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Frank Iero and The Future Violents Release Album, Barriers

Frank Iero Photo by Mitchell Wojcik

It’s been a few years since we last heard new music from Frank Iero. Following the aftermath of a bus accident while on tour in Australia, the singer/guitarist took some time off to recuperate and put together his new album Barriers, which released on Friday, May 31. For this latest project, the band is going by “Frank Iero and The Future Violents,” following names “Frnkiero andthe cellabration” in 2014 and “FRANK IERO and the PATIENCE” in 2016.

The new band name stems from a mistake a flight attendant made when Iero told him the previous band name, “FRANK IERO and the PATIENCE.” As he stated in an interview with Hysteria Magazine, Iero was traveling and while on a flight, the attendant came over and asked, “Are you guy’s a band? You guys look like you’re in a band.” Iero told him, “Yeah, we’re from FRANK IERO and the PATIENCE.” The flight attendant then said, “Huh? The Future Violence? That’s a crazy name!” After that experience, Iero wrote the name down and eventually came back to it with this new project, except with a slightly different spelling.

With each new band name comes new band members, save Evan Nestor (guitar), who is Iero’s brother-in-law and has been with him since “the cellabration.” When asked if each new band reiteration will always have a switch-up, Iero stated in an interview with us, “I don’t know. As far as Evan, you get those musical soulmates over the years, and he’s just such a good person to be around, and we’re family. I would very much not like to be in another band without him; he’s always the constant.

“As far as new players and stuff like that, I’ve realized that in the 20 years of me touring and playing in general before that, the exponential growth in my playing ability stems from each new person I play with,” he says. “They’ve each made me want to be better. It’s easy to continue working with the same people. Like, you know what’s going to happen next, and can almost read each other’s minds. And sometimes that’s really good, and sometimes it’s not. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to play with some amazing people. There are people out there too that I would love to still play with, but this [The Future Violents] is definitely a dream band that I’ve been thinking about for 20 years. I kind of set up the rule in the beginning that I’m gonna change it every time, but rules are meant to be broken.”

Barriers album cover

Barriers album cover
Photo courtesy of UNFD

While Iero is confident with his new group of band mates, he made sure to point out that the band may not always be a sure thing. He continues with the analogy, “It’s a lot like a relationship, you have really great times and do some amazing things together, and sometimes it’s a lot of work, sometimes it just comes too easy. You don’t want to be that group of people that just stay together because it’s comfortable, and end up saying ‘I love you’ because there’s too much quiet. You don’t want that.”

You may be wondering who makes up this new band that Iero is raving about. As mentioned before, Iero is on guitar and vocals, while his brother-in-law Evan also takes on guitar, but there’s also Matt Armstrong on bass, Tucker Rule playing the drums, and Kayleigh Goldsworthy on piano, organ, and violin (depending on the song).

Their new album, Barriers, features 14 songs, technically a double-record. It starts off with a slower, grungier rock song called “A New Day’s Coming,” which Iero mentioned in a few interviews is a song that he wrote specifically with his kids in mind. He wanted to have another song to sing them at bedtime that was his own, but didn’t have an inappropriate meaning while singing to his kids, as a lot of his songs are darker and not-so-appropriate for his children’s bedtime.

Following this song comes “Young and Doomed,” the band’s lead single off of the new album. This song picks up the pace a bit, but still has that grungy-rock feel. Iero’s vocals on this song and throughout a lot of the songs are reminiscent of The Clash’s and The Ramones’s singers’, raw vocals that put on an interesting enunciation at times, unlike the average singer.

The first half of the album is almost a build-up to the album’s eighth song, “Moto Pop.” Up until this song, while some of the other tracks pick up pace, it isn’t until this one that we really get a fast-rate, erratic beat. This song almost is like a slap to the face in comparison to the tempo of the other songs; that’s how much it picks up and has you going, ‘Damn, that was unexpected,’ but in a good way. Wondering what the inspiration behind this song was, Iero explained.

“A song like ‘Moto Pop’ is a lot about the feeling of hating our hometowns,” he says. “It happens a lot with people, but then we end up going back there at some point and finding solace in that. We start to realize that everybody hates where they’re from. I think it’s just because you want to see more, and I get that. The dichotomy of that then is your hometown hating you. When you go off and do things, and even if you’re not a different person, when you’ve come back and you’ve succeeded, [it’s] that idea that we hate it when our friends become successful, [and] you are treated differently. Sometimes, people are waiting for you to fuck up, and [waiting to] be like ‘Ah, see! Shouldn’t have gone and done that!’ That’s kind of what the song is about.”

Following “Moto Pop,” the album has “Medicine Square Garden,” which slows down in comparison to the prior track, but also has a faster tempo brought to the chorus so that it doesn’t contrast too greatly in pace. But with this shift between slow and fast in the song, it’s very much a metaphor behind the song’s meaning, which Iero also discussed.

“A song like ‘Medicine Square Garden’ is about being in a tumultuous relationship that’s kind of based around addiction,” he explains. “Sometimes, those relationships are the most fun. I feel like there’s a human tendency to kind of want to experience destruction. Like being at a top of a building, and there’s a part of you that’s like, ‘I could just jump right now.’ Those weird instances, but they’re not the best for you. So I thought about that, these two titans of horribleness. [And when coming up with the title], I thought of where would they fight, and probably at Madison Square Garden.”

Other songs that stand out on the album are “The Unfortunate,” which has lighter vocals and instrumentals that make it almost indie in genre. It’s a good break though from the heavier tracks on the album. Track “Police Police” has a creepy, piano horror-tune going on, which definitely contributes to Iero’s love of horror movies. “Great Party” reminds me of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So,” particularly when it comes to the chorus, due to the way Iero sings accompanied by the slower instrumentals.

Frank Iero

Photo by Mitchell Wojcik

As mentioned earlier, this album follows Iero’s recovery from an accident in 2016, and that is very obvious in the song “Six Feet Down Under,” where Iero explicitly explains the pain in his lyrics, “I don’t wanna hurt no more, I don’t wanna feel like before, I don’t want to settle the score, I don’t wanna die here.” In other interviews, he’s mentioned how this song was inspired by him questioning reality, wondering if he really made it through the accident or if this reality is actually all a dream. The lyrics towards the end of the song, “Sometimes I get so low that I swear, baby, I just can’t figure out which way is up,” emphasizes his questioning even further.

Overall, this album definitely is a journey, and said journey can be taken differently depending on the listener. Iero stated, “I like having a journey with the record, whether it be a concept [that has an artist] truly telling a full story or you’re creating a story based on the emotion that you’re getting out of the songs. I’ve never done a double-record before, but I’ve always wanted to, and I like that both sides can live on their own. That was the idea. If you were just to listen to one LP, starting with ‘A New Day’s Coming’ and ending with ‘Ode to Destruction’ or ‘The Unfortunate,’ that feels like a complete record to me. Also, if you were to play it out of order, you could start the record with ‘Moto Pop’ and end with ’24k Lush.’”

Iero wants to thank fans for being patient with him and for checking out the new album.

“I know the past couple years, I tried to take a little bit of time off for myself, to heal up, but I think it was worth it,” he says. “I think that Barriers is probably the best record I’ve ever made. It’s something I’m really proud of and I hope fans enjoy it, and I hope it inspires them to go out and do things that scare them. And to really find their passion, and fail at it, but try again and then succeed.”

You can check out Frank Iero and The Future Violents’s new album Barriers here. The band is currently on a national tour, featuring new songs off of Barriers, throughout mid-August, so see if there’s a stop near you to hear the latest music live.