Gerard Way: Opening festivals was 'cool'

Gerard Way has revealed the Reading and Leeds festivals have a special place in his heart – and says he enjoyed being the first on stage.

The former My Chemical Romance frontman headlined the festival three years ago with his old band and made his first solo appearance last weekend.

And the singer says the experience was special because there’s nothing quite like it in the US.

Way tells BBC’s Newsbeat: “I have such an amazing history with the festival. I think it’s because it was my first real festival experience. It was an ocean of people and there was rain, mud and tents – we don’t have that in America.”

He opened the Radio 1/NME stage at both festivals and reveals he thought it was a “cool” thing to do.

Way says: “It’s fun in the mornings – it feels like everybody is cutting class. The festival hasn’t really started, so it feels like cheating – it’s cool.”

Way previously said he had no plans to go solo after splitting with My Chemical Romance and admits playing live without his old band took some getting used to.

He admits: “At first that was a little strange. But when I was in My Chemical Romance, everybody got up there and got into their own world and I’m doing that now. So a little bit of that feels similar but you look over and there’s different people.”

While Way doesn’t rule out the possibility of My Chemical Romance ever getting back together, he says it’s a long shot.

He says: “To say that will never happen is pretty silly, but at the same time, I don’t see My Chemical Romance ever happening again.”

Way’s debut solo album Hesitant Alien is out on September 29 via Warner Bros Records.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.