Known primarily for his time as the rhythm guitarist in renowned emo group My Chemical Romance, FRANK IERO has since led a number of his own bands and projects, including the hardcore/punk group Leathermouth and solo project Frnk Iero andthe Patience (nee ‘Cellabration’). He is set to tour with the latter later this year in October, as well as release a new record in the same month, titled Parachutes. IPHYB had a chat to him about the inspiration behind the album, the importance of being patient, and why it’s good to be strange.
So, first things first I suppose – when is MCR getting back together?
Wow. That’s your first question?
Okay. [laughs] Um … probably never.
Damn. That’s okay. So you’re set to release your second album in late October. It’s called Parachutes, and you’ve elaborated on how parachutes are essentially life-saving devices, and how that this album itself is your own parachute. What did the album save you from?
Well, here’s the thing, it’s more of a life raft thing than a cure, you know? It’s something that’s supposed to help me appreciate the now and take a step back and not worry about ten or twenty steps ahead of me. The last thing I want is to die in a hospital bed somewhere and wonder where the time went. I feel like we all owe it to ourselves to take that step back and appreciate the people around us and the places that we’re at right now.
Yeah that’s interesting – I feel like a lot of people don’t realise they need to appreciate the now.
No, absolutely. I feel like – and it’s probably not the total reason – but it has a lot to do with why the world is the way it is, and how we are so preoccupied with what happens after this world and not the people that are already around us. I think if we gave more of a shit about human beings and the world that we live in then we all might be able to be a bit happier, you know?
Yeah, it feels like a lot of people are focused solely on themselves and don’t understand how important appreciating the people in their lives can be. Is that also the reason behind why you guys changed your name, from “Cellabration” to “Patience”?
Yeah kind of, I mean, the idea of the name change in general was because I felt like when we came out of the studio that we’d become a new band, and there was no sense in calling the band the same thing after that, right? Secondly, that was kind of what I needed at this point in my life – patience, and the ability to kind of just take that step back. If anything it’s more of a reminder for me, a constant reminder.
Yeah. It’s important to have that sort of perspective because not many people really seem to get that. Moving on though, the song “I’m A Mess” has some early punk vibes to it, like a little bit similar to Jawbreaker and other early acts. Was there a particular inspiration behind your sound or did it just happen naturally?
I think it just happened naturally. Growing up I’ve always been a fan of Jawbreaker but also that early 90’s punk rock and that post-hardcore movement, you know? Like Mineral and things like that. With the song though, that actually came from a person at a show who gave me a pin which said “I’m a mess” on it. We had this long conversation about inadequacies and feeling like your brain doesn’t work the same as everybody else’s does and the shame surrounding that. After that, though, I thought about the pride in being different and that’s where the song rises – in that realisation that the best thing about you is the stuff that people find strange.
Of course, I mean those are the things that make you you, after all.
You also got to work with Ross Robinson and Steve Evetts on this album too. What was that like?
It was amazing. Definitely a dream come true. I’ve been a fan of both their work for a very, very, very long time, and I was just too scared to approach them to make a record. And I mean, when writing this record I knew that the songs kind of demanded to be pushed a little bit farther and I guess I found the courage and again it comes back to being able to take that step. So I sucked it up and called them up and it just so happened they wanted to make a record with me, so yeah, it all worked out.
Evidently. I’m glad it did. You’ll be touring Australia soon alongside Walter Schreifels too. I understand you were also down here earlier this year. Is there anything you look forward to in particular about returning?
Absolutely. We were supposed to have come down with the full band, but the festival we were playing was cancelled and so we came down anyway. My brother, Evan, and I did some acoustic impromptu shows at a few different places – wherever would have us. And it was amazing, I mean the response was … unbelievable. But I’m actually looking forward to coming down and playing with the full band. I think a lot of these songs are … you know, they take on a different shape in an acoustic environment and that’s awesome. This time I really want to bring the full band and the full intent of that record and also play some new stuff that we’ve been working on too.
Awesome. Well, we look forward to having you back here again! Thanks so much for your time – I wish you the best with your album and the tour.
No problem. Thanks for having me.
Parachutes will be released on October 28 via Vagrant Records/Cooking Vinyl Australia. You can also check out the Australian tour dates and poster below. Tickets can be purchased here.
FRNK IERO ANDTHE PATIENCE AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES:
ASTOR THEATRE, PERTH
FRIDAY OCTOBER 7 – all ages
THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE
SUNDAY OCTOBER 9 – all ages
THE GOV, ADELAIDE
MONDAY OCTOBER 10 – all ages
CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE
TUESDAY OCTOBER 11 – 18+
ARROW ON SWANSTON, MELBOURNE
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 12 – all ages
METRO THEATRE, SYDNEY
THURSDAY OCTOBER 13 – all ages