2008 Kerrang interview with Mikey Way, about his depression.
Interviewer: What were you going through during the making of The Black Parade?
Mikey: It was a mixture of being 25 and taking a cocktail of anti-depressants and drinking. I had stopped doing drugs, but I was really depressed. There were a lot of traumatic events that I had been through that I hadn’t properly processed or accepted. Also, I moved to Brooklyn just after we got home from touring ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’ and it was the first time we’d had the chance to be home for any length of time. It was the first chance we’d had to be normal human beings for a while. That was a hard hit to me. It felt weird. I just couldn’t get used to being home for two or three months. I just didn’t get it.
Interviewer: Was that confusing?
Mikey: Yes, everything was supposed to stable and good – but it wasn’t. On top of that, I had all these chemical dependencies and I had just turned 25, which depressed me. Life was getting to me.
Interviewer: Was there a lot of pressure on the band then to write a successful follow-up to Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge?
Mikey: Yes – there was the pressure too. People were saying, “You guys are making your follow-up, you’ve got to beat the last one.” That was in my head the whole time. Then I started worrying about my own abilities too.
Interviewer: Your musical abilities?
Mikey: Yes, that and everything else. Everything – like in general – everything was going round my head.
Interviewer: Do you think you’ve beaten depression now?
Mikey: I don’t know if I have truly beaten it. I’m a fuckload better though. I’m probably at 80 or 90 percent now. Basically, what happened was that I left the Paramour House [in which MCR wrote and recorded The Black Parade]. I had a mental breakdown. I went through some trauma. I left the house to stay with one of my best friends [the band’s lawyer, Stacy Fass]. Getting out of the Paramour was the turning point for me. That house had just escalated everything in my head and made everything a million times worse.
Interviewer: Why was it so bad there?
Mikey: Here’s the thing – being in that house was like being in another country. You couldn’t get cellphone service and the internet was really bad too, so it felt like all my lines of communication were down. I didn’t have my driver’s licence at the time, so I was stranded on the property. It was miles from anywhere. We had these long, vigorous practice schedules where we would wake up at noon and play until midnight. If you mix all that with the fact that I was a manic depressive then it was as though someone was pouring gasoline on all my problems and setting fire to them.
Interviewer: That’s a very hard way to make an album.
Mikey: Yeah. And I almost didn’t get through it.
Interviewer: Were you close to suicide?
Mikey: I was really close. I knew that I was going to leave the band or maybe just leave planet earth altogether. I felt like it was either one or the other. I just thought, “I can’t deal with this.”
Interviewer: Who helped you through it?
Mikey: Oh – everyone. My band, my brother, my parents, my fiancée, all my best friends. My friend Stacy saved my life. She got me out of the house, she put me up at her place and kicked me out of bed and made me go to my therapy appointments. She made me get active help.
Interviewer: Were you seeing a lot of therapists?
Mikey: I was seeing four different doctors a week. They were two steps away from putting me into a hospital. I think Gerard wanted to check me into somewhere.
Interviewer: It was that serious?
Mikey: Yes, it was really bad but I knew that being checked into somewhere wouldn’t help. I was stronger than that.
Interviewer: It sounds like you’re feeling better now.
Mikey: I’m on medication and that helps. My brother and I have a history of depression, it’s a genetic thing. People aren’t all wired the same. Me and him were born like that. So I take medication. And everything is great for us now. I’m happier than I’ve been since I was 14. I’m on top of the world, I really am.