Since its debut in 2019, music has always been very important in The Umbrella Academy. This aspect shouldn’t come as a shock since the comic’s co-creator Gerard Way is also the vocalist of My Chemical Romance.
Now, Way has opened up about the music behind the hit Netflix show. In a new behind-the-scenes interview, he reveals the artists he heavily listened to while writing for The Umbrella Academy. As well, he shares which particular line in The Umbrella Academy season 1 inspired his latest song “Here Comes The End.”
In a new podcast episode on Spotify, Way reveals that he listens to numerous artists while writing for The Umbrella Academy. However, there are two in particular that he listened to on repeat while writing the comic’s early issues.
“There was a ton of stuff I was listening to, but a lot of it we just keep certain albums on repeat,” Way shares. “So like Doolittle by the Pixies I was listening to a lot when I was writing. There’s a lot of imagery that’s conjured up through the Pixies, even for their album artwork. You know like ‘Monkeys Gone To Heaven,’ I thought about monkeys and Frank Black’s lyrics are really abstract and made me think of strange things or really interesting images. So the Pixies were a big part of The Umbrella Academy writing process.”
As well, Way says that he listened to Smashing Pumpkins‘ “Tarantula” on repeat while writing “a whole issue.”
While diving further into the musical influences in The Umbrella Academy, Way also opens up about “Here Comes The End.” The original song includes Judith Hill and is featured in season 2’s trailer.
For Way, the inspiration for the song came long before the premiere of season 2. In fact, Way was first inspired to write the song during the first day of filming for The Umbrella Academy season 1. He shares that a particular line said by Vanya, played by Ellen Page, at the end of the first episode eventually led to “Here Comes The End.”
“I started writing [the song] the very first day of Umbrella Academy shooting,” he says. “The very first scene [filmed] is the last scene of the first episode between Ellen and Aiden [Gallagher] in her apartment. After Ellen would deliver her line, ‘I’ll put on a pot of coffee,’ I kept picturing it cutting to black and I kind of heard this song in my head.”
He goes on to share that he went home and started recording the song, but it was never finished. Then, when it came time for season 2, Way dug the song back out. He pitched a “rough demo” of “Here Comes The End” to showrunner Steve Blackman who was looking for a song to use in the season’s trailer.
“Steve came to me for season 2 for the trailer and he wanted another cover song,” Way continues. “And I think Netflix wanted that too. So I said to Steve for season 2, ‘You know I have this song, let me send you the really rough demo.’ There [was] no vocals on the chorus [and it] was totally unfinished and he loved it.”
In the podcast episode, Way talks more about how his cover songs are selected for The Umbrella Academy. The episode also features interviews with Blackman and some of the show’s cast including Robert Sheehan. Sheehan talks in-depth about why Klaus references so many pop lyrics in season 2.
The full podcast episode is available to stream below. Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy is now streaming on Netflix.
What is your favorite song to be featured in The Umbrella Academy? Let us know in the comments below.