"I Never Expected To Do This Ever Again" | MTV Meets Frank Iero
Life after My Chemical Romance is still looking bright for Frank Iero...
You might recognise the name Frank Iero if you were a fan of noughties emo-rock band My Chemical Romance. Yep, that's right. He was the one with the impeccable timing in their hit single 'I'm Not Okay' ("trust me").
Although, life after MCR has taken an unexpected turn back to the stage for the guitarist turned solo-artist.
We caught up with Frank backstage at this year's Reading Festival ahead of his first time performing there with his solo project frnkiero andthe cellabration (and yes, my punctuation and grammar is perfectly correct).
From kids to gigs, we get the low down on his (unexpected) life as a solo artist...
How has your festival season been so far?
“It’s been pretty good! We did Leeds two days ago and then throughout the whole summer we were on tour with Against Me! in the states and Canada so we did proper shows, and I like that! I like the natural setting where a rock band should be, on stage and in the dark.”
So you’re playing at Reading Festival today (August 30), what can we expect from your set later?
“You can expect us to leave it all on stage to be honest. I’m very excited, I just made a set list so I’m pretty psyched on that, it’s going to be a good one. It spans the entirety of my, *laughs* solo career, which isn’t very long. We’re getting there. It’s a full scope of where it started and where it’s going.”
Thinking back, you’ve played Reading & Leeds Festival before with My Chemical Romance. What are your fondest memories of the festival after being in the industry for so long?
“You’re dating me! Nah, it’s okay, I found a grey hair in my beard the other day…”
I can’t see it, it’s fine.
“Honestly, the last time we played here it was the headlining slot. There are very few times that you get to play a show and think to yourself as you’re doing it, ‘I’m gonna remember this forever’, and that was one of those moments. I feel very lucky to have had that moment of clarity.”
Your debut record has been out for a year now, how has it been received in your live shows?
“It’s been pretty amazing, pretty overwhelming. It’s a record that I wrote very selfishly, I wrote it just for myself. I didn’t ever expect to play it to anyone, let alone release it and tour with it. To be honest I never expected to do this ever again, this was not on my radar at all."
"It’s a bit strange to look back and think, a year ago I said I wasn’t gonna do any of this! But, thanks to a friend of mine who wanted to hear what I’d been up to, and I played it for a couple more friends, here I am. I’ve definitely enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.”
What’s the hardest part about being on tour?
“Definitely being away from family. I have three kids that are getting of the age when they can realise that I’m gone, and actually care that I’m gone. I’ve gotten that question recently of: “I don’t understand why you have to go on tour, other kids daddies don’t have to go on tour.” That’s a gut-wrenching question to hear."
"But when I think about it, it definitely has to be about the quality and not the quantity, and if I were just a regular guy working a regular job, how many hours a day would I get to see my kids? I’m lucky enough that I get it in a lump sum. When I’m home 24/7 it’s all about them.”
When can we expect some new music? Have you been working on a new record?
“Yeah, I’m working on it now. I have a lot of songs just playing in my head constantly. After today we got to Ireland and do three shows there, then we go home for two months where I can finally get them out of my head and see what they become. We might do some touring in November, but after that I think we’re gonna record.”
What’s your favourite song to play live?
“At the moment I would say it’s ‘neverenders’.”
What up and coming acts are you listening to at the moment, who are you loving?
“I love coming to festivals to see a bunch of bands, I do get exposed to things that I hadn’t heard before. Right before we came over on the plane my friend said asked me whether I’d heard the new Wolf Alice record yet. I hadn’t so he gave me a link to listen to a song on YouTube."
"I got to see them yesterday and thought it was fantastic. I’m looking forward to getting the record. But as far as newer stuff, I haven’t got the new Frank Carter record but I definitely will as soon as I get out of here as he was so good yesterday, those kind of things are fun to see.”
Because you’ve been in the industry for so long, what advice would you give a younger Frank?
“Anything you’ve gone through, anything you experience, good and bad, leads to the person you are today, and I’m pretty okay with what happened.”