My Chemical Romance rhythm guitarist Frank Iero was born on Halloween 1981 and grew up in Belleville, NJ, 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 (EBV), 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 right 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. On the side from My Chemical Romance, Iero runs his own company called Skeleton Crew, which is a clothing line, record label, and publishing company wrapped into one; his side band Leathermouth is also rumored to be releasing their debut in 2007. ~ Corey Apar, Rovi