The many faces of My Chemical Romance 

Guitarist Frank Iero started with a simple theory, that all art forms — film, novels, comics, paintings and even taxidermy, among others — are equally important. Then he took it to a multimedia-minded conclusion with his clever punk combo My Chemical Romance.

“If you have the opportunity to dabble in all those different things and work them into your craft, hey, then why not?” Iero says.

Thus, the band’s brilliant new “Danger Days — The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” album was inspired by a graphic novel of the same name currently being co-written by frontman Gerard Way, who also scripts “The Umbrella Academy” comic.

Yet the first two videos — for singles “Na Na Na” and “Sing” — follow a completely different cinematic plot, somewhere between “Mad Max” and “Vanishing Point.”

What unreels in the clips, says Iero — whose group co-headlines Live 105’s Not So Silent Night on Friday in San Jose — “is the storyline of a post-apocalyptic world where there’s a corporation that’s controlling the population, and then there are the outskirts of that world called the Zones where these gangs hang out, and there’s this gang called The Killjoys.”

When an innocent girl is kidnapped by the corporation, it is The Killjoys to the rescue.

“They come into the city to steal her back, and you’ll find out why in the third installment,” Iero says, cryptically.

My Chemical Romance did not stop with those genres. “Danger Days” spawned a stark new black-widow logo drawn by comic artist Becky Cloonan.

“Then we made The Mad Gear and Missile Kid, a band from this world we’d created,” the 29-year-old Iero says.

“And when you buy the special “2019” edition of the record, you’ll get a three-song EP from this band,” he says. “But we enjoyed writing and playing those songs so much, we’re thinking about possibly doing a Mad Gear full length, even a tour.” Iero has already slotted the opening act — his side project Leathermouth.

Iero suffers from Epstein-Barr syndrome, so he takes frequent naps and tries not to push himself. Still, the father of twin 4-month-old daughters oversees a personal label and clothing empire called Skeleton Crew, and — with wife Jamia — designs its often-Universal-film-monster-ish merchandise.

Money from the venture allows him to sign favorite acts such as The Architects. “It’s crazy. We’ll be playing shows halfway around the world, and there’ll be kids representing Skeleton Crew with banners and all the garb in the front row,” Iero says.

Next up for the Renaissance man is the literary world. “Publishing the lyric books, poetry or comics of other musicians I know? That’s the thing I really want to break into!” he says.


IF YOU GO

Live 105’s Not So Silent Night


With My Chemical Romance, Smashing Pumpkins, Phoenix, The Black Keys, Broken Bells

Where: HP Pavilion, 525 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Tickets:
$48.25 to $70

Contact: (800) 745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com

About The Author

Tom Lanham

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of...

More by Tom Lanham

Latest in Pop Music & Jazz

Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014

Videos

© 2014 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation