Above: The official video for The Homeless Gospel Choir's Crazy.
Frank: "When you become friends with artists, you tend to show each other ideas and bounce stuff back and forth and be like, 'I’ve got this idea – is it cool?' When I’m asking these questions, I want to know if I’m out of my mind, and all you need sometimes is a friend to say, 'Man, you should fucking do that,' or at the same time be like…"
Derek: “That’s shit!”
Frank: "Yeah! That’s how me and Derek work together: we don’t tell each other what to write, but we give each other confidence. We say, 'That shit there – that shit that you’re scared of – that’s the fucking jam!'
Derek: "I can remember sending Frank dozens of voice memos of me playing the guitar, and he’d tell me what was good and what he thought I should scrap, and we just went back and forth about it for a good bit. The collaboration was very organic and very natural."
You’re touring the UK and Europe at the moment – what are you wanting fans to take away from these shows?
Derek: "I have a very specific agenda when I go up there – I want to make sure kids know that this scene is here for them. Punk rock is a tool, a weapon, a gift and a blessing. We get to participate in it equitably – no matter your skin colour, gender, sexuality or religion, this is a place for you to be free. If there’s one place in the whole fucking universe where you get to be yourself and not be ashamed, it’s a fucking punk show. I want to let kids know that this is a safe space for them, and there’s no bullying, homophobia, bigotry, sexism or racism. It’s very important for me that at every show there’s a call to action to let kids know that this is an inclusive space."
Frank: "Absolutely. In this day and age, with everything that’s going on in the world – all this craziness and asinine hatred – the main goal of artists in general is to remind people what it is to be human. The most powerful tools we have are love and acceptance, and if we can have everybody coming to our shows and feel like they belong and feel safe, and remind them that they should go out and spread that feeling, then I think we did our jobs."
Frank Iero And The Patience’s new EP, Keep The Coffins Coming, and The Homeless Gospel Choir’s new album, Presents: Normal, are both out now.
Frank and Derek are touring the UK and Europe together now until October 20.