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Ass, Bad, and Disappointed: LEATHERMOUTH BLUNT # 77 TO BE QUITE FRANK a singer and maybe we'll do a record. So they had a friend they tried out on vocals but it didn't work out because he didn't write any lyrics. So they were just like, "We're probably gonna scrap the band. I was like There's no way you can kill this band!' Iasked them to have one practice with me singing. I convinced them to book a practice studio on a weekend and I wrote a few lyrics and we had a practice and that was it." For a long time LeATHERMOUTH was a studio-only project, recording in lero's basement during times when he wasn't touring the world with The Black Parade. "We recorded everything with me and Rob (Hughes) and couple of other guys. Now it's like two years later and it's just me Rob left. The rest of guys that started the band, a couple went off and started another band, "The world is full of people that are hiding from thestuff that's going on in the world today.I wanted to attack these things head-on."-Frank lero that broke up, some people got married, moved away, whatever. So when we wanted to tour, we recruited James DeWees (Get Up Kids, Reggie & The Full Effect) to play drums, my friend John Maguire to play bass and my other friend, Eddie Auletta, to play guitar." Signed to indie godhead Epitaph/Shock, LeATHER MOUTH will release their debut full-length, XO, this January. Subscribing to an unwavering musical aes thetic of relentless, heavy hardcore punk, XO's lyrical tirades are directed towards everyone from the cops to drug dealers to the government to school bullies. With very little melodic ambition to speak of, lero screams like a man literally bursting with things to say. On the touring side of things, the band completed a mini US tour in September with Reggie & The Full Effect, followed in December by four dates support- ing Mindless Self Indulgence "That was a thing where convenience came into play," lero says of the brief bouts of touring. "My Chem was on tour, so of course my good friend James DeWees was on tour with us, he plays keyboards with My Chem. We were talking about doing other bands and stuff, we'd been practicing on the road and we decided a LeATHERMOUTH tour would be cool. James HOLD ONTO YOUR FRINGES MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE FANS FRANK IERO IS ONE PISSED OFF DUDE AND LEATHERMOUTH IS ONE PISSED-OFF SIDE-PROJECT. BY MATT REEKIE hallenging an audience to think is tanta- mount to commercial suicide in the rock game. So it's a damn lucky thing that shift ing units was the last thing on My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank lero's mind when he conceived LeATHERMOUTH Pissed off at the world and all the evil sons of bitches in it, LeATHERMOUTH is set to inflame debate both musical and political. The group's hardcore punk sound is too brutal and unrelenting to appeal to a mass audience, but that's beside the point as far as My Chem then for one, they would probably be really disappointed and two, very offended. "Another reason I wanted to keep it anonymouUS is because I was a little scared of what people would think. But on the other hand, I don't want to run away from anything or pretend that I didn't say some of the things I've said. The world is full of people that are hid- ing from the stuff that's going on in the world today. wanted to attack these things head-on. People are so PC, parents want to shield their kids' eyes to what's actually going on, and I think that's just adding to the misery that's running rampant in the world today." Formed in New Jersey in 2007 by some friends of lero, including Rob Hughes, LeATHERMOUTH could just as easily have never happened. To hear lero explain the whole story, one starts to understand how much his own personal passion and drive brought the thing to life. Clearly,he needed this outlet "It was actually right before [My Chemical Ro- mance] recorded The Black Parade," he begins. "I was back home, we had taken some time off, and a couple of my friends were thinking of starting a new band. "I remember it like it was yesterday. It was right before we were going to see a movie; we were in the parking lot of the movies and we all crowded into their Volkswagen. They played me this 3 song demo, there were no vocals or anything like that, just simple verse- chorus punk rock, and I was like, Wow, how can I be involved with this band? "I have my record label, Skeleton Crew that Irun with a few friends so I told these guys they should find was going to do a Reggie & The Full Effect tour, so we decided that I'd play in Reggie with him and we'd both do LeATHERMOUTH "We had done a few shows here and there but it never felt real until we did the Reggie & The Full Effect tour. It actually felt like the band was finally doing things after two years of just recording in my basement. All these emotions started to come out and the shows just got better every day. By the time we were like, 'This is turning into something incred- ible,' the tour was over. We were like, "We need to lero is concerned book something else.' But then life comes in and you have to do certain things." These "certain things" for lero include his duties with My Chemical Romance, which will almost certainly ensure that LeATHERMOUTH gigs are fewer and farther between in 2009. It remains to be seen whether the thrashy hardcore sound of LeATHERMOUTH will influence lero's con- tribution to the new MCR album. He's fairly certain it won't, but he's not ruling anything out "That's the thing with My Chem, you never say never because anything can come out.I don't know what will "If I kept this inside any longer, I would probably explode," he says flatly of the project, which features himself on vocals alongside an old Jersey friend, Rob Hughes, on guitar LeATHERMOUTH inhabits a completely different realm to the highly commercial one ruled over by My Chemical Romance. Likewise, it's a long way from the singer/songwriter folk ballads, electronica dabbling, or white boy rap that so often rear their ugly heads when members of popular rock bands embark upon side-projects. LEATHERMOUTH is all about hard, fast LEATHERMOUTH and raw punk rock. "It's not better than My Chem, it's not worse than My Chem, it's just different, and I really feel like I need both," lero states. In an effort to soften the blow for MCR fans, he stresses that the two bands could not be more dissimilar. "Originally I thought maybe l'd keep it completely anonymous. I thought if people would automatically check this out solely because they like ATHEAMAUTH Xo happen. Maybe we'll throw a heavy-ass breakdown on the new record? I'd put my money on no, but you never can tell." B XO is out on January 24th on Epitaph through Shock. demolitonlover: Blunt Magazine, February 2009 (x x) Additional record review which was not scanned and received 8 out of 10:When guitarist for New Jersey pretty boys My Chemical Romance, Frank Iero, gets some time away from the band, he likes to relax by getting down in his basement with his other band and screaming till the veins pop out in his forehead. He’s been doing this for the past few years, making recordings with some friends under the banner, LeATHERMOUTH. XO, the full-length debut by the side-project, is brutal hardcore with raw, savage production (it really was recorded in Iero’s basement) and lyrics that are matched for passion and aggression by the guttural delivery. There’s no pop hooks, no emo choruses - nothing to cry over, but plenty to get you fired up. While on one hand it’s sure to attract a lot of curious My Chem fans, mayn of whom are sure to either disappointed or downright frightened, this connection mean it’s also liable to miss its target market slightly due to the fact that regular fans of this type of raging hardcore are sure to be put off by Iero’s day job. Too bad for the snobs who think that way - they’re missing out big time.