Jo with GATRS had a chance to sit down and talk to Frank Iero about his new album Parachutes, touring, and life in general.
First off, congrats on the tour and album, Parachutes. I listened to it and heard a lot of great stuff, and read many great reviews. You’ll be here in Atlanta on the 23rd The Masquerade, at the new location.
Thanks so much.
Tough topic, but how is everyone doing post-accident? Are you all getting back on your feet physically? I know you’ve talked about a neck injury, and I can certainly relate to that.
The recovery is up/down. One day I might feel great, then next day is worse. You just never know what to expect but hoping for the best.
You play both festivals and headlines… do you have a preference? What’s your take on the crowds, energy of each?
There’s really no right or wrong answer, it’s always different show to show. It depends on the day, there are different bands, different crowds. With a festival, it is beneficial in that you get play to an audience you normally wouldn’t get to be in front of, but if you like a band, then you owe it to yourself and the band to see them in their natural habitat.
How do you get your openers? Do you get to pick them? Recommendations from friends?
I scout out bands that I’d like to play with or think might be a good fit. Sometimes friends suggest a band. When it’s our show I get to “say this will work, this won’t.”
I read an article a while ago about your list of top ten punk bands and have seen some of your projects compared to Misfit and Ministry. That must make you feel pretty good.
I’d say that’s good company to be in, absolutely.
Any bands you recommend that we check out?
What’s your take on your crowd demographics- are you seeing more younger crowds, middle age, older folks still hanging on to our 80’s punk?
It’s a healthy mix- it’s kind of weird. I see a lot of young kids at our shows, which is awesome, but I’m thinking “I have no idea why you’re here or how you found out about the music that I’m making.” Then you see closer to the back of the pit, the older generation, but they’re bringing their kids or younger siblings to the show. It’s a crazy mix, it’s amazing. To be an artist that can play to that scope, it’s mesmerizing.
I don’t recall my family taking me to any punk shows, but the number kids going to shows these days blows me away. They’re up front, headphones on, rocking out.
Yeah, and that’s the thing. My dad played music, so I would always go see him play. Those were the first live shows I ever got to see. But he was very supportive of me getting into music and loving music so much, so he would take me to shows. And there were some shows he’d be like, aw man, I don’t want to go to those, but I got to see Weezer on the Blue record, and he took me to go see them, and shit, that was stuff that would change my life.
You’re doing a destination gig in Jamaica- thoughts on these and cruise concerts?
Thoughts on the Flogging Molly cruises- I can imagine that is the drunkest boat cruise ever. How are people are not falling over the sides?! I know, right? I’m not sure how that doesn’t happen.
It’s a different animal for sure. I think islands I can do. Several years ago, we did the island cruise in NY, and that was troubling, I think I will stick to islands!
Does putting it all out there night after night take its toll? It must be emotional to share personal stories like your song about your grandfather. Is this cathartic? Draining? Do you need some recovery time after baring it all?
That’s the great thing about music, it grows, evolves and changes with you.
Sometimes songs you write a certain way or at a certain time in your life, then they go on to mean something different later on.
There are new experiences that we need to get out, and doing that through music is sometimes the best way to do things and to alleviate those feelings.
We’ve all been through these type of experiences, we’re just not putting it all out there in front of people.
Hearing someone else talk about these experiences might be what helps you. I love being part of that.
Thanks so much to Frank for taking the time to talk to me! See you in HELL at The Masquerade tomorrow!
Hell at The Masquerade