Frank Iero, also of My Chemical Romance fame has had a largely varied career as a solo artist. Check out our interview below:
[Erin Spencer/AltWire]: The new EP, Keep The Coffins Coming is an interesting title, what’s the meaning behind it?
Frank Iero: I started to think about how as artists we need to relinquish control of our creations in order to release them into the world and fulfill that final stage of art. Killing off ideas as we go and shipping the bodies home. These songs are my creations and I am sending them out into the world hopeful they will be born again in the form of inspiration to others.
[AW]: You said you wanted to work with legendary producer Steve Albini since you were 11, what was it like finally getting to do that?
Frank Iero: Definitely a dream come true. I feel incredibly lucky to have had that experience. I learned so much in those three days and it was unlike any other recording experience I’ve ever had.
[AW]: Which of all the albums Steve Albini has worked on made you want to work with him the most?
Frank Iero: That’s difficult to choose just one to be honest. His work with the Pixies, Breeders, the Ghost, and Nirvana were all such huge influences on me. Jawbreaker’s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy also completely shook me to my core. These Albini records shaped the way I wanted to hear music. He captured some of my favorite bands of all time in such a magnificent way. The music surrounds you, and you know you are experiencing something important and raw.
[AW]: How much did working with Steve Albini influence the sound of the EP?
Frank Iero: Immensely. He’s such a pro and so gifted. He mics up quickly and efficiently and if you describe a sound you’re going for he knows how to get it in a timely fashion. It’s so important to the process to have someone at the desk that knows their shit. It sucks the life out of a session if you’re waiting on someone to fiddle through and waste time getting things wrong. Steve just knows what he’s doing and it makes the process so much easier and prolific.
[AW]: How do you think your fans will receive Keep The Coffins Coming?
Frank Iero: I think for a fan, this EP is something really special to hear. It gives a lot of insight into how I got from Stomachaches to Parachutes. Plus it’s a really fun listen on its own. It works as both a stand alone piece and a bridge between records.
[AW]: And how would you sum up Frank Iero and the Patients (formerly Cellabration) to someone unfamiliar with your music?
Frank Iero: I don’t know I hate doing stuff like that. It feels like a rock and roll based art project at times, but I think it takes just as long for you to listen to a song as it does to read my half-assed description of it.
[AW]: You have been touring pretty solidly for the last few months, what new things are you bringing to your show for the upcoming tour?
Frank Iero: This tour, that actually starts tomorrow (9/20), is going to be really fun. We’re planning a few different sets for the tour and playing songs that really span the entire catalogue of the band. From the first song I ever released as a solo artist, to songs off of every release since. I’m real excited to see how the audiences react.
[AW]: When you’re on the road for so long, is touring still fun? What do you do to make it more enjoyable?
Frank Iero: I think it can still be fun, but it can also be incredibly painful. I’m never a fan of being away from my family for long periods of time. However I think I’ve learned to tour smarter. Not going out for marathon runs, and making sure to take bands and people along that make the travel enjoyable, that sort of thing helps alleviate some of the hardships.
[AW]: By now you have probably been through hundreds of them so what is your all time favorite guitar and of course why is it so special?
Frank Iero: Oh man, they all have a soul and a personality. Some you just get along with better than others. But each one is different and has something to offer. There have been a few though over the years that definitely stand out. My first guitar was a Fernandez Strat copy that my dad bought me for my 12th birthday, then there was my Gibson SG I bought myself much later on that up getting smashed onstage and now rests in a coffin my father in law built in my living room. Then there was pansy, a white Epiphone Les Paul elitist, that made the rounds for a few years in the MCR revenge days, and 131 is my main Epiphone Phantomatic that’s been smashed and fixed and smashed and fixed and still rides every show. There’s also a 65 Fender Jaguar that is only used for writing and recording. She has a very special place in my heart and helped me write some songs I really love.
[AW]: Lastly what would you do if you couldn’t play music anymore?
Frank Iero: I don’t know just yet but I must say I think about that more and more these days. I don’t think I will ever stop playing and writing music but touring is something I think I need less of in my life these days. I think I’d like to write a book and work on art in different mediums.