This is a My Chemical Romance blog, but I tend to post a lot of Frank and Gerard. Frerard forever and ever.
(My old URL was devistator)
Click here for my Art Blog!
(My old URL was devistator)Click here for my Art Blog!
punkdehaan said: Omg im jealous of ur url. Who did u kill
Ya know, I had the url devistator for years and then one day i was like “hell, this is an My Chemical Romance blog, why don’t I have an My Chemical Romance url?” and I changed it to this…. which I was just as shocked as you that it was free to use. I’m extremely suprised it wasn’t being used or hoarded… Luck I guess?
I was having a conversation with someone important to me a few months ago and they said something I had never heard before.
We were talking about depression. More specifically- the flash-flood of bulletproof mania, and it’s inevitable descent into lengthy, paralyzing anguish- our shared condition.
“The Happy-Sads.” they said. “That’s what my doctor calls them”.
I rested in the hum-quiet lapse that happens every so often on the phone.
It seemed such a simple way to put it, but it summed it all up. I hear these little pieces all the time- I think we all do- someone says something, a turn of phrase, or a sentence fragment- and it sticks. It resonates. It becomes a short story or the subject of a comic, a song title- sometimes more.
It felt like something larger and smaller at the same time- it made sense of everything, boiling it down to a simple phrase- and I laid down under it’s gravity.
I remember being a boy, and the times where everything was quiet. Those were the briefest moments, and you had to catch them like comets. Then came chaos and noise- reckless, indestructible enthusiasm. That part lasted longer than the quiet, but not nearly as long as the empty.
I think it was easier for those older than me to say I was simply shy, and I wasn’t to hear the word “introverted” until I got to high school, and I didn’t hear anyone seriously talk about “depression” until I was in college- and even then it was just something you could “will away”. No one’s son or daughter was “crazy” or a “manic-depressive”. Labels. From youth to adulthood I would bounce back and forth from “very artistic” to “quiet”.
If my depression was robbing the bank, then my anxiety was waiting in the get-away car outside, masked and armed. There would be stretches that would go on for weeks where I thought I was going to Hell. These would segue into stretches where, knowing that everyone was going to die eventually and I would lose everyone I knew, I couldn’t spend more than 2 minutes in school before going home in hysterics. I just didn’t want to lose a single moment with people I loved- moments I could never get back.
My anxiety found different ways of manifesting itself- more subdued versions as I got older, but the back and forth, the up and down, stayed the same. You couldn’t wind a watch to it, but you could see it just over the hill, and you’d wait for it to hit.
Years of it.
Then I learned to use it, to tap into it, but I was hiding, not facing.
Being a singer in a band allowed me to tap into 2 very extreme emotions, and ones I knew very well- violent happiness and theatrical despair. This worked for me for years. And the more I could use them every night, the less I had to deal with them during the day, or night afterwards. Zeroes in a bunk, zeroes in the morning, drinking coffee, watching mile-markers.
Zeroes. Years of them.
I then decided to deal with it.
I had another conversation, again with someone important to me, but this person was life-threateningly ill. They said to me one thing that was the most important.
“Everything is temporary. When you’re happy- it’s temporary. Sad? Temporary. Job? Temporary. Bought a house? It’s only yours until you no longer need it. “
There were two ways to look at it- happy or sad. But everything was temporary.
In your worst moments, where you are staring into the blackest hole, the razor-lined mouth of a vicious, rabid animal- when you aren’t good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough- when the worst thing inside you chooses to attack- it is temporary. Likewise, when you are in those moments of pure joy, surrounded by your loved ones, high scoring skee-ball, holding your best friends hand at a concert- it is also temporary.
And that is ok.
It is life, and living, or the closest thing to it- but more than that there is help.
I go to therapy- my doctor and I don’t use labels, because she believes that every single person is a different case. What one person has more of, another has less of.
And in the differences, we are all the same- imbalanced, and some of us need an assist. I grew up in an era that came off the tail end of damning the notion of mental treatment, so it was a dirty phrase. Unfortunately it still is today. The labels linger, the stigma exists, and all of it keeps help further away.
This is the part where I get serious and say that if you suffer from severe depression, you should seek treatment. If no one takes you seriously- find someone that will. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t fear a single repercussion for taking my mental health seriously and in my hands. Nothing would stop me. Not a label, or a joke- nothing.
I hope you find comfort in this. I hope you know that a lot of people, including myself, battle the beast all the time, and we win. I have finally gotten myself to a place where I no longer face the extremes, but it takes work, every week- I get up, and I make sure I am at my session- even the days where I don’t want to be there. I would imagine you’d feel the same way sometimes, and that is ok. Maybe it’s even hard for you to take the first steps- and that’s ok too.
I know you can.
GERARD WAY TO RELEASE DEBUT SOLO ALBUM, HESITANT ALIEN, ON SEPTEMBER 30TH ON WARNER BROS. RECORDS
Former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way will release his debut solo album, entitled Hesitant Alien, on September 30th via Warner Bros. Records. The new album will be available for pre-order at all digital retailers beginning Tuesday, August 19th. Exclusive album bundles will also be available for pre-order on GerardWay.com on the same date. Fans who pre-order the album will receive the track “No Shows” instantly as a free download. The music video for “No Shows” will also be released on August 19th. Please see below for the full track-listing.
Working with producer Doug McKean, Way knew immediately what he wanted Hesitant Alien to sound like. “I wanted to make the small things sound big,” he says. “My intention was to make 100 percent uncompromised art, using the currently least radio-friendly instrument, the guitar. I knew there would be lots of fuzz pedals. I knew I would play Fender instruments. I knew I would look at who my guitar heroes were in art school, Mary Timony and Carrie Brownstein, and I drew a lot of influence from shoe-gaze and Britpop. I want the record to sonically galvanize people.” Hesitant Alien was mixed by Tchad Blake (Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys).
Lyrically, Way wrote about what he knew at the time, “which was struggle, beginnings, finding a newness in the mundane and the abstract,” he says. “I looked to the Britpop poets like Jarvis Cocker and Damon Albarn, drawing upon every day life. I also experimented with the abstract, and looked at Frank Black’s work both with the Pixies, and as a solo artist. There was no concept and no call-to-arms.
Fans will get their first listen to some of the songs on Hesitant Alien when Way performs his first solo shows at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in England. He will perform at Reading on August 22nd and at Leeds on August 23rd.
Listen to “Action Cat” here.
The track-listing for Hesitant Alien is as follows:
Get The Gang Together
How’s It Going To Be
Maya The Psychic
Photo credit: Eric Ray Davidson
One of the things I learned over the years is that projects grow and change, and you need to be prepared to change with them, providing a new structure for them to stand on.
About 4 months ago, one of the ideas kicking around was a special edition version of Hesitant Alien, and like usual- it was ambitious (maybe a little overly so) and elaborate. Lola played a key element in it, but as time went on and deadlines loomed, the complex nature of the boxed set required more lead-time than we had. And I would rather get my music out there than wait around for factories to turn around art-objects. I also felt that, for this particular album, since I had already done so many things differently than in MCR, I would also handle the launch differently.
Easy peasy pumpkin peasy.
Instead, we thought of doing bundles, which would possibly include some of the elements of the original boxed set. One of them was a zine called The Baby Animal Hospital, which you will learn more about in the zine I’m about to talk about.
To commemorate Hesitant Alien I am doing a zine specific to the album title. It will include a number of things and also, a look into my creative process. Drawing upon notes, mock-ups, and unseen sketches, thoughts. I am hoping the zine will provide some insight into what Hesitant Alien became, and how it got there. But more than a “making of” booklet, it will also contain other art, poetry (a zine has got to have bad poetry), and observations. This first issue will only be available in a bundle, with a limited print run.
I may do future issues with the same title, with Hesitant Alien being a continuing zine, or I may start a brand new one, for some reason I have really been wanting to do a Science Fiction zine so the title fits. I would do these about quarterly, and they would be available on the web, possibly with special printings and color-ways sold only at shows.
If it’s your kind of thing, I’m making it now.