Gerard Way had "weird interactions with strangers" following the split of My Chemical Romance.
The 37-year-old rocker fronted the pop punk band from 2001 until last year, when he and bandmates Frank Iero, Ray Toro and brother Mikey went their separate ways. He has now moved on to pave the way for a successful solo career, but it took some time for loyal followers to get their heads around their favourite group being no more.
"I've been hearing [why did we break up for] over a year now! Fans were confused, hurt, upset... even from a business standpoint, it made no sense. I'd have these really weird interactions with strangers in the street, 'Why did you break the band up?', 'That's a lot of money', 'You guys could have kept going for years'... The more I was having to explain myself, the more I realised that people didn't understand me," he explained to Rock Sound magazine. "It made me wonder if who I am wasn't clear all along. A huge sense of alienation came over me after that."
Gerard has also been focusing on his family over the last few years. He married Mindless Self Indulgence bassist Lyn-Z in 2007 and the couple welcomed their daughter Bandit in 2009.
Now he is a lone wolf in the music business, Gerard is enjoying the freedom that comes with it.
"It is scary, but it's also a relief. I feel like I'm not speaking for anybody else anymore; I'm not worried about saying the wrong thing," he smiled. "The [responsibility] weighs heavily. When you're playing a character constantly, it's tiring. Now I simply speak for me."
His debut album is called Hesitant Alien, which is a reflection of how Gerard looks at himself as a person.
"It's not about [alienation] from the angle of being an outsider, but rather that I don't exactly fit in, and that's ok," he added.
"That's how I fit - by not fitting. I constantly evolve; I go up, I go down, I move from side-to-side; that's my role in music."