Mikey Way Builds Dream Bass
By Mike Duffy
For years, Mikey Way had thought about his perfect bass.
How could he combine the booming thump of a Precision Bass with the short scale of a Mustang?
With the unveiling of the Squier Mikey Way Mustang Bass, the My Chemical Romance bassist finally found his answer.
Working with Squier’s designers, Way amped up the typical Mustang with a large-flake Silver Sparkle finish and black racing stripes, a single seismic humbucking pickup with a black cover, and a black headstock with Way’s signature on the back.
“I tried to make an amalgamation of the two, like if a P Bass and a Mustang got into a car accident, this is what it would be,” Way told Fender.com as he held the completed instrument for the first time. “It’s a hell of a lot of fun to play, really. I love full scale too, but to play this live, you almost forget you’re playing a bass.”
What’s more, a 30-inch scale provides comfort and allows Way to nimbly work the frets.
Way is one of the latest amongst a group of players to receive new Squier signature models, joining Avril Lavigne (Telecaster) and Jim Root (Telecaster). But Way is the first artist to lend his name to a Squier Mustang Bass.
Way said he’d been mulling ideas for his namesake bass since he first started playing professionally, dating back to one of MCR’s first tours with fellow alt-rockers Piebald in 2002.
“We were opening for Piebald, and when we left one show, somebody forgot to lock the trailer,” Way said. “The bass and a bunch of other stuff flew out, and a semi-truck ran over it.
“I saved the mangled body, and it’s almost like this is the ghost of that bass that I loved.”
The dazzling color scheme is another aspect of the guitar that Way loves, as the gaudy silver and black – along with the vintage chrome tuners – pay homage to many of the bassists he grew up idolizing.
“It’s a nod to a lot of my favorite stuff with ’70s style, like with David Bowie or Ace Freeley,” said Way. “When I was 18, one of the first things I wanted was an American Jazz Bass or a P Bass, but Guitar Center had a special edition that looked a lot like this.”
Way had consistently played a Fender Precision Bass over the years, but now looks forward to taking the Mustang on the road.
He’ll have the opportunity this month, when MCR embarks on a tour of Australia.
Thinking back to when he first purchased a guitar with his brother – My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way – Mikey could only dream about having his own signature instrument.
Now, those dreams are reality.
“It’s pretty surreal as a guy who grew up playing nothing but Fender,” said Way. “All my heroes played it, so of course I was going to play Fender. When I was a lot younger, my brother and I both worked at this supermarket, and we were both simultaneously saving up for instruments.
“He got a Strat, and I got a bass. I always will remember that.”