In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gerard Way, frontman of My Chemical Romance (MCR), has surprised fans with the release of four previously unheard solo songs.
On Saturday, Way, 42, shared what he calls the “Distraction Or Despair” collection to SoundCloud, which includes the tracks Crate Amp_2, Welcome to the Hotel, Success! and Phoning It In (2) VOC.
Distraction or Despair is the first taste of music from Way since Feb. 2019, when he released a cover of The Turtles’ 1967 pop hit, Happy Together, along with MCR bandmate Ray Toro.
Hey all, with all this uncertainty I just wanted to start uploading some unreleased stuff. Just so people can check it out and have something to listen to. Just felt like sharing. I think I have a bunch of this stuff, as Doug and I have been recording little bits here and there over the years. Some of these, like Phoning It In, were things that I planned on releasing as singles, and I may still do that at some point when I finish them, but I figured why not. It feels good to share. Who knows if some of this stuff would have ever come out? Oh yeah, the music is on my soundcloud, which I haven’t really used in ages. The link is in my linktree, along with a link to the Covid-19 Response Fund. In case you are wondering, this is a picture of my vocal cords, from when I went to see the ear/nose/throat doc before embarking on this my chem journey, to make sure everything was in order. He said, “It’s a little red, but looking good”. I’m calling all of this stuff Distraction Or Despair, since that seems to be the two things I keep shifting between. Probably a lot of other people too. But I think only some of the tracks are tied to an “album” of that name. I’m just winging it, keeping it casual. May add some notes to the tracks. Hope everyone is safe and healthy. Rock on.
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The cover appeared on Way’s Netflix series, The Umbrella Academy (2019), on which Way also revealed that he wanted Welcome to the Hotel — the 40-second Stooges-inspired track — to appear.
Way also included notes on each of the songs through SoundCloud, sharing the lyrics and explaining his inspiration behind them.
“Some of these, like Phoning It In, were things that I planned on releasing as singles,” he wrote.
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“I may still do that at some point when I finish them. It feels good to share. Who knows if some of this stuff would have ever come out?” he added.
On the name Distraction or Despair, Way said they “seem to be the two things I keep shifting between. Probably a lot of other people too,” he noted.
Additionally, Way directed fans and listeners towards the COVID-19 Response Fund, suggesting that they should donate to the foundation fighting against the novel coronavirus.
On whether or not he’ll complete the songs and release them formally in the future, the rocker wrote, “I think only some of the tracks are tied to an ‘album’ of that name. I’m just winging it, keeping it casual.”
“Hope everyone is safe and healthy,” he concluded. “Rock on.”
As of this writing, MCR’s upcoming North American reunion tour has not been affected by COVID-19, meaning this fall, all four members of the band’s classic lineup — Way, his brother Mikey Way, Toro and Frank Iero — will be heading back to Canada after nearly a decade.
MCR’s 2020 North American tour dates
Sept. 9 — Detroit, Mich. @ Little Caesars Arena
Sept. 11 — Saint Paul, Minn. @ Xcel Energy Center
Sept. 12 — Chicago, Ill. @ Riot Fest
Sept. 14 — Toronto, Ont. @ Scotiabank Arena
Sept. 15 — Boston, Mass. @ TD Garden
Sept. 17 — Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Barclays Center
Sept. 18 — Philadelphia, Pa. @ Wells Fargo Center
Sept. 20 — Atlanta, Ga. @ Music Midtown Festival
Sept. 22 — Newark, N.J. @ Prudential Center
Sept. 23 — Newark, N.J. @ Prudential Center
Sept. 26 — Sunrise, Fla. @ BB&T Center
Sept. 29 — Houston, Tex. @ Toyota Center
Sept. 30 — Dallas, Tex. @ American Airlines Center
Oct. 2 — Denver, Colo. @ Pepsi Center
Oct. 4 — Tacoma, Wash. @ Tacoma Dome
Oct. 6 — Oakland, Calif. @ Oakland Arena
Oct. 8 — Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Forum
Oct. 10 — Sacramento, Calif. @ Aftershock Festival
Oct. 11 — Las Vegas, Nev. @ T-Mobile Arena
Oct. 13 — Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Forum
Oct. 14 — Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Forum
Oct. 16 — Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Forum
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