FRANK IERO
Rock Sound|January 2020
IN CREATING BOLD, BRASH, IMPERFECT NEW ALBUM ‘BARRIERS’, FRANK IERO AND HIS BAND THE FUTURE VIOLENTS TURNED HEADS ACROSS THE GLOBE. THIS IS THE STORY OF A YEAR SPENT DOING THINGS ENTIRELY DIFFERENTLY.
Rob Sayce

You’ve won The Real Alternative award! How does it feel?

“It’s really nice! I’ve never really won anything before, even in past bands… My Chem were looked over for a lot of different things. We won a couple of ‘reader’s choice’ type things in different magazines, but I was never a trophy guy. If I had a trophy cabinet, it would probably have, like, three things in it that my kids gave me on Father’s Day!”

When you look back over the making of ‘Barriers’, when do you remember it first starting to resemble an album, instead of a collection of ideas?

“When does that moment happen, that makes you think, ‘We’re going to do something, and not just talk about it?’ I would say for me, it was around the time that we flew Matt [Armstrong, bass] in, and it was Tucker [Rule, drums] myself and Matt. I had brought ‘Medicine Square Garden’ to the band, and in my head, I had this idea for this grandiose song, something that I’d really wanted to try, but never had before. I wasn’t sure how to really verbalise what needed to be done - people just had to feel it, and they either got it, or they didn’t. The fact that they did get it, and we went into this song with a working structure, it felt like, ‘Oh wait a minute, this is actually working! This is something that I’ve wanted for a while’. That was when I started to get really serious about it, and thinking about who else to bring in. And that’s when Kayleigh [Goldsworthy, keys and vocals] came to mind.”

It’s such a distinctive, raw album sonically, and really hard to categorise too - something of a rarity in 2019. Was it exciting to do something so different, when you could easily have stuck to what was familiar?

“No matter how many records you’ve put out prior to this one project, it’s still brand new. This time, the people were also new. That’s one of the things that I enjoy so much about this process, that it is always brand new, and scary. Every time, it’s, ‘I don’t know if this is going to work out. I’ve never done this before, with these people’. It just so happens that I’ve made records every time, but I’m sure there will be an instance where it’s like, ‘Okay, this just didn’t work out’.”

That’s part of the joy of it, having something that’s genuinely risky…

“It’s walking this tightrope. At any moment, things could fall apart. I think that’s what great bands are made of. Very rarely do you see a Behind The Music on a great band and it’s like, ‘No one ever fought, and everything came very easily!’ It’s that volatile, fucked-upedness that actually ends up working. And you think to yourself, ‘Oh my God, it shouldn’t be this hard’. But it has to be, and you can’t have the sweet without the sour.”

Recording ‘Barriers’ in the way that you did - it feels like you’re right there in the room with the band, listening to the record. What made you want to take that approach? It’s so opposed to the prevailing method now, where everything is often edited to sound ‘perfect’.

“Right, and that whole, ‘We’ll fix it all in the mix’ thing? That’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. With the types of records that I love, I want it to sound like human beings playing. I like what other people would maybe consider mistakes, that’s what a record is to me. It’s human beings in a room making music, and when it comes to computer-generated things, there’s no personality to it. Anybody in that room could make those sounds. When you turn on the radio and a Zeppelin song comes on, you know that only those people in that room could make that sound. Those are both the records I like to make, and the songs I like to listen to. It had to go down that route because, while we were writing, that was what I was hearing. I was hearing that in the room, these people, in a very live way, and I wanted the listener to feel that. Early on, it was decided that Steve Albini was going to be at the recording desk, and I knew what to expect going in with him. I wanted someone to be there to capture the full band sound. There’s no point putting together a band like this and then hiding the way the band sounds, you know what I mean? I didn’t wait 20 years to put this band together so I could pretend it could be anybody. When we got into the studio, it was very much, ‘You stand here, you stand there, and that’s what you’re going to hear on the record’. It’s these people in this room, it all bleeding into the mics. It’s very much a live record, and you want that when you’re focused on musicianship. You want to be able to hear what’s actually coming out of there.”

Did working with Steve put even more onus on you to steer the vision of the record?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ROCK SOUNDView All

STAND ATLANTIC

FROM TRIUMPHANT HEADLINE TOURS TO BOLD, BOUNDARY-PUSHING NEW MUSIC, 2019 HAS BEEN A YEAR TO REMEMBER FOR STAND ATLANTIC. BONNIE FRASER WALKS US THROUGH IT ALL FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE…

9 mins read
Rock Sound
January 2020

SUM 41

TEENAGE SUPERSTARDOM, NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES AND A LEGACY THAT’LL LIVE FOREVER. SUM 41 FRONTMAN DERYCK WHIBLEY TALKS THROUGH THE ESSENTIAL STORY OF THE NEW INDUCTEES TO THE ROCK SOUND HALL OF FAME.

10+ mins read
Rock Sound
January 2020

SET IT OFF

FUELLED BY THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM MOST, SET IT OFF PULLED THROUGH ADVERSITY, UNCERTAINTY AND ISOLATION TO CREATE THE ALBUM OF THEIR CAREERS. CODY CARSON EXPLAINS HOW IT ALL PLAYED OUT...

10+ mins read
Rock Sound
January 2020

YUNGBLUD

BUILDING A UNIQUE GLOBAL COMMUNITY AND SENDING A WAKE-UP CALL TO ALTERNATIVE CULTURE, YUNGBLUD HAS MADE 2019 HIS OWN. HE REVEALS HOW IT ALL WENT DOWN, FROM MOMENTOUS COLLABORATIONS AND DREAM SHOWS TO LIFE AT THE HEART OF A PHENOMENON.

10+ mins read
Rock Sound
January 2020

The Maine

CANDID, EMOTIONAL AND DEEPLY HOPEFUL, THE MAINE’S SEVENTH ALBUM SHOWED US ALL A MUCH-NEEDED BRIGHTER SIDE TO LIFE IN 2019. THEY REVEAL HOW IT WAS BORN, AND PAY TRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY THAT’S FORMED AROUND THEM.

10+ mins read
Rock Sound
January 2020

FRANK IERO

IN CREATING BOLD, BRASH, IMPERFECT NEW ALBUM ‘BARRIERS’, FRANK IERO AND HIS BAND THE FUTURE VIOLENTS TURNED HEADS ACROSS THE GLOBE. THIS IS THE STORY OF A YEAR SPENT DOING THINGS ENTIRELY DIFFERENTLY.

10+ mins read
Rock Sound
January 2020

ENTER SHIKARI

HUGE TOURING, ONE-OFF SONGS AND SOME UTTERLY MINDBLOWING FESTIVAL SETS MEANT ENTER SHIKARI STOOD HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE THE REST OF THE UK THIS YEAR. HERE’S HOW IT PANNED OUT IN THEIR OWN WORDS…

10 mins read
Rock Sound
January 2020

The First... Dani Winter-Bates

AHEAD OF THEIR BIGGEST EVER HEADLINE SHOWS, DANI TALKS US THROUGH SOME OF THE FIRSTS THAT HELPED BURY TOMORROW BECOME THE BAND THEY ARE TODAY.

4 mins read
Rock Sound
December 2019

Behind The Bastards

FIST FIGHTS, RUNAWAY SUCCESS AND A STORY THAT’S BEEN UNFOLDING IN PLAIN SIGHT FOR ALMOST A DECADE... THIS IS HOW PALAYE ROYALE MADE THEIR DARING NEW ALBUM ‘THE BASTARDS’, EXCLUSIVELY AND IN THEIR OWN WORDS.

10+ mins read
Rock Sound
December 2019

Lost In Stereo

TEN YEARS AGO, ALL TIME LOW RELEASED AN ALBUM THAT WOULD CHANGE THEIR LIVES FOREVER. WITH A SPECIAL RE-RECORDED VERSION OF THE RECORD AND ANNIVERSARY SHOWS ON THE HORIZON, WE LOOK BACK ON HOW ‘NOTHING PERSONAL’ TOOK THE WORLD BY STORM.

9 mins read
Rock Sound
December 2019
RELATED STORIES

NASCAR'S FUTURE IS HERE: NEXT GEN CAR FINALLY ARRIVES

NASCAR’s next-generation race car is finally here after two years of hype and hope that it will revolutionize the stock car series.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #497

Dancing on Your Own (Together)

A temporary club for an in-between moment.

1 min read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

Not-So-Great Green Jobs

Clean energy isn’t a wellspring of the better-paying union jobs Biden has been touting

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
April 26 - May 03, 2021 (Double Issue)

Bindi Using New Baby To Build Empire!

Crocodile kid Bindi Irwin and hubby Chandler Powell plan to build a worldwide business empire based on their newborn daughter, Grace, insiders tell GLOBE!

1 min read
Globe
April 19, 2021

Asian Americans Are Ready for a Hero

After going from “model minority” to invisible minority to hunted minority, the community needs a new generation of cultural and political leaders

9 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
April 12, 2021

US, CHINA CONSULTED ON SAFETY AS THEIR CRAFTS HEADED TO MARS

As their respective spacecrafts headed to Mars, China and the U.S. held consultations earlier this year in a somewhat unusual series of exchanges between the rivals.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #492

STEVEN SPIELBERG'S AMAZING STORIES – WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH APPLE TV+'S NEW SHOW!

Back in 1985, famed director and Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg had his sciencefiction anthology, Amazing Stories, air on NBC from 1985 to 1987.

4 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #492

LITTLE THINGS: THE KEY PILLAR IN APPLE DESIGN & INNOVATION

Apple’s design language has changed a great deal in recent years, away from the silvers and rounded edges towards a modern, industrialinspired design, as sported by the iPad Pro and iPhone 12.

7 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #492

Xtreme MACHINE

A car designed around an engine

5 mins read
Drive!
April 2021

Fit for Life

I thought I was doing this for my mom after her stroke, but I ended up doing it for both of us

7 mins read
Guideposts
April 2021