As rhythm guitarist and backup singer in the genre-bending rock powerhouse My Chemical Romance, Frank Iero toured the world and helped craft two certified platinum albums. Now, his latest project, frnkiero andthe cellabration, is headlining shows across the U.S.
The artist will perform Saturday at High Dive, located at 210 SW Second Ave. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are available for $18 at the door or for $15 in advance on ticketfly.com.
With this being frnkiero andthe cellabration’s first show in Gainesville — and with his respect for the Gainesville music scene — he’s more than ready to play at High Dive.
"There’s a very special type of community and scene down there that I’m very much looking forward to playing to," Iero said. "I got very excited when I heard that we were gonna be in Gainesville on this trip."
Pat Lavery, owner of Glory Days Presents, wrote in an email that High Dive has been getting emails and calls about the upcoming show "on a more-than-regular basis."
High Dive is "stoked about it too," he said, and he noted Iero is a first-class musician and an icon for millions of fans across the world.
"He is more than just ‘the guitarist from My Chemical Romance,’" Lavery said. He described Iero’s new band and music as super catchy, crunchy, poppy and angtsy.
"It’s what you would expect from someone with his pedigree, but it’s simultaneously fresh and original," he said.
"Stomachaches," his first solo album, was released on Staple Records in August 2014.
The album draws its title from the fact that he has a bacterial overgrowth in his lower intestines that can cause painful digestive issues.
"I forced myself to be creative in order to not feel the way I felt physically," Iero said, "and never imagined it would ever see the light of day."
With no intent on releasing his new project, he set out to document a certain time in his life. He thought he would possibly share the music with his kids 20 years down the road.
He said he would write whatever kind of song he felt like writing that day, with no specific measure for what they needed to be.
The result is an extremely varied group of songs that are as in-the-moment and pure as possible.
"I didn’t want to f--k with them (the songs) at all," Iero said.
A friend, who he happened to let hear the project, convinced him to show it to other people.
"And that was it," Iero said. "All of the sudden, before I knew it, like you know, people are interested and there was a record deal in place, and I had to, like, kind of figure out how I was going to play these songs live."
It was a jump going from a project he created just for himself to crafting something to perform on a larger scale — something he is still coming to grips with.
"It’s also pretty nuts to go out with, you know, just one record and do a headlining set," Iero said, "because you know there’s only so much you can play."
The band will play every track on its first album, which is something Iero said he loves to do.
Fans are not just hearing a live version of the record being played every night.
With a full band behind him now, his music is still growing — a stark contrast from his former band that ended with four studio albums.
Although the tour is just getting started, he said the first show was one of the most fun shows he has played in a very long time.
"Seriously," he said, giving praise to singer-songwriter Roger Harvey and Jared Hart of the Scandals, the acts he is on tour and shares a bus with.
Harvey and Hart were both recently in town performing in The Fest.
Iero admits he was kind of jealous of that.
He said at least they’re all coming back together.
Iero said both of their acts are fantastic and the fans on this tour have been unbelievable.
"It’s really nice to be out with bands that you love, and playing to people that really appreciate it and that make it worthwhile," Iero said.
When a major band like My Chemical Romance disassembles, it can be difficult for the individual members to stand on their own in the shadow of their former group.
Whether this is the case for Iero or not, he has managed to take something he created for himself in the dark and has found the right way to bring it to light.
"But now that we’re doing it, it’s really unlike anything else, and it’s a fun time." Iero said. "Sometimes you kind of, like, have to take a step back and pinch yourself and be like, ‘Oh, wow. This really, this is really it, huh?’"
When reflecting on his current situation, Iero had one comment:
"It’s f----n’ awesome."
Former My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero’s latest project, frnkiero and the cellabration, is coming to perform Saturday at High Dive. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show begins at 9 p.m.