Gerard Way – Vocals; Tambourine
Ian Fowles – Guitar; percussion “Get the Gang Together”
Matt Gorney – Bass; Piano on “The Bureau”; guitars on “Brother”; background vocals on “Millions”; percussion on “Get the Gang Together”
Jarrod Alexander – drums; percussion
Jamie Muhoberac – keyboards
James Dewees – Keyboards
Jason Freese – horn on “No Shows” and “Get the Gang Together”
Tom Rasulo – percussions on “Action Cat”
Sabina Olague – spoken word on “Juarez”
Mikey Way – backing vocals on “Millions”
Though Gerard Way is now considered a solo artist he did feel that his band, that includes some familiar faces from MCR days and from Aquabats!, needed a name. He dubbed his band “The Hormones” with the first mention of it on twitter in a reply to our friend, Linda.
@ItWasAlwaysFOB I've called them The Hormones, though it's not on shirts or albums, but I felt like they needed a name
To date there is only one major release from Gerard Way and the Hormones, Hesitant Alien. New music is in the works according to Gerard and we’re told we can expect it to fall in line with the comics he’s curating and creating through his Young Animal imprint with DC.
Hesitant Alien was released online via Gerard’s soundcloud on Sept 23rd, 2014 and had it’s official US release on Sept 29th, 2014 and worldwide release Sept 30th, 2014, but the first hint of music from this album came in July of 2013 when Gerard released the lyrics to “Millions” on twitter.
He posted the lyrics saying “I had a dream I had woke up in the middle of the night and put lyrics up to my new song on an NME message board. The board no longer exists- So I’ll just put them here…”
So I'll just put them here- *note- This is a song about a group of jewel thieves. Everything is fine, then (cont) http://t.co/3TyQTl1Wnd
It wasn’t until October 5th, 2013 where we could get a taste of the finished project. Gerard and Grant Morrison appeared at the Sydney Opera House for Graphics Festival and towards the end of their panel “Millions” could be heard as fans left the room.
It’s Friday in Australia…
Come see Grant and I at the Sydney Opera House tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/df8mmZ3hgz
On May 5th, 2014 Gerard launched a new website. With the website we also saw the announcement that he was signed to Warner Bros Records as a solo artist. “I am pleased to let you know I am now signed as a solo artist Warner Bros Records. My album is near completion, and you should expect to hear things in the near future, even today actually- with a brief snippet of what is to come. I am excited. It’s starting again- G”
The snippet he spoke of was a brief instrumental tracking that played as you entered the website.
June 11th saw the release of Action Cat – the first single from Gerard’s heavily anticipated solo release. Action Cat was initially aired on BBC Radio 1 and later released through Gerard’s Youtube. “It started with just wanting a song called ‘Action Cat’. I was sitting there and I thought of the phrase, ‘Action Cat’, and in my head I said, ‘Well, that would be a great song; what would ‘Action Cat’ sound like?’ So, I picked up a guitar and we started recording and I was like, ‘Action Cat’ would sound like this’.”
The third week of August 2014 proved to be a busy one for Gerard. On August 19th, 2014, the video for “No Shows” was released via his Youtube Channel to rave reviews from fans. Which we’re sure thrilled Gerard who, in an interview with NME reminisced about his time in the studio writing No Shows by saying, “I can’t remember what we were talking about exactly. We were talking about growing up kind of in a music scene and going to punk clubs and the sense of not quite fitting in, even to those. I wanted to write this very romantic song that was about not fitting in at the same time. I knew I wanted it to have this no wave, kind of post punk thing happening. I knew I wanted the beat to be something you could really move to and kind of dance to. I knew instantly that it was the most special song on the record.” (Source: NME)
The next big adventure for Gerard was to debut his new solo career. While he chose to debut at Reading Festival on August 22nd the first show was a secret show prior to the big date. “Ya know if all I have right now is the curiosity of people to see whether or not they like it that’s great because I can take that and I can do something with that. That gives me an opportunity to prove something, so that’s a nice feeling.” (Source: NME)
He decided the best way to approach that opportunity was to start with a secret show to warm up for the big gig at Reading. “I may play a secret show. That would be wise. It would be very wise to play a secret show, actually. I just don’t know where.” (Source: Kerrang)
So in true Gerard fashion, the next thing to do was to find a ‘shit hole’ to showcase his work. “I asked my booking agent, I said, I wanna play a really great shit hole. And I use the term shit hole in a very loving way. All of my favorite shows have been in shit holes, ya know? Like, um so maybe I should come up with a different word for that, maybe ‘room with character’ would work. I was like what’s a place here that’s kinda got that energy? And he said Oh Wedgewood rooms is where you wanna go.”
The day before the ‘No Shows’ video release Gerard announced that he had sealed the deal with Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth for a secret show set for August 20th, which made fans rush to the internet to be one of the 400 lucky fans who would be able to get a ticket.
Wednesday. Portsmouth. Wedgewood Rooms. Me, and 400 of you. Fuzz pedals, hormones, and extraterrestrials.
The secret show was played to a group of people who had started to line up for the show as early as 6am, so it’s no surprise that on August 22nd when he took the stage at Reading Festival he was playing to yet another packed crowd to which he humbly announced from the stage: “Thank you for waking up so early because you guys need your rest, so thanks for rushing over. I know a lot of these songs you’ve never heard before so I’m extra appreciative of you being here. We’ll never forget this.” (Source: NME & Rolling Stone)
And as if the buzz wasn’t already big for Hesitant Alien before Gerard played Reading Festival, it hit a paramount going forward. Fans excitedly pre-ordered the album and the gorgeous Zine that came along with it. Fans were really excited to own the zine that we had caught glimpses of through twitter and had, in some ways, felt a part of the process when Gerard asked fans what should be in the zine and encouraged them to make their own.
So the Hesitant Alien Zine is all sold out. Looks like I might need to do another one to bring on tour, time permitting
Your suggestions for what you'd like to see in the Zine were VERY helpful. I like making what you'd like to see
You guys should really consider making your own zine. Really just make it anything you want- it's like giving a peek inside your head
Alright, I'm nearing the last quarter of this zine- what would you guys like to see in it?
New Zine front and back cover almost finished pic.twitter.com/TMXMENeagm
Waiting for the new music to drop worldwide on Sept 30th proved to be just as much of a torture for Gerard as it was for the fans, as he jumped the gun to release the album online on September 23rd via his soundcloud.
A normal musician might worry that this would dramatically impact his sales, however, that was not to be the case as Hesitant Alien went on to a Sept 29th US release and Sept 30th worldwide release that well exceeded expectations.
Happy Record Release! Spread the joy pic.twitter.com/Wb8JwW226u
Just got amazing news about Hesitant Alien's first week.You guys made it so it went way past projections, and charted on Billboard-thank you
I don't use numbers as a measure of success, but as a new artist it feels so great having people out there that want to check it out
And yes,you're considered a new artist when you put out your first solo album.It's the way you are viewed, ppl are less inclined to play it
He also elaborated more on his stance about numbers with an interview with NME in which he said, “I don’t worry about the numbers. I definitely don’t worry about winning people over. To me this album is largely coming from somebody that’s choosing to survive rather than prove something.”
But don’t let that fool you into thinking Hesitant Alien was an album Gerard expected to use to define himself. “It’s not simply this is me because I don’t think that exists. I don’t think there is a this is me. I think there’s always a character and there’s always some kind of visual thing going on with it. I think I’ll always be that way. I’ll say it’s not a concept record. It’s not high concept at all and that’s new for me. But it’s got it’s own look and it’s own feeling and then it will move on to a different one. Reinvention is such a part of me that I don’t think that it’ll ever stop.” (Source: NME)
And just like that, three singles and a wildly successful album release later, Gerard took the next step to start touring for the album.
The Hesitant Alien tour officially kicked off on November 5th, 2014 in Manchester and ran until October 30th, 2015 at Voodoo fest in New Orleans where it was streamed live to fans all across the globe.
And true to what we all know and love about Gerard, he maintained the humble stance that he’s always shown in thanking his fans for coming along for the ride with him as a solo artist.
Becoming a solo artist is hard work. But it's even harder work for an audience- they are heading into the unknown. I thank you for that.
While the tour included stops in places such as China, Russia, Europe & the US, this time Gerard took a different approach to touring than he had in the past. He would do a run of a few shows and then take a break.
And while the concept for this tour ended with Gerard’s Bowie inspired orange hair and flashy blue suit, Gerard still had a message to share. Between songs he could be heard empowering the crowd by taking on such big topics as women’s rights, mental illness and transgender equality.
“I want to try to say something special to you guys. I know you guys have always gone through a lot of shit and continue to go through a lot of shit. I think progress is being made. I really do. I think it’s extra rough right now, but do you know why I think that is? I think it’s because the old white dudes that are in charge of everything are scared as fuck as you.” (Source: Youtube; Gerard Way @ The Fonda Theatre 10/14/14)
“So I talk about mental illness every night too, because it’s something I’ve struggled with from when I was a little boy. I was always depressed or something was going on with me. I was afraid of death cuz I was also raised Catholic and that’s some scary shit too. I didn’t have anybody to talk to. I didn’t have anybody that would take me seriously and neither did Mikey. There was this huge stigma on mental illness because it’s like a wound that you can’t see. If someone can’t see you have a puncture wound then they don’t think you need any help. But it’s not like that it’s a very serious thing. So eventually when I got into my 30’s I said I need some help and I found a doctor. She’s super cosmic and she helps me out. So if you feel that way. You don’t have anybody to talk to, seek a doctor out, seek treatment out. What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t like em? They don’t like you? Well then find another one. You just gotta look for help, it’s out there. Okay? So when it got really bad I started hearing voices, so I decided to write a song about hearing voices. Which apparently isn’t that uncommon. You’ve got too much bad noise in your head, but this is the good kind of noise. It’s called Maya the Psychic.” (Source: Youtube live in Stockholm, Sweden 3/2/15)
“So every day at my shows I talk about people that are transgender and I give my undying support to them and that’s basically what I have to say. If you have friends out there that are transgender, or non binary and you’re really good to them and you’re really supportive then I love you very much! I love you very much and thank you for being a good person that i’d like to hang out with and maybe have coffee with because I think that would be a shitload of fun” (Source: Personal experience; Boston Calling 5/23/15)
The way that Gerard tackled hard topics in such a gentle and often lighthearted funny way (as he’d bust into off key singing about hard topics) spoke to many fans and helped many out.
I know I feel lucky to say that after the show on 5/23/15 I went to seek help for the PTSD and anxiety that I knew I had. And like he said in Sweden, if you don’t like the Doctor or they don’t seem to have the right answers for you, find another one. And that’s what I did. I went to several and it took a two years to finally find a psychiatrist and a psychologist that I love and feel they truly have my best interests at heart. They were able to nail things about me without my even having to tell them. They are that good. It was Gerard that gave me the courage, and continues to give me the courage, to get up every day and face things head on and just look at it like a challenge. And that’s what you gotta do. Don’t give up on yourself. Be determined to find the right help and do it. Keep looking until you do. Things can get better, but you have to believe in yourself, you have to want it and you have to work at it, just like anything else.)
We’re so pleased that Gerard got, and continues to receive, the best help out there and is doing so well. I can only imagine Hesitant Alien was just as much a therapeutic process for him, as it has been the comfort and gentle push that many fans needed to better themselves as well.
We look forward to seeing more music in the future from Gerard, but until then we’re happy to read his comics, because they are filled with the same beautiful messages that he has always carried with him throughout his career.