INTERVIEW: Framing Hanley

Hi Kenneth, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Whew, where to begin on these last 5 years ha.  I’m definitely doing better now that this album is done. It’s been like our worst kept secret for a few years now. To finally have it ready for people to hear — I’m so damn happy right now.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Bubbles”?

Bubbles…I remember when Ryan and I were hanging at his place knocking back Manhattans. This was before we realized we were doing another FH album. When we started writing this, I had this vocal melody and Ryan was playing along with it and he was basically following the vocal line to the point where it reminded me so much of something Nirvana would have done for some reason. I vividly remember saying that. “Yo, this is like some Nirvana type shit. That’s cool as hell, do that again.” About 45 min later the song was written. One of the quicker songs we wrote on this album for sure.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

This song is for anyone that’s ever been told “no,” or to “stay in their lane,” or “you can’t do this without me.” That’s as far as I’ll go on that. It’s about having the determination to prove others wrong.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

Haven’t shot the video yet, but my boy Zack Sorenson and I have a really cool idea based upon our favorite episode of the greatest TV show of all time The Leftovers. You’ll have to stay tuned on that 🙂

The single comes off your new album ENVY – what’s the story behind the title?

Really it’s as simple as we had a song on this album called Misery that had the working title of “Envy” the entire time until the lyrics were done. I was like “man, does this still make sense as the title? How about we just change the title of the album to ‘Envy’ instead?” I think the actual act of being envious, regardless of why, is something we’ve all experienced…one of the “seven deadly sins,” right? It just struck a chord with us.

How was the recording and writing process?

LONG. That’s the quick answer for that. You know, we’ve all got careers outside of music now…and some of us families. So it was balance of juggling those careers as well as the schedules of the studios we worked in. Plus, the more time I have to sit alone with a song idea that everyone in the band considers finished, the more I’m gonna mess with it. So I wrote and re-wrote a few of these songs multiple times over the last few years. It was worth the time we spent, though. I can’t imagine this album turning out better or being more proud of it to be honest.

Would you call this a departure from your previous musical work?

Absolutely. For starters, we have 3 new guys in the band. So there’s another level to our band that never existed before. We create on a different level; it’s so refreshing and encouraging, really. That said, we have songs on here that I think for sure have the “traditional FH sound,” but there are a lot of the things on this album that see us stepping outside of our box we’ve been in for 12 years. I can’t explain to you just how free I felt during the making of this album and I know that’s why I’m so proud of where we went with this.

How would you say your tenure time between the hiatus and comeback served as an advantage for the band?

It had to happen; it was a necessity. I had to get to a space where music was an outlet again — where it was fun, again.  Stepping away, starting a new career, and not depending upon music to support my family was the best thing I could’ve ever done. Because the transition back to music was natural and came from a real place. I started writing music as therapy again, and that’s when an artist is at their truest, most honest form.

Your first release after you guys mark your return got very positive response both on the reviews and numbers – do that put any pressure on you guys when putting this new material or rather the opposite?

Nah. People loved Puzzle Pieces because it’s a damn good song. I say things that people can relate to. No pressure beyond that. There’s better stuff on this album.

What aspect of Envy did you get to explore on this record?

I was a lot more involved on the production side of this album than in the past. Taking the idea and skeleton of a song and seeing it all the way through the it’s finished product — that’s something I’ve always wanted to do more in FH. I’ve done it with other projects, but producing is something that I love and want to do more of moving forward. My buddy Josh Baker (produced Starset) is an old friend and we grew up playing in the local scene in Nashville together many moons ago.  I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in producing this thing. He’s next level. When I would have an idea and suggest something to him, he’d put his spin on it and it was just magic, really. I think you’ll see us working together a lot more in the future (spoiler alert).

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Just life, really.

Any plans to hit the road?

I highly doubt you’ll ever see us touring 200+ days out of the year again. We’ll certainly be playing shows when this album is out, though. We’ve already played some shows during the making of this album and these songs are fun as hell to play live.

What else is happening next in Framing Hanley’s world?

After this album, we’re gonna play some shows and just play it by ear in terms of “what’s next.”  I can confidently say we’ll release some more music before 2020’s end.


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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