15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Frank Iero
Frank Iero made his name as the guitarist of My Chemical Romance, but there’s a lot more to the New Jersey musician than just that. He’s been forging a career under his own name, and this year put out his third solo album under the name Frank Iero And The Future Violents. To celebrate, we did some deep digging to find some facts about the man known as Paco to his family.
1. He Turned A Lullaby Into A Frank Iero And The Future Violents Song
A New Day’s Coming, the first song on latest album Barriers, started out life as a lullaby he would sing to his kids. It remained unrecorded for a few years because Frank couldn’t figure out how to get the sound he wanted, but he eventually worked it out. Now, presumably, he just plays his children the CD instead.
2. He Got Hate Mail From Irate MCR Fans After Starting A New Band
After My Chemical Romance called it quits in 2013, Frank – ever the restless and prolific songwriter – started a new hardcore outfit called Death Spells with MCR’s live keyboard player, James Dewees. Intended as a vehicle to vent their frustration at the split, when they released the first song, some angry MCR fans sent the pair hate mail and as a result their album was shelved for three years.
3. After His Near-Death Experience, He Thought He Might Actually Have Died
In October 2016, a bus crashed into the tour van that was taking Frank and his band to Sydney, Australia. Thankfully, no-one was seriously injured, but that didn’t stop Frank wondering if he had in fact died and was experiencing some kind of warped afterlife.
“I got the get the sense of, ‘What if I didn’t make it and what’s going on right now is just my brain waves continuing?’” Frank said. “That maybe this is what the afterlife is, it’s us just setting up another world for us to go through. And then you look for evidence to prove yourself correct or not insane - like ever since this happened, the world went to shit. It’s getting warmer and we have an antichrist for a president and all these things start to happen and it’s like I’m on the wrong side of things. And then there’s the other thing that creeps in, that if I truly am not in the world of the living, then why am I not seeing these people that have passed before me that I really want to see? So maybe I’m not in heaven, I’m in hell - or maybe I’m in purgatory.”
4. His Family Call Him 'Paco'
There may only be one Frank Iero, but there are literally so many people named Frank in his family that his relatives call him Paco. Which is Spanish for Frank. His dad, who is also called Frank, goes by the Italian version of the name: Cheech. Which is all quite cute, isn’t it?
5. He's A Huge Fan Of '90s Emo Pioneers Mineral
Initially around between 1994 and 1997, Mineral were an incredibly influential band despite the fact they weren’t together very long at first. Although he didn’t get into them until he was already in My Chemical Romance, Frank says their sound has heavily influenced the way he plays guitar. And he was incredibly excited when they reformed and he finally got to see them live.
“I didn’t think I was ever going to get to see them,” he said, “so to finally get to witness that and hear those songs was unreal. It felt like they were playing just for me! And I got to watch it with my brother-in-law, who’s a little bit younger than me and wasn’t as familiar with their stuff, so I was just like, ‘Oh my God, you don’t understand what this meant to me and what it means to me and how much it affected my playing. You have to listen to this song, and this song! And this part!’ So to see it, not only for myself but through his eyes and to see how excited he got about it, that was really special.”
6. His First Tattoo Was The Jack O'Lantern
These days, Frank has a hell of a lot of tattoos, but he had to start somewhere. And he did – on his back with a big, scary-looking Jack O’Lantern.
“I was born on Halloween,” he said, “so it’s to basically symbolise that. I got it on my 18th birthday, so there was no lying to people in tattoo parlours.”
7. The Future Violents Are His Dream Band
Featuring longtime collaborator Evan Nestor on guitar, Murder By Death’s Matt Armstrong on bass, Thursday’s Tucker Rule on drums and Kaley Goldsworthy on piano, organ and violin, Frank calls The Future Violents his “dream line-up” and actually wrote the songs on Barriers with those very musicians in mind.
8. He Went To Catholic School
Frank might not seem like the type to go to a religious school, but when he was growing up he attended a Catholic school in New Jersey. We’re guessing his teachers there weren’t ever big My Chemical Romance fans…
9. He Dropped Out Of Uni
Because he’s very clever, Frank actually got a scholarship to Rutgers University in New Jersey. He was majoring in psychology, but dropped out to join and tour with My Chemical Romance, who were one of his favourite bands at the time. As much as higher education is important, he probably made the right decision.
10. He Has A Very Weak Immune System
Since he was a young child, Frank has suffered from Epstein-Barr virus – a sickness that weakens the immune system. As a result, he frequently suffered from bronchitis as a child and it has led him in the past to have to missing some gigs.
11. He Postponed The Start Of A Tour To Watch Another Band
Another ’90s band that Frank is a huge fan of is Jawbreaker. When they reunited to play Riot Fest in Chicago, Frank made sure his tour with The Patience didn’t start until after the festival so he could see them. Now that’s dedication.
12. His Surname Is Spelled Lero On The Credits Of The I'm Not Okay Video
Frank’s surname has often confused people and there were (and probably still are) some who think it begins with an L rather than an I. As a tribute to those very people, the band deliberately spelled his name the wrong way at the end of the official video for I’m Not Okay (I Promise).
13. The First Riff He Ever Learned Was The Theme Tune To Peter Gunn
We’ve never seen it, either. But Peter Gunn was an American private eye TV series that first aired in 1958 and its theme tune was the first riff he ever learned to play on guitar.
14. He's Scored A Film
Last year, Frank wrote and recorded the score for a short horror/thriller film called The Deliveryman. It’s a 10 minute horror flick written and directed by Mike Pelak and is about a serial killer who tries to kill an unsuspecting woman.
15. He Had A Guitar Called Pansy But Broke It
Frank is not a violent guy (despite his current band’s name), but he once had a well-known guitar called Pansy that he broke live on an MTV show by smashing it through a huge MTV sign. Funnily enough, the incident was never shown on the station.
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