On one hand, guitarist/singer Frank Iero was part of the mega-popular rock band My Chemical Romance. On the other, he’s the main man behind the punk rock outfit Frank Iero and the Patience. Over here at Get Some Magazine, we had the opportunity to do a Q&A with Frank in anticipation of his show at Chain Reaction tomorrow night. We talked his latest album, connecting with his audience, and getting back on the road after his near death experience in Sydney.
Katherine Seibert: A good number of the songs on Parachutes seem to start off dark but end with notes of hope and uplifting tone. What would you say is the overarching message you would like your listeners to get from this album?
Frank Iero: I think that’s a good observation. Ross [Robinson] and I talked a lot about that while making the record. I think the common theme is realizing that sometimes things happen for you instead of to you. And what we may at first perceive as tragedies are actually the greatest gifts life can give us because it teaches us how to get back up, grow stronger and thrive.
KS: You come from a musical family. What kind of influence, if any, would you say that’s had on you both musically and personally?
FI: It’s all encompassing. Ever since I can remember I wanted to be in a band. I would see my dad and my grandfather talk about gigs and they used to have these huge date books filled with papers and notes in them. It was like this secret society they belonged to, they spoke the same language. I wanted in so bad.
KS: For some that may not know, Evan is your brother in law. Does having a band with a family member help with the homesickness on the road? Do you plan on having your children involved in your future albums like you did on Stomachaches?
FI: Yea absolutely. Evan is so talented, even when he was younger it was apparent how artistically gifted he was. I just had to wait for him to get old enough so his parents would let me take him on tour. Plus he is just such a positive force to be around. He keeps me in a good mood. As far as the kids are concerned, absolutely I’d love to work with them again. But they might be getting to a point where they don’t want to share the spotlight with me anymore haha.
KS: Parachutes was released shortly after the bus accident in Sydney. Did the meaning and impact of some of those songs change for you after that happened? If so, How?
FI: Absolutely, and I think that’s the great thing about music and art is that it’s not inanimate. It’s a living breathing thing that evolves and changes. It grows with you and on you and adapts to your perception and experiences. There are songs on that record that I thought I had all figured out, and then turned me on my head after Sydney, it was like I had left myself a manual on how to deal with that horrific experience. It really helped me mend.
KS: You’ve mentioned in the past that after Sydney, getting back on the road again was difficult. How did you overcome that fear and push through?
FI: I felt like I had to throw myself into it because the idea that performing music had been stolen from me was just too much to take. I definitely know the accident has changed me, affected me irreparably, but if I’m going to be alive then I need to live on my terms.
KS: Would you say that with this band, compared to your time with MCR, you’re able to give the audience a better sense of yourself? Do you see that there is more of a vulnerability when you’re fronting a band?
FI: I never compare and contrast projects, it doesn’t make sense to me. Like people, every band has a soul and is unique… or at least it should be. Of course, it’s a different experience, how could it not be. I don’t think I’m able to give a better sense of myself, I’m just able to present a different side of myself.
KS: If so, could you tell me how this affects your connection with your audience?
FI: In this project, it’s purely solo material, so you’re experiencing my singular expression as opposed to a collaboration.
KS: The blog portion of your website, while mostly tour announcements, has a handful of entries that are more like personal letters to your fans. What caused you to use this form (vs Twitter, FB, Instagram) to reach out in such a way?
FI: Well first off I don’t know how to use Facebook, it’s one of those platforms that makes absolutely no sense to me so that one is out. Instagram and Twitter are fun but I don’t take them seriously. My website though I feel like has more permanence. Perhaps since I control it, it’s not someone else’s platform… I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone but me.
KS: Are you working on any new material? If so, do you know what direction the new work will be going in? Or is it more of a go-with-the-flow? If not, what are you looking forward to the most about getting back from tour and having some down time?
FI: I’m always writing and working on things here and there, but as far as a defined direction for the next thing I’m still searching. I have some ideas but that’s all they are right now. I’m enjoying living in this record at the moment, and I think once the touring winds down, which I expect it to by next year, I want to take some time for myself and my family. Life has been pretty crazy for us this past year, I think we deserve a chance to breathe.
KS: Do you have any words of advice for young artists?
FI: The world needs you now more than ever. Good luck, you’re gonna need it.
Frank Iero and the Patience play tomorrow night at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, CA. Joining them will be Dave Hause and the Mermaid. Tickets to the show range between $17 – $20. All ages. To purchase tickets, click here.