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St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated a wee bit early at The Vogue, Indianapolis with Indy’s X103’s St. Patty’s show featuring Framing Hanley, the five-piece band that formed in 2005 in Nashville, Tennessee. Touring in support of their first studio album, “The Moment,” Framing Hanley gave a performance that delivered a pot of rock-n-roll gold to a sold out house.
We’d taken a listen their debut and we were pretty impressed but after seeing their live performance, we’re even more so…Framing Hanley has that magical combination of talent and passion that leaves a mark.
Lead singer & songwriter Kenneth Nixon, guitarists Ryan Belcher and Brandon Wootten, bassist Luke McDuffee and drummer Chris Vest once were known as Embers Fade. But after the death of Chris Vest’s fiancée Ashley Hanley, they reinvented the band as Framing Hanley to honor her because she was so special to the entire band. Ashley took pictures of the band, so adding ‘framing’ worked.
In November of 2008, Framing Hanley released The Moment Deluxe Edition with a cover of Lil’ Wayne’s "Lollipop" song which put them on the map and has been in good radio rotation ever since.
Musicpix sat down with guitarist Brandon Wootten before the show to talk about the past, the future and The Moment…listen in~
Musicpix: We see a ton a music and we really think you guys are special. The title of the album, The Moment …those two words should speak volumes to everybody…to not live in the past nor in the future but right here, right now, in the moment…talk about the why you titled this album The Moment.
Brandon: Our thing was that we were living in the moment when we wrote this album. But at the same time, it’s also where the band name came from…every song on the record is about that moment in time and how we felt about it.
Musicpix: We really value the story behind your band name Framing Hanley…she must have been a really special person. Talk about why you renamed the band…
Brandon: We take her (Ashley Hanley) on the road with us everywhere we go…we felt that it was the best way to pay tribute to her.
Musicpix: Being from Nashville, you’re surrounded by all kinds of music…not just country music. Talk about your influences…
Brandon: Definitely coming from a music town, everyone is a musician so that’s a big inspiration. Coming from a country town, that’s a more interesting subject. There’s a lot more of a rock scene than one might think…Paramore, Kings of Leon, Safety Suit…those are bands from Nashville that are pushing the scene right now. There’s more to Nashville than just country music.
Musicpix: Is there any camaraderie between the rocks bands from Nashville?
Brandon: Honestly, I don’t think so…we’re not even friends. We’ve never met those guys. There’s no competition at all…they’re all great bands. We’re all listening to The Kings of Leon CD…they’re new album is awesome.
Musicpix: Where are you guys from geographically?
Brandon: We’re all from the proximity of Nashville… I live in Murfreesboro which is about forty minutes sway.
Musicpix: We understand that Lollipop was an accident really…a joke that turned out to really put you guys on the map. Talk about how the crowd reacts live to this song….
Brandon: The crowd gets krunk every night. Like you said, the song was done as a gag for our hometown….Actually, a case a beer will make you do stuff like this. We didn’t intend on marketing it at all but it is what it is and I definitely can’t complain.
Musicpix: From what we can tell, your band mates are pretty laid back. Is there any one of you who runs point or do you collectively make creative decisions?
Brandon: When it comes to the writing process, it’s definitely not one person. Everyone creates together collectively. When it comes to leaders in the band…me, Nixon and Chris… we have separate roles that we play.
Musicpix: Your schedule looks busy…how are you guys handling the road? Do you need to go home to recharge or are you balls to the wall so to speak?
Brandon: It’s awesome…we’ve been touring periodically on and off for a couple of months and then and I get to go home tomorrow for a couple of days to recharge and then we’re out again for a month but I’m never home for more than three days at a time.
Musicpix: You’re booked on Rock on the Range this year right? You guys will really dig it!
Brandon: Yeah, that’s a really big gig for us…I think we’re on the same stage as Alice in Chains. We’re also booked with Snoop Dogg for the Crawfish Boil that’s coming up in a couple of weeks…we’re looking forward to smokin’ with Snoop Dogg.
Musicpix: So much of music today is ‘the package.’….do you guys believe you’ve got what it takes for super stardom. Do you really want that kind of spotlight?
Brandon: We want to be a band that sticks around for a long time. We want to ride this wave as far and as long as it will go. If it takes us to a big spotlight, that’s awesome to me. I feel the group we have now is great because we’ve actually had some lineup changes in the last year cuz there was a guitar player swap…so I think that the next album is going to even better.
Musicpix:When do you plan to release again?
Brandon: We’ve been writing but I don’t know when exactly….sometime in the beginning of next year.
Musicpix: Spend a minute talking about the fan connection. Are you reaching out in any unique ways?
Brandon: We’re into Twitter…it was even on CNN today. We all Twitter and also come out and meet with all the fans after the shows. That’s what we really like to do.
Musicpix: Design your perfect Music Festival….name the location and who’s on the bill.
Brandon: The Red Rocks for sure…and-Incubus, Trice, Us of course….and all the bands from Nashville. In my dreams, it would have Pink Floyd in there too…Roger Waters and David Gilmore together, I’d be done.
Musicpix: We can’t remember a current hit that blew p simultaneously, i.e. Lollipop. You almost have to go back to Motown and R&B days when people would do it…
Brandon: I guess Knockin on Heaven’s Door was one…Bob Dillon actually wrote that and Jimi Hendrix was another one who would take hits and re-release them right away. We never thought it would do what it did…it doesn’t happen very often.
Musicpix: The chance that you took with that and the various influences that you have, we think it’s pretty cool to take bits and pieces and take a chance…
Brandon:Yeah…like Alone in this Bed was an acoustic ballad on our CD but you have to reach out to different spectrums of music. There are so many genres of music today and you have to reach out to them. That’s why we’re hard to label because we’re a little of everything. I’d say we’re Alternative…everything from Rock to Top 40.
Musicpix: So is the new materials that you’re writing follow? Are you all over the board musically or are you settling into a style?
Brandon: Our plan is to write a concept album. Not every song will have radio potential…Our plan is to create a masterpiece using everything we know to make this record the best we can.
Musicpix: In reading some of the stuff about you, you appear to be all leveled headed and mature that your actual age. In this concept album, is there something that you want to say?
Brandon: I wouldn’t say that the album will have a specific story…right now it’s a about a guy and a girl and what it’s like to maintain a relationship on the road….but that’s today. It’s evolving. It’s so early in the writing process, the tables could definitely turn.
Musicpix: We liked the Lollipop video…finding love at the party scence in the middle of the chaos of life. Did you have something to do with that?
Brandon: Our director was Mason Dixon. We did have a lot of say so in the video. Lots of our friends were in the video…but that partying style is us. We don’t like to play strip poker but we do like to party. I had a girl ask me the other night to go play some poker and I say yes, but I’m going to leave my clothes on. I’m sorry.
Musicpix: Life on the road. Relationships on the road. Is that a story line on the upcoming album?
Brandon: I can’t say much more about it but we all have relationships. It’s tough because you spend so much time on the phone. It’s hard but me and my girlfriend have been together for over six months and we’re enjoying it. She’s still happy with me. As long as she can put up with my crazy lifestyle, I can put up with her’s.
Kenneth Nixon- Vocals
2008 The Moment