For Frank Iero, making music has always been a coping mechanism. But it’s also much more than just a way of dealing with the hardships of life – it’s a means of stepping back to take in the hurricane that is life, both in all its glory and devastation and acknowledging the things you could, and maybe should, have done differently.
“People like to say ‘I live my life without any regrets,’ and I think that’s bullshit,” he says. “I think that if you don’t have any regrets then maybe you didn’t really live. Life is about mistakes and life is about scars and those are the things that help us remember that we’re alive. You shouldn’t get everything right – you should know what it feels like to feel sorry.”
Regret flows through Barriers, Iero’s third solo record, more than anything he’s ever made before. Made with his new band, The Future Violents, and recorded and mixed by Steve Albini, it’s an album that directly and deliberately challenges the doubts that plague us, whether on a trivial, everyday basis or a more meaningful level. To that extent, its fourteen songs are much more than a deeply existential journey into his heart and mind. They also reinvent who he is as a musician and tackle head-on the fundamental question of what it means to actually be alive, to be human.