Cause for Cellabration! Frank Iero on Fans and Going Solo

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“He’s gonna be here until he’s met every single one of these people.” As I stand behind Frank Iero’s merch table, awkwardly cradling my tripods and trying not to lose my balance amidst piles of tee-shirts and posters, his tour manager breaks the news to me with an apologetic grin: Though the frontman had kindly offered to answer questions between autographs, he can’t grant a sit-down interview until he’s individually greeted each of his fans. I gladly agree to wait—he’s been signing since the venue doors opened, and in the days of expensive VIP meet-and-greets and entitled rock stars, his level of dedication to fans is remarkable.

Similarly remarkable is the speed at which Iero started releasing music again: Following the disintegration of My Chemical Romance in 2013, Frank went solo, writing and recording new material under the moniker “frnkiero andthe cellabration”. The project has been touring nonstop since the release of the full-length “Stomachaches” in August 2014, their brand of no-holds-barred punk rock sprinkled with softer melancholy moments appealing to audiences that may not have been familiar with MCR.

Once he had shaken the hand of his last admirer, Frank sat down with me at The Stone Pony (in his home state of New Jersey) to discuss his relationship with fans, his decision to become a solo artist, and his affinity for pizza bagels.

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Chatting with Kenny Vasoli (Vacationer)

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Kenny Vasoli just wants you to chill. The Vacationer frontman, responsible for songs like “The Wild Life” and “Paradise Waiting”, is passionate about his listeners “just relaxing and enjoying life”. And he certainly seems to practice what he preaches: lounging on a tattered tweed couch, signature cloud of brown curls hanging loose like his wooden necklace, he is the image of hippie-cool. But Vacationer, his tropical-electronic project, is a lot to get excited about. Since their formation in 2010, the group has signed to Downtown Records, put out two full-length albums, and toured the country with notable acts like Tennis and Hellogoodbye.

In the basement of the Iron Horse, a cozy venue in Northampton, MA, Kenny and I sat down to discuss his musical transformation, the invention of the genre “nu-hula”, and the existence of aliens.

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Double Dare Ya: Bikini Kill’s Impact on Modern Feminism and Punk Rock

Photo courtesy of verbicide magazine

Photo courtesy of Verbicide Magazine

“All girls to the front!” In the middle of a dirty, dimly-lit punk show, the music has crashed to a stop, allowing the band’s spritely singer to command the audience. She paces the stage, microphone in hand. Her black hair is pulled into a messy ponytail, and she stares out into the crowd unapologetically in a plaid bra and black mini skirt. The room buzzes with uncertainty, but her demeanor makes it clear that disobeying is not an option. She waves her arms wildly, all at once beckoning and threatening her audience. “I’m not kidding.” As the band explodes into their next song, a row of teenage girls lines the stage, gazing up in wonder at this feminine force of nature. They move in unison, some even throwing flowers onto the tiny stage, in a bubble of safety from the punk boys violently dancing behind them. Thrashing across the platform, she shrieks over the pounding bass. “We are Bikini Kill, and we want revolution… GIRL! STYLE! NOW!”

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Thrifting with Forrest Kline (Hellogoodbye)

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If you were alive and listening to music in 2006, you most likely know Hellogoodbye. Their song “Here (In Your Arms)” was a smash hit, going platinum in the US, and you’ve probably heard snippets of the tune playing on the radio, between bands at a show, or being hummed by your sister. But they didn’t stop there: 2010’s folk-rock Would It Kill You and 2013’s dancey Everything Is Debatable were quick to climb the indie rock charts.

During Hellogoodbye’s headlining tour with Vacationer, I sat down with front man Forrest Kline to discuss burritos, ukuleles, and the band’s electro-pop origins.

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Thrifting with Mariel Loveland (Candy Hearts)

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Candy Hearts is the kind of band that should be blasted out of car speakers on a summertime drive. Technically, I first heard Candy Hearts through my tiny laptop speakers, but the first time I really heard them was the day that their single “Bad Idea” came on shuffle in my car on a sunny day. The song burst out of the sound system, and the fast-paced guitar blended with their fun, truthful lyrics made the sun seem slightly brighter, and my car seem slightly faster.

When I sat down with Candy Hearts front woman Mariel Loveland, we decided to explore a nearby thrift shop. But before going thrifting, Mariel and I discussed her take on feminism, pizza, and working with Newfound Glory’s Chad Gilbert on Candy Hearts’ upcoming album.

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Gaming with Cody Carson (Set It Off)

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I’ve never been one to pass up old-school arcade games, so when I met Cody Carson at the Space in Hamden, CT, we dug around for some quarters and played some Wolverine. The Set It Off frontman is currently on tour with We Are the In Crowd, and is preparing to release a new record sometime this year. While battling virtual cyborgs, Cody discussed his musical beginnings, storytelling stage persona, and April Fool’s Day plans.

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