Nashville rock band Framing Hanley are back after a few years away. Having released their album ‘The Sum Of Who We Are’ in April of this year, they are setting out on tour across the pond and are playing in some cities they’ve never been to before. After a relatively rocky road, the band are now setting out on a tour with an optimistic attitude and would not change any of the hard times that have come their way.
Speaking of coming back to Europe for the first time in a while, guitarist Ryan Belcher says,“We’re always thrilled to go back to Europe/UK. Its a different world to us, and the people know how to have a good time. People can expect a different show all around than they’ve seen previously, with the new album we’ve changed our live show quite a bit. I’d like to say we’ve gotten a bit better! […] Every show over there feels like a home town show, we’re always made to feel welcomed. And rock n’ roll is alive and well over there.”
That being said, the band get to spend a good bit of time at home because of their central location in America. That home, Nashville, Tennessee has influenced the band because of it’s rich music scene, “I’ve grown up in Nashville and seen it change over the years. It didn’t use to seem as cool as it seems to be now haha. Its an interesting place, people give it nicknames like “NashVegas” (barrrfff). Those are mostly frat kids from the south that drive up here to party on Broadway. As far as a music town goes, country has been the staple of Nashville and everyone is proud to represent the roots. There is a lot more to it though, you can find just about every genre of music somewhere with its own crowd. There is a ton of talent here, I like to joke that the postman is probably a better guitar player than I am haha. It makes it not as easy of a place to stand out. But growing up here has certainly shaped the band, we all have family that are musicians and its something that has been instilled in us from a young age.”
Belcher explains that there was a few years of uncertainty in the band, when things weren’t going so well and the future of the band didn’t look too promising, “ It seemed like we went from the fast lane to dead stop traffic… […] We went through some relationship changes, both in and around the band. It stirred the pot a bit and made it difficult to make progress. We’d parted ways with the record label we were with at the time, lost a bass player, all sorts of things happened. It got weird. There was a time when we felt we were faced with not having a way to do what we do. We ended up doing a Kickstarter to help fund the album – something we weren’t to keen on when we heard of it. At first, it felt like we were asking people for money but the more we looked into it, it seemed to be the perfect way to connect to the fans and let people be involved in something they care about. Its insane how much goes into making an album than just writing songs!”
Having the fans’ support meant that Framing Hanley were able to get back into the studio and record the album, this support means a lot to the band, “For those who pledged it allowed them to be a part of making this album and it showed us how many people really wanted to hear it. It was an overwhelming response. We never expected to be shown that much love so it was very humbling. The Sum Of Who We Are is exactly what this album is – after everything we’ve been through in our time in this band and all of the people we’ve gotten to meet along the way it was really more the way we felt about the album than just a title.”
Now though, everything is going well again and Framing Hanley are delighted to be back, “Its great to be back at it and moving full steam ahead. We spend a couple of years in and out of studios working on the album. The band went through a bit of a transformation in that time and it seemed like we hit every speed bump along the way. Though I wouldn’t change it – one of my favorite songs on the album was the last song written for it. Just goes to show that you have to roll with the punches, you know? It always feels great to get out there and play new material and it feels even better to see as many people singing along as there have been. The album seems to be going over pretty well, we can’t wait to play it for as many people as we can get in the door.”
This turbulent time was also a massive learning curve for Framing Hanley, and they’re back now stronger than ever. Ryan Belcher explains what he has learnt over the last years and offers some advice to young bands, “A lot of young wide eyed bands get swept away with their love for what they’re doing so much that they are too trusting with some people in the biz that are out to use you – be careful, kids! Also, the number one rule – stay humble. I’ve met a number of bands over the years who stopped appreciating the little guy, but what they fail to realize is without the little guys they would have nothing in the first place. We’ve always done everything we can to keep a dialogue between ourselves and our fans. They’re people who love music and so are we!”
On this positive note, the band seem to be happier than ever, and the future looks bright. They have no signs of taking a break from writing and as Ryan explains the next few months are going to include “[a] lot of touring all over the place playing these songs for people and writing new ones. We’re constantly writing, we already have maybe a dozen songs you may or may not hear on the next album. We plan to stay very busy, I believe we’ll be spending a lot more time over seas throughout the next year – spoiler alert!”