My Chemical Romance Bassist Mikey Way Talks Getting Clean
When the alt-rock band My Chemical Romance called it quits in 2013, all of its band members took the traditional post-breakup path: releasing their own individual records, either as solo acts—like frontman Gerard Way and guitarist Ray Toro—or as part of a new group like guitarist Frank Iero, who formed frnkiero andthe cellabration and later, Frank Iero and the Patience.
Bassist Mikey Way—Gerard’s brother—was the first to set out on his own by forging a new act, Electric Century, with Sleep Station’s Dave Debiak almost immediately after MCR’s conclusion. But after issuing a lone single, “I Lied,” in 2014, the fate of Electric Century appeared to be in doubt when Way revealed via the band’s website that he had entered treatment for drug addiction.
More than two years later, the band’s debut LP, For the Night to Control, is slated for a stateside release on July 14 (it was previously available for free in the 2016 issue of the UK magazine Kerrang!). Way has also begun to talk about his life before rehab, which he described as being like “in the ocean with the water [up to] my lips. I was trying to stay up and I was failing.”
In an interview with Billboard, Way described how the lyrics to the first Electric Century single largely outlined his life in addiction. “When we were writing that song, Dave saw what was happening,” he recalled. “Drug addicts are notorious liars, and at the time, I was a notorious liar about my addiction, that I didn’t have a problem. I was in denial for decades. It was fitting that it was the first song anyone could listen to, and that it was released while getting admitted into rehab. All of it was this weird cosmic joke—art imitating life imitating art.”
Way said that he entered rehab through an intervention engineered by Debiak. “I woke up at Dave’s house, we went for coffee and I said, ‘When are we starting [the album]?'” he shared. “He said, ‘You’re not here to record.'” Way agreed to rehab without a fight—”It was a relief,” he said—and completed a 31-day stint.
Life post-rehab was a challenge from the start, according to Way. “You’re standing outside of this house that you built, you’re lighting it on fire and you have to start over again,” he noted. “For me to be me, sober, that was the true journey afterwards.”
Thankfully, Debiak was more than happy to allow his bandmate the time to recover before pressing forward with their project. “He had to rebuild his life,” said Debiak. “I was in no rush to make him do that faster than he needed to.”