definitely knew I had the title of the second album before we'd even recorded the first. By the time I got to the third album, which didn't have a name, I felt like that was the end. Basically the time spent after Black Parade was spent fighting against that instinct and fighting against myself. The end of Black Parade felt like a very natural ending. To go beyond that felt like betraying some sort of artistic command that I had within myself." Thank goodness they didn't stop there!