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Mikey Way began planning Electric Century long before My Chemical Romance hit it big, he just didn’t have the means to pull it off … mostly because he was 12.
“I was in my seventh-grade science class, and I wrote ‘Electric Century’ on a notebook, and I was like ‘I want to do this band,'” he told MTV News. “And right then I began filing away the kind of music I wanted it to be: Britpop, the party influence of bands like the Happy Mondays, New Order, Public Image Ltd. It was always something I wanted to do.”
And now, with MCR officially over, he’s finally (re)turning his attention to the project, teaming with David Debiak (Sleep Station, New London Fire) to make Electric Century a reality. The band was formally unveiled Wednesday, when Way’s image graced Alternative Press’ “100 Bands You Need To Know” issue, and since then, things have hit hyperspeed (EC is still so new that they don’t have an official press image).
But that’s fine with Way and Debiak … after all, they’ve been waiting for this moment for a while.
“We were supposed to have a little break after [My Chem’s 2006 album]The Black Parade, and I was like ‘Dave, me and you should really get together and start writing stuff,'” Way explained. “But unfortunately, we jumped right into another album after Black Parade, so we didn’t have a chance to do it … but we talked about it a lot.. And that basically continued for about four years. I told Dave ‘I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but it’s going to happen.'”
“Mikey would send me an annoying amount of voice memos, just little musical ideas, and I’d listen to, I don’t know, a countless amount of them before something stuck,” Debiak added. “I’d start writing lyrics based on those ideas, until eventually, about a year-and-a-half ago, we had time to make this happen. Since then, we’ve written about 35 songs, and right now, our entire focus is finishing a full-length album.”
Debiak handled the lyrics, and Way wrote the majority of the music — “I’m doing a little bit of everything; guitar, keyboards, background vocals,” he explained — and slowly, Electric Century began taking shape. There’s a full lineup being assembled as you read this (Debiak assured me fans will learn the full lineup very soon), and the duo plan on meeting with potential labels in the next few weeks … which means that, after nearly 20 years, Way’s fantasy band will finally become a reality. And, after spending a decade shying away from the spotlight as MCR’s bassist, he’s ready to step to the forefront with Electric Century.
“You know, on the day I showed up for the AP shoot, I was like ‘Where are the rest of the dudes?’ It was kind of like jumping into the ocean, like, ‘Here goes,'” Way said. “When I started in My Chem, it was no secret that I had bad anxiety and depression and drug issues, but then, starting with Black Parade, there was a sea change, and I broke out of my shell. And it led me to this point, where I’m ready to take charge now. It took me years to get here, but I know I’m ready.”
And to that point, Way knows that there are some My Chemical Romance fans that will probably never give his new band a chance. Shoot, some are still holding out hopes for a reunion. But he’s not concerned with the past … rather, with Electric Century, he’s embracing the future.
“When people first used the term ‘Electric Century,’ it represented the shift from steam power to electricity, and it changed the entire universe. And, for me, this is a complete change in my life, on many levels,” he said. “No matter what, throughout time, whenever somebody who was in a popular band goes to another band, there’s people that unconditionally love it, and there’s people who unconditionally hate it without listening to it … you’ve just gotta take it on the chin, and do what’s right, and write the best possible songs.hat point, Way knows that there are some My Chemical Romance fans that will probably never give his new band a chance. Shoot, some are still holding out hopes for a reunion. But he’s not concerned with the past … rather, with Electric Century, he’s embracing the future.
“As far as people saying ‘It’s too soon, My Chem just broke up,’ it’s like, ‘No, it’s just done,” he continued. “We’ve been formulating this in a laboratory for like four years now. We’ve written 35 songs. It’s time to do it.”via
THE FORMER MY CHEM MAN IS WORKING ON NEW MUSIC WITH AN OLD FRIEND – BUT WHEN WILL WE HEAR IT?
FIRST THERE was Frank Iero, with his new band, Death Spells. Then there was Ray Toro, unveiling a new song, Isn’t That Something, through his personal SoundCloud account. And then, last week, Gerard Way revealed the lyrics to his latest track, Millions.
This week, though, it’s Mikey Way’s turn to unveil his future project in the wake of My Chemical Romance’s shock break-up five months ago.
Until now, the younger Way had been the quietest of the quartet – his post-My Chem movements remaining relatively unknown as Gerard, Frank and Ray revealed their plans.
Yet Mikey has evidently been just as busy as all three of his former bandmates, with the bassist joining the frotman of New Jersey-based band New London Fire, David Debiak, in the studio.
The band revealed the news last week by posting an image of Mikey laying a guitar – rather than a bass – on their Twitter page, @NewLondonFire (above). It would appear, though, tat the duo’s work is taking place outside of New London Fire, after the band’s earlier announcement that, “David will be taking a hiatus from NLF to work in a new project; new name, new songs, with an old friensd.”
New London Fire were labelmates with My Chemical Romance during the pair’s time on the now-defunct Eyeball Records, under which MCR released their debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love.
Quite what the project will sound like, or even when or if it will see the light of day, remains unclear, as the duo are staying tight-lipped on their plans.
One MCR man who has broken his silence though, is Frank Iero – and you can read our world exclusive catch-up with the frotman in Kerrang! on sale September 4. You won’t believe what he’s been working on , either…
Kerrang Magazine – Scan
Former My Chemical Romance bassist Mikey Way is currently recording with members of New Jersey-based New London Fire.
View some of their recent tweets below:
From the photos, it appears that both Dave Debiak (New London Fire) and Way are playing guitar during their current recording session.
Fans of MCR may recognize the name “New London Fire” as one that Way was credited with coming up with in the band’s 2006 documentary Life On The Murder Scene. NLF were previously signed to MCR’s first label, Eyeball Records.
Watch the video preview of the Gerard Way written and directed episode of The Aquabats Super Show featuring Mikey Way HERE.
Mikey Way, former bassist of My Chemical Romance has confirmed via Twitter that he may have new music on the horizon. When asked by a fan if it were true that he had a new band, Way responded cryptically, yet in the affirmative:
Additionally, when Gerard Way was asked what his brother was up to recently, he responded that Mikey was “busy working on awesome stuff.”
Way is the final former member of MCR to confirm their post-MCR musical ventures. Ray Toro released a solo song last week, Gerard Way confirmed that he has been busy working on new music and Frank Iero has recently played with both Death Spells and LeATHERMOUTH.
BASS EXPO 2013: My Chemical Romance are a band that have polarised opinions, angered newspapers, formed an army of extremely loyal fans the world over and managed to keep their heads in the process. But despite their formidable live reputation, their musicianship is often overlooked in favour of whatever controversy the press has decided to attribute to the band that month.
In attempt to rectify this, we spoke to bassist Mikey Way and picked his brains about his early influences, his gear preferences and the development of his signature Squier Mustang bass.
Enter our competition to win a Mikey Way Mustang Bass
What’s your very first memory of the bass guitar?
“My very first memory of the bass guitar – I was about three years old and heard Another One Bites The Dust by Queen on the radio. It was burned into my skull from that moment on, and became a benchmark for bass lines in my mind.”
Do you remember the first time you made a breakthrough with your bass playing – the first time you thought ‘This is for me’?
“My first breakthrough with bass playing was during one of the first MCR practices in December of 2001. Gerard [Way, frontman] and Ray Toro [lead guitar] both coached me, as I hadn’t had a great deal of bass experience up to that point. When I got the picking pattern/timing for [early MCR track] Our Lady of Sorrows down, I had a total ‘wow’ moment and knew not only did I love it, but I would play the bass forever.”
What, for you, is the key to be being a good bass player?
“In my opinion, the key to being a good bass player is rhythm and timing. Bass is what the drummer plays from mostly and everybody goes off the drummers beat.”
My Chemical Romance – Planetary (Go!), the song that Mikey says he finds the most challenging
What MCR song has presented the biggest challenge for you as a bass player and why?
“I would say the song that presented the biggest challenge for me was Planetary (Go!) [from MCR’s fourth album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys]. That song takes a great deal of dexterity to play live, and in turn has made me a better player.”
MCR has, for better or worse, had a variety of drummers in its 10 year + history. What impact has that had on your role in the band’s rhythm section?
“I can honestly say it benefited me greatly. I’ve played with five drummers in MCR, either onstage or in the studio and jammed with countless others. They each had different styles and nuances, so I was able to learn a lot from each of them.”
Gerard has spoken before about ‘Bowie moments’ – the ‘pinch yourself’ experiences the band occasionally gets to enjoy. What have been your favourite Bowie moments with MCR?
“I have been very fortunate to have had many of those moments in our career thus far. Some highlight ‘Bowie/pinch me moments’ being -the reveal of The Black Parade in London back in ’06, headlining Reading and Leeds in 2012, being the first American band in 30 something years to play Vietnam, and being the last band to play in Time Square before the ball dropped.”
Have you ever met any of your bass playing heroes? Who’s inspiring you currently?
“I’ve been able to meet many of my bass heroes through the years luckily! Matt Sharp’s bass playing on the first two Weezer albums never fails to inspire me.”
Do you have a favourite bass line of all time? What is it and why?
“Oh wow, this is a toughie! It’s so hard to pick just one, but any of Louis Johnson’s bass lines on Michael Jackson’s Thriller album take the cake. They are still stuck in my head to this day, after hearing them almost 30 years ago. They are powerful and infectious.”
What do you look for when you’re buying a bass?
“When I’m buying a bass I look for equal parts sound, playability and vibe. Not only do I want it to sound and play amazing, but its an added bonus when it has interesting “battle damage” or an interesting color pattern that I’ve never seen before.”
You recently released a signature Squier Mustang bass. How did that come about? How does it feel to have your name on a guitar?
“Before, we were discussing ‘pinch yourself’ moments, and getting my own signature Squier Mustang bass is on that list. I had been sponsored by Fender through most of my time in MCR. I had contacted them about making a custom bass and they hit me back saying they wanted to give me a signature model! To me, this is one of my greatest accomplishments.
“I started playing electric guitar at 14/15, and it was a Fender Stratocaster. My first bass was a Squier P Bass and I haven’t used anything but Fender onstage ever since. To say its a tremendous honour and privilege would be an understatement. At least once a day I think about it, and it makes me smile ear to ear.”
What is it about the Mustang bass that draws you to that model? What features were you keen to incorporate?
I was drawn to the Mustang because, simply put, they are a hell of a lot of fun to play – especially in a live setting [and] I’ve always really wanted a Mustang, with a humbucker, and a competition stripe (it’s classic and classy!). I’ve always been in love with flake/sparkle finishes as well; so if you stir all of that up in one – you have my signature model.”
What other bass gear do you use? (Amps, pedals etc.) And why?
“As far as other bass equipment – I use the Fender Super Bass Man. From the minute I took it out of the box I was in love, and won’t use anything else. Not only does it sound HUGE, but the range of sounds and tones you can get is uncanny. Highly recommended.
“As far as pedals go, I always love the Memory Man and Bass Big Muff/regular Big Muff from Electro-Harmonix. I’ve been using a Big Muff for distortion since I started playing the electric guitar and swear by it.”
Do you use your signature bass on stage?
“Yes, I absolutely do. It’s my weapon of choice, badge of honor, and good luck charm all rolled into one.”
Enter our competition to win a Mikey Way Mustang BassVia: Music Radar
My Chemical Romance vocalist Gerard Way and bassist Mikey Way appear on today’s installment of Kevin Smith’s Smodcast. In the midst of the 2-hour episode, the Way brothers reveal details of their working on a new episode of The Aquabats Super Show.
Co-written by Gerard, the Aquabats Super Show episode titled “Anti-Bats Are Go” is described as “the Superman II version of The Aquabats.” It features a thrashcore band called Asthma, and Mikey Way makes his acting debut playing the singer.
Last month, Gerard tweeted about co-directing a television show, presumably the aforementioned one:
The brothers also discuss the challenges of writing music after being on the road for an extended period of time and how that translated to 2010’s Danger Days: The True Lives
Of The Fabulous Killjoys, their musical upbringings, including the music they listened to when they were young and their first bands: an instrumental metal band pronounced “Drakkora,” a Rites Of Spring and Promise Ring-esque band, Raygun Jones, and a punk band called Nancy Drew.