My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero has designed a six-string guitar for Epiphone called the Phant-o-matic. "I took the body from the Wilshire, I took the Anico Humbuckers out of the Les Paul, I put the Les Paul neck on it and headstock, changed the tuners around, and fucked a little bit with the electronics – and we made the Phant-o-matic," Iero tells Rolling Stone.
As a kid, Iero says he had his dream celebrity guitar, the Kurt Cobain-created Jag-Stang. But being approached by Epiphone to make his own model made Iero think about his family before any guitar legends. "Basically when given this opportunity the first thing that came to mind was my dad buying me my first guitar," he says. "And the reason I got into music was my grandfather and dads played drums and were in bands forever."
So, what did his dad say about the Frank Iero Phant-o-matic? "They were like, 'Are you serious? That’s crazy,'" he says. "My dad was super psyched." And to pay tribute to his family, Iero is turning the venture into a philanthropic endeavor. "About six years ago my family was affected by multiple sclerosis and that was the first thing that came to mind. The only reason I would be doing this is because of my family, so why not give back?" he says, adding that Epiphone is matching every dollar he gives to MS.
Designing guitars hasn't been his only recent burst of creativity. He says MCR have been very inspired of late as well. "Whether it be writing a new My Chem record or working on a different kind of project, there are a couple of things that are coming in the works," he says. "But I definitely see new music coming out or at least being worked on throughout the rest of this year and hopefully maybe something coming out by summer."