Frank Iero and the Never Ending Halloween
Former My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero (pictured left) and his new band, The Cellabration, are hitting the road for the last round in support of their debut album. Their last US tour started in Boston right after Halloween. A gigantic line started forming by the venue in Somerville since the morning – it’s been almost a year since the last Frank Iero and the Cellabration concert in Boston, and everyone was hyped to see them play again, even the parents.
Although the split of My Chemical Romance in 2013 struck many fans, it created five different solo projects of ex-members. FrnkIero andthe Cellabration’s debut and only album, Stomachaches, came out about a year ago –August 25, 2014, and was never intended to see the light of the day. Iero recorded it in his basement almost entirely by himself, while dealing with some digestive issues (hence the name), and showed it to a friend, who, according to Iero, loved it and talked him into releasing it.
Iero is known for being a part of many different bands, and he left his parents’ house at 16 to tour. Before joining MCR, he played in bands like Pencey Prep and I Am a Graveyard; while still being in MCR, he formed Leathermouth – a post-hardcore project whose lyrics are full of Iero’s hatred towards the world, and Death Spells – digital hardcore electropunk duet consisted of Frank Iero and James Dewees of The Get Up Kids. After the split of MCR in 2013, Frank formed FrnkIero andthe Cellabration together with Evan Nestor (Frank’s brother-in-law), Rob Hughes (Leathermouth) and Matt Olsson. The special spelling the band’s name utilizes – Iero explains – was due to not wanting to name the band after himself because seemingly no one can say or spell his name correctly, so, he decided to “bring the celebration” and make everything even harder to spell.
First, they were opening for The Used and Taking Back Sunday. Then, they did a few rounds of headlining tours: they hit UK and Europe a few times; they even played a few shows in Russia. Now they’re on the last round of their US tour. It seems that Halloween always surrounds Iero: not only was he born on October 31st and he has numerous tattoos related to the holiday, but he prefers Halloween over Christmas and even wrote a song, “Xmas Sux” about how much he hates the commerce that surrounds the winter holiday.
Although FIATC have only one album, they dilute their set with covers and other songs written by Iero. This time the band covered “I Wanna Be Adored” by The Stone Roses and “You Are My Sunshine” by Jimmie Davis, which was dedicated to anyone who wasn’t present but “wish they were.” The set begun with “Tragician”, “Neverenders” and “Weighted” – very punkish and energetic pieces that tell a story of the resistance to the world, followed by “This Song Is A Curse” – a track from Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” soundtrack that instantly filled the venue with Halloween vibes and spookiness.
All the songs on the album tell stories that happened to Iero at some point of his life. Most of which are energetic punk tracks with heavy guitar riffs. But there is a place for more melodic and calm pieces like “Stage 4 Fear of Trying” and a love song “She Is The Prettiest Girl at the Party, And She can Prove it With A Solid Right Hook.”
Before proceeding to “She Is The Prettiest Girl at the Party, And She can Prove it With A Solid Right Hook,” Iero said: “this song is based on a real true story” and his eyes sparkled dazzling the crowd. When he took his wife, Jamia, (girlfriend at the time) to prom, there was a drunk girl, who kept asking people to slap her. Without any hesitation, Jamia slapped her. Iero says it was the moment he realized he has to marry that prettiest girl with a solid right hook. Together they have 3 kids, twins and a boy, and whenever they are fighting, one of the twins would always start crooning the little song she came up with: “best friends forever, but not now.” Later on Iero and his kids recorded it and made a video. In Boston FIATC performed it for the second time ever and it was terribly adorable.
They finished off with a song that was released earlier this year on a split record, with a sound a lot like Leathermouth – a very harcore and heave piece.
The Cellabration shows never end with the band leaving the stage. After each show every single fan always has a chance to hang out with Frank Iero. He never rushes, always takes time to talk to each fan, sign whatever they ask and take photos, no matter how tired he is.
In a recent interview, Iero confessed that he enjoys the process of starting new bands. Now that FIATC is finishing the tour, they leave their fans in wonder whether there will be a new album or even a new band.