“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.