Meet The Band Members of My Chemical Romance

Since the news broke that My Chemical Romance will be reuniting for a concert at the Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles on December 20th, interest in the band has leapt. Their back catalog has jumped 10% in streams and 12% in album sales, while 10 of their songs have found their way back onto the LyricFind U.S. chart. Ticket sales have also been phenomenal, making it clear that despite their 6-year hiatus, MCR is just as big now as they ever were. In advance of their 2020 schedule of concerts, we take a closer look at the band members.

Gerard Way – lead vocals

42-year-old Gerard Way began singing in fourth grade after he was cast in the lead role of a school production of Peter Pan. Originally intent on becoming a guitarist, Way played with some short-lived bands before forming My Chemical Romance in 2001. In addition to providing lead vocals for MCR, Way has released a solo album, 2014’s Hesitant Angel, and collaborated with several other notable artists, including Wrongchilde, Andy Black, Kyosuke Himuro, and The Cure. Alongside his musical contributions, he’s established a successful second career as a comic book writer. In 2007, he began writing the comic-book miniseries The Umbrella Academy, the first volume of which (Apocalypse Suite) won the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Limited Series, while in 2014, he made his Marvel Universe debut in the Spider-Man series Edge of Spider-Verse.

Way has spoken in the past about his struggles with alcoholism and prescription drug addiction (he’s been clean since 2007) and has described how music has been an outlet for his personal battles. He’s also discussed his gender identity struggles in several interviews, telling fans during a Reddit AMA “I have always been extremely sensitive to those that have gender identity issues as I feel like I have gone through it as well, if even on a smaller scale. 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. So, it’s no surprise that all of my inspirations and style influences were pushing gender boundaries. Freddy [sic] Mercury, Bowie, Iggy, early glam, T-Rex. Masculinity to me has always made me feel like it wasn’t right for me.”

Ray Toro – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals

Despite showing an early interest in music, and even playing with several bands throughout high school, Ray Toro came close to abandoning his musical future entirely when he decided to pursue film at college rather than music. “Being in a band wasn’t really a dream of mine,” he revealed in an interview with Rock Sound. “I enjoy recording more and the process of writing, I never thought that being in a touring band was a possibility. I enjoyed getting a bunch of scenes and cutting it together, so it makes sense.” In the 1990s, his career plans changed when he met fellow MCR co-founder, Gerard Way. Toro’s guitar style has drawn frequent comparisons to that of Queen guitarist Brian May, a comparison Toro seems more than satisfied with. “He’s one of my favorite guitarists,” he’s said. “I just love his work. That guy is capable of everything. He can lay back when he needs to, then writes some of the best leads. He comes up with great harmonies, he’s a great singer. To me, it’s an honor for anybody to say that I play like him or that parts remind them of Queen”. Outside of his work with MCR, Toro has released several solo offerings, including the singles “Isn’t That Something” (2013), “For the Lost and Brave” (2015), “Tired of Sex” (2015), “Hope for the World” (2016), along with the solo album Remember the Laughter (2016).

Mikey Way – Bass

Founding MCR member Mikey Way can claim credit for the band’s name after drawing inspiration from the book Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance. After the band broke up in 2013, Way formed Electric Century with Sleep Station vocalist David Debiak. Following the release of their debut single “I Lied” in February 2014, the band made it to the Alternative Press’s “100 Bands You Need To Know”; their follow-up debut EP proved just as successful on its release in 2015, as did their debut album, “For the Night to Control”, in 2016. Outside of music, Way has forged a successful second career as an actor, debuting on The Hub original series The Aquabats! Super Show! as the lead singer of a fictional death metal band. He’s also voiced the character of Snarl in the Transformers: Power of the Primes animated series and helped co-write the Collapser comic book series with Shaun Simon.

Frank Iero – Rhythm Guitar

Frank Iero began playing with local New Jersey bands while he was still at high school, serving as the frontman for the punk band Pencey Prep before dropping out of Rutgers University to begin touring with My Chemical Romance. He joined the band as a full-time member in 2002 and served as their lead rhythm guitarist until their break up in 2013. Outside of MCR, Iero has worked on multiple side projects, including fronting the hardcore punk band, Leathermouth, and releasing the solo album Stomachaches in 2014. Iero, who’s been married to his partner Jamia Nestor since 2007 and is a father of three, is a long-time vegetarian (earning the title of Peta’s “World’s Sexiest Vegetarian” in 2008) and advocate for gay rights, with his custom made red ‘Homophobia is gay’ T-shirt becoming a cult favorite with fans.

In 2016, he took a temporary break from music after he was injured in a road traffic accident; as he and his band unloaded their van in advance of a show, a passenger bus hit them, dragging Iero 10 feet along the curb. He’s since credited “an enormous rucksack” to saving his life, telling the Alternative Press“It broke that impact. I don’t even know what would’ve happened. It’s incredible to me that we’re all still alive. No one that witnessed the accident thought that we would be.”

*As of 2019 there is no official drummer in the band but the one performing in the reunion will be Jarrod Alexander

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