Who is Lyn-Z?
Lyn-Z (Lindsey Ann Way) is a Scottish musician, most popular as the bass player of the American punk-techno-rock band, Mindless Self Indulgence (MSI). She is also a talented artist and has presented her artwork at several exhibits. Despite not being very adept at playing the bass guitar, Lyn-Z auditioned and was selected as a replacement bass player for MSI. She is well-known for her trademark schoolgirl outfits, power-packed onstage performances and crowd surfing during concerts. But her signature move is doing extraordinary backbends while playing the bass guitar at most MSI shows. She is married to Gerard Way, the lead singer of the rock band, ‘My Chemical Romance.’ After her marriage, she was quite miffed with the media for relegating her to the status of a ‘wife’ and ignoring all her professional achievements. She once stated that she desired to be an inspiration to girls who wanted to play musical instruments instead of being just pretty props on stage.
After moving to New York to study art, Lyn-Z took up the job of a window display artist and served as an assistant to a painter, Ron English. Before she joined Mindless Self Indulgence, Lyn-Z was a member of a Dolly Parton cover band called ‘Beg Yer Parton’ which had punk overtones. By 2001, MSI was already a popular band after the release of their second album ‘Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy’. But their bass guitarist Vanessa Y.T. soon left the group and after a tough audition, Lyn-Z successfully replaced her in late 2001. Prior to her selection in MSI, Lyn-Z did not know to play the bass guitar very well. But she picked up the required skills from a friend, gave a firebrand performance that impressed the other band members at the audition and soon became a popular member of MSI.
With Lyn-Z on the bass guitar, MSI went on to release their live album ‘Alienating Our Audience’ in 2002. Lyn-Z soon gained fame for her lively onstage performances – from her trademark school girl outfits with short skirts, fishnet stockings and high heels to crazy stage dives to amazing back bending feats while playing the guitar – Lyn-Z did it all! In fact, her backbends soon became one of the most popular aspects of MSI shows.
MSI were the opening acts for many A-list artists and bands and a lot of well-known acts opened for MSI shows too. It is at one of these opening acts in 2003 that Lyn-Z first met her future husband, Gerard Way, from the band ‘My Chemical Romance’.
Grabbing a chance to showcase her artistic abilities, Lyn-Z collaborated with artist, Jorden Haley, on the artwork of MSI’s third album ‘You’ll Rebel to Anything’ in 2005. As the years progressed, between performances and album recordings with MSI, Lyn-Z managed to get married and give birth to her daughter too. In 2010, she also presented her original artwork along with a former fellow artist, Jessicka, at the Dark Dark Science Gallery. She launched her website, LindseyWay.com, in the same year too. Lyn-Z continued to record albums and performed live onstage with MSI right until their self-imposed hiatus in 2014. Thereafter, she has continued to dedicate her time to art and regularly contributes to various exhibits across the U.S.
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Family & Personal Life
Lyn-Z was born as Lindsey Ann Ballato on May 22, 1979 in Dunoon, Scotland. While not much is known about her parents, Lyn-Z is said to have moved to Ledyard in Connecticut, U.S. when she was five years old. At 17 years of age, Lyn-Z moved to Brooklyn, New York to study Fine Art and Illustration at the Pratt Institute. Soon after joining MSI, Lyn-Z was reportedly hospitalized for a collapsed lung.
While they were both performing with their respective bands as part of Linkin Park’s ‘Projekt Revolution’ tour in 2007, Lyn-Z got married to Gerard Way in an impromptu backstage ceremony after the concert, where the band’s lead singer, Chester Bennington, was also in attendance. Their daughter, Bandit Lee Way, was born in 2009. Lyn-Z changed her name to Lindsey Ann Way after her marriage and now lives with her family in Los Angeles, California.
Her husband shares Lyn-Z’s passion for art; both are talented musicians and artists. Lyn-Z’s artwork is regularly seen on her website, art shows and exhibits. Lyn-Z has also presented her original pieces at CBGB’s 32nd Anniversary Art Show ‘Hung’ in New York and South Park 15th Anniversary Art Exhibition at Opera Gallery, New York.