The fate of My Chemical Romance's reunion tour may be in question, but meanwhile frontman Gerard Way has uploaded some new solo material to his Soundcloud. Technically, he uploaded four "songs," but only two of them really count as songs, so here are those two: "Phoning It In" and "Welcome to the Hotel." They both find Way churning out raw garage punk, a pretty far cry from MCR and even different than Way's usual solo material, but turns out he's pretty good at this kinda thing too.
About the whole project, Way says:
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.
On "Phoning It In," he says:
Phoning It In. I’ve always loved the phrase and I was just inspired to write a song with it. To keep in spirit with the title of the song, I made sure not to try too hard on any one element. I wrote the riff quickly, wrote the lyrics quickly, we got the guitar sound quickly, and there was no overthinking or really changing anything. My only complaint about it is that I think it is a little too fast, so it forces me to sing harder to keep up, and it doesn’t fully sound like I’m phoning in the vocals. So I thought about slowing it down and delivering a more load back vocal take. Just ever so slightly. I played the guitar, sang, No bass yet. Doug programmed the drums. Every once in a while we will have someone play drums on the songs, but usually only when we are finishing something for release. Otherwise, all the drums in the demos are programmed by Doug, and I think he does a really good job of making them sound kind of real and natural. I get attached to them. All of Hesitant Alien started as demos with programmed drums by Doug. He and I have a cool relationship, and have evolved together over the years since he engineered Black Parade, Danger Days, and engineered and produced Hesitant Alien. We work in the same space, the studio at my house, called Milk Friends. I just let him have the space I’m not using and he brought in all of his gear and works on various projects, recording, and mixes, and I would be in the other room, the office, writing comics. And every so often, when neither of us is too busy, we record things. I like sharing artistic spaces with people, especially Doug. It’s nice to have a friend that can record you when you have an idea, because I’m terrible at recording and I barely even know how to use Garage Band. So all the singles you have gotten from me over the last couple of years have been done with Doug and I, and then various musicians who would replace certain things, making them real, and sound better.
And on "Welcome to the Hotel," he says:
This was something Doug and I threw together for the release of Umbrella Academy Volume Three: Hotel Oblivion. Just something short for an instagram video. We did this really quick, didn’t give it much thought other than trying to make something that sounded a little like The Stooges. A few months later, I actually wrote a verse and some new lyrics and a new vocal melody for the verse, and then I kind of wanted to finish the song. Someday. Like most of this stuff, it’s me playing guitar, bass if there is bass, doing the vocals, and Doug programming the drums.
Listen to both: