This interview was first published in VultureHound Issue 7
When My Chemical Romance split up in 2013, it was inevitable that some members of the band would move on to other projects. Gerard Way made his grand entrance at Reading and Leeds in 2014, bringing his unique indie sounds to the world, but former rhythm guitarist Frank Iero’s appearance on the scene was far stealthier.
We caught up with Frank as he made his début solo appearance on the Reading and Leeds stage.
First of all, I know you played Leeds back in the day with My Chemical Romance, but I’m sure this time will be a different experience for you. Are you looking forward to it?
I am. That’s the thing, every time you play any show it’s a different experience. You never know what to expect, even though you’ve done it a million times, which is one of the greatest things about doing what we do, but also one of the most terrifying things about doing what we do. But I’m very excited, I know as a kid hearing about the festival and reading about some of my favourite bands getting to play it, I had no idea what it was, because we didn’t have anything equivalent to that in the States. So when finally – however many million years ago My Chem played it for the first time – it was like “Holy shit. Now I get it and the legacy behind it.” Some bands don’t even get to play it once, let alone many times, let alone ever get to headline it and do it again in a different project, so the importance and the blessing of that isn’t lost on me. It’s really truly amazing, and I’m excited to get to do it again.
The album has been out a while…
A year actually on the 25th!
Now the dust has settled are you pleased with how the album came out and was received? It’s a very different project.
It is! It’s weird, I never expected to put it out. It was one of those things that when making it, it was truly just for me. When I met the people that wanted to put it out, and we signed the deal, actually putting it together was a bit of a daunting task because I never thought about any of it. So now looking back, there are a million things I would go back and do, do this differently or change that, but for the most part I wouldn’t change anything really when it came down to it. It’s definitely a moment in time, and I’m proud with the way that it happened.
You recorded everything bar the drums on the last record?
As the project goes forward, will it be a case of you doing everything (bar drums) again? Or has it become more of a band project?
It’s definitely grown organically, but as far as the recording process is concerned and what it is going to be like, I think it depends on the song. I don’t know if I would do drums, I played drums on one track and the other stuff was programming, I don’t have it in me to do that. As far as everything else, it’s fun! A lot of the songs started with me playing and stuff like that, and it made sense that I should. Honestly, I think it is going to be played just song by song.
When someone goes solo, as you have, there is often a case of the fans wanting to hear songs from the previous project. Did you ever have that? Were fans wanting you to play My Chem songs, or have they been respectful of Frank Iero and the Cellabration?
I think you always have that case of rubber necking, but for me nobody wants to hear me sing My Chem songs. I didn’t sing those songs and thank god for that. But yeah, nobody’s coming to the shows wanting to hear that because they won’t hear it.
I saw you caught a bit of Against Me! earlier, (we spotted him stood at the side of stage) any other bands you plan on catching over the weekend? Because you’ve got a day between shows.
Yeah I hope so, I’m going to try and get to Reading tomorrow and hopefully get to see a bunch of bands. I’ve never got to see Metallica before, I really want to see them. I want to see Wolf Alice, Alexisonfire I haven’t seen since we toured together like – Jesus Christ – a million fucking years ago. But yeah, there’s a lot of people on our day that I want to see to but because of doing press stuff I haven’t had chance to see, I want to see Moose Blood, like to see Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes. For Gaslight, I got to see a couple of songs but missed most of their set.
Sorry, that’ll be our fault.
Nah. It’s nice to be able to this kind of thing and talk to people I haven’t met before and have a New Jersey soundtrack in the background.
Huge thanks to Frank for speaking to us prior to playing his set at Leeds.
Photos: Kimberley Bayliss