Framing Hanley is a dynamic alternative rock band that is hell-bent on making it big. The Nashville, TN based quartet, led by front man, Kenneth Nixon, recently released their third record, ‘The Sum of Who We Are.’ This release is filled with big hooks, intense, passionate vocals, and great well-crafted, melodic rock anthems.
Framing Hanley also has a notorious reputation for putting on a high-energy show, resulting in them winning over music lovers at every concert. Their fan base has become extremely loyal, so much that they help finance the band's new release.
What follows is an exclusive RMS interview with Kenneth Nixon. During this interview, we discuss the writing process in the band, their new album, and much more.
Rock Music Star: Kenneth, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with RMS. For any of our readers that aren't familiar with your band, Framing Hanley, how would you describe your band’s sound?
Kenneth Nixon: Just good ole’ fashioned rock n’ roll. Which, what the hell is that anymore, even? We’re just five dudes with some instruments with strings, a guy with sticks and buckets, and some microphones that make our voices louder. We make noise, some call it music; regardless of what kind of sound it is, we enjoy doing it.
RMS: Where you influenced, at all, by any classic rock bands or Heavy Metal bands? If so, what ones?
KN: Ya know, Guns N’ Roses were the band that made me fall in love with rock n’ roll. The first “rock” band I ever truly heard, really. I grew up with a father who was a country musician, so when I discovered GNR, it was my own thing; I was in heaven.
RMS: Framing Hanley was formed in Nashville, TN. How difficult was it, to get the band recognized in a city that is notorious for country music? Was this at all an obstacle for the band at any point?
KN: Not really. A lot of people don’t realize this, but Nashville has had a surge of rock bands burst out of the scene over the past decade. Bands like Kings of Leon, Paramore, Red, Safetysuit… all of those bands broke out of Nashville. I think, if anything, us being from a city with as strong of a local rock scene as Nashville has always seemed to have really pushed us as musicians to continue to WANT to be better.
RMS: What is the band's mission statement?
KN: We just love to play music. These are songs that mean stuff to our lives, and the fact that other people can connect with the songs, and relate them to their own lives- that creates a bond that we will always share with those individuals. If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, then we encourage you to check out our music so we can become life mates.
RMS: Do all the band members have equal say in decisions regarding the band?
KN: Generally, whoever speaks the loudest (me). Haha, no; it’s definitely not a dictatorship. We are a “majority rules” kinda band.
RMS: Your recently release, ‘The Sum of Who We Are,’ was released on an independent label. In comparison to your first two records, which were on the Silent Majority imprint, how different was the recording and marketing process?
KN: What was important to us was that, if we were to partner up with another label, we wanted it to be someone who believed in and ENJOYED what we have going on. When we met the people at Imagen, we knew we found the right team. So far, everything has been more than pleasant. Love this team we have going over there.
RMS: What led to your departure from the "Silent Majority” record label?
KN: Nothing interesting really- if you’re looking for a hot scoop here, haha. We were just at a crossroads, where we felt like a different direction may do us good…both creatively, and professionally. I’ll always be grateful for SMG. We wouldn’t be here today if they hadn’t taken a chance on FH in the beginning.
RMS: As a relevant musical artist, do you think there is any reason for major record labels anymore?
KN: I don’t know. I think, at this point, they’re still a necessary evil, in some ways. It’s hard to argue with the numbers that DO exist, still. Major label artists are still the ones that are, for the most part, the household names. But, there are plenty of indie labels such as ours- Imagen Records- that can do their damn thing just as well!
RMS: What was the lyrical inspiration behind “The Sum of Who We Are?”
KN: Life. Just life. Things that happened over the past three years of my life, to be more specific.
RMS: Do you have to be in a certain state of mind to be able to write a song, or can you pump them out whenever you want?
KN: It’s different. There was certainly a period, during the making of this album, where I felt like I had lost all of my creative juices. I felt completely uninspired. Then, one day, it just hit me again. And I’m talking about MONTHS of not writing anything that resonated with me. It was painful. Some days, though, I’ll sit down and crank or four or five solid ideas.
RMS: Was there any consideration of going out on the Warped Tour this summer?
KN: Nah, we wanted to hit the road in a headlining capacity to launch this album, and that kinda ran into Warped’s schedule. Would’ve been rad though. I attended it, here in Nashville, last Tuesday. Would’ve been awesome to watch Anberlin & Finch every day.
RMS: Would you ever consider buying on to a major tour, like perhaps even a classic rock tour, like KISS/Def Leppard?
KN: Hahaha, we don’t have the money to buy onto a KISS/Def Leppard tour.
RMS: In addition to Framing Hanley, you also work PR for a major firm. What are the biggest challenges of working music PR? And also, what is one of the most common mistakes that a band starting off makes?
KN: HAHA, the biggest challenge is probably babysitting bands to remember times for their interviews. And it’s wild, because on the artist side, I’m JUST AS BAD at remembering mine. Common mistakes…a bad photo can be deadly for a band.
For more on Framing Hanley, please visit www.framinghanley.com