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Mikey Way Builds Dream Bass

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.”

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