After 12 years of fronting band My Chemical Romance and being known as one of the “founding fathers” of the “emo-pop” genre, Gerard Way is diverging from his musical past. The now soloist plans on developing a sound virtually uncharted to him — Britpop.
MCR albums like “The Black Parade” and “Danger Days” were what drove the force of the band for most of the 2000s. But after announcing the disbanding of MCR last March, Way is bound by nothing and ready to explore different sounds.
His new album “Hesitant Alien”, debuting on Sept. 30, will be his first solo record since MCR’s breakup. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Way said his main objective was to “re-boot Britpop in America, see how that goes.”
This desire for reinvention has several reasons behind it. For one, Britpop has always appealed to the artist, though MCR never directly reflected it. “I loved the attitude,” Way said. “I loved the way people looked, I loved the song titles, the album artwork.”
Though MCR’s sound was generally violent, dangerous pop, during his adolescence Way worshipped Britpop. Due to his struggle with depression after art school, his mental state reflected the sound that felt most “right,” creating MCR’s sound.
“[It was what] I thought the world needed at the time,” he said. As for now, he’s prepared to re-explore the sound he admired during his adolescence. In a sense, “Hesitant Alien” will allow Way to re-introduce himself as a solo artist from an entirely different angle.
Since Way was not very influenced by his MCR contemporaries, the title “Hesitant Alien” seems wildly appropriate. “I always felt hesitant [in the music world],” he said. “And I always felt like an alien.”
At the end of the day, Way’s hopes for the new album are simple. “All I want is a great first showing,” he said. But the main priority regardless of success is that he continues to make music. “The goal is to start a new machine,” he said. “Just get it going, play a lot of shows, meet a lot of interesting people, pull the mask off a little.”