My Chemical Romance rhythm guitarist Frank Iero was born on Halloween 1981 and grew up in Belleville, New Jersey, close to his future bandmates Ray Toro and Gerard and Mikey Way. He didn't go to school with them, however, attending a local Catholic school instead, and as a sickly kid, he suffered from constant bouts of bronchitis and ear infections, ultimately developing the Epstein-Barr virus, whose mono-like symptoms afflicted him into adulthood. Iero's parents split when he was young and he grew up living with his mother, who nicely lent out her basement to her son's many band practices; his father was a musician and a big influence on young Iero wanting to learn an instrument. He first tried drums, later picked up the guitar instead, and began playing in bands at age 11. Somewhat a loner in high school, the budding musician soon discovered Nirvana and punk music -- falling in love with bands like Black Flag and the Bouncing Souls -- and eventually started a punk band with friends called Pencey Prep, acting as the group's lead singer and guitarist. (My Chemical Romance's first gig was opening for Pencey Prep at a local hall.) Following high school, he enrolled at Rutgers University on a scholarship, but when My Chemical Romance came looking for a second guitarist to round out their sound just as Pencey Prep was falling apart, Iero jumped at the chance. My Chemical Romance was one of the most exciting bands on the local scene, and he dropped out of school to join them; his punk influences wound up nicely balancing out other guitarist Ray Toro's metal-leaning instincts.
In addition to My Chemical Romance -- which disbanded in 2013 -- Iero created a number of side projects, like the post-hardcore group Leathermouth and a solo punk project dubbed Frnkiero & the Patience -- previously known as Frnkiero & the Cellabration -- which he later changed to Frank Iero & the Patience. ~ Corey Apar