The Set List
By Brian Washburn
Nashville is synonymous with many things musical. Most notably country music, the Grand Ole Opry and even Christian pop music. But one musical genre that has recently been tapped into in the Tennessee capitol is rock ’n’ roll. The likes of Paramore and Kings of Leon have bolted out of the country music capitol and made a name for themselves in the nation’s rock scene. However, one more band is looking to add their name to the Nashville rock alumni list, and Framing Hanley plan to do just that.
Framing Hanley began their journey through the rock underground two years ago. The five-piece band, vocalist Kenneth Nixon, guitarists Ryan Belcher and Brandon Wootten, bassist Luke McDuffee and drummer Chris Vest, released their debut album, “The Moment,” in late 2007 and then released it in late 2008 with a cover of Lil’ Wayne’s smash hit “Lollipop” that quickly earned the band national acclaim. But Nixon is not worried the band will only be remembered for their rock mix of one of the year’s biggest singles.
“‘Lollipop’ was only supposed to be a one time thing, but the label asked us to record it, but if that’s the way people find out about our band then I’m not going to complain. I like the song, but it’s not our original music,” Nixon said.
Through the help of the cover and the band’s original music, Framing Hanley are hitting the road this year to promote their debut album. But their goals by the end of 2009 should propel the band to bigger status in the scene, and maybe even alternative radio.
“We’re on the road all year and, hopefully, by the end of the year we can put out our second record. We’ve already started writing and are really excited about it,” Nixon said.
But while Framing Hanley’s previous efforts have been lyrically true to Nixon’s life and personal experience, he is drawing inspiration for the band’s next release through a fictitious story that is “hard to explain, but is also going to be elements derived from either what I’ve been through or what I’ve watched people go through.”
While the lyrical inspiration will differ in the band’s next release, the musical aspects of Framing Hanley’s sound will be just the same: a modern post-hardcore sound mixing in the band’s biggest influence, Guns N’ Roses, Deftones, Thrice, Incubus and 30 Seconds to Mars.
However, it will be through the band’s road show — which had a scheduled stop at George’s Majestic Lounge last night — and their unique situation with their label that will differentiate them from other Nashville bands and the national rock scene. The band is signed to producer Jeff Hanson’s record label Slight Majority, which also has a deal with major label Warner Brothers.
“You hear a lot of bands talk about the perks of an indie label. We are kind of in the ideal situation because we have an indie label, but we have Warner and Warner has been working and a lot of good things have been happening,” Nixon said.
Even though the band is basking in their life on the road, a song blowing up all over the Internet, sold out club shows throughout the nation and a major label backing, Framing Hanley will stay to true to their Nashville roots.
“We are trying to be one of those bands who stay true to where we’re from. The whole goal is to help the Nashville scene be recognized,” Nixon said. “The scene for rock ’n’ roll has become as relevant as country. Lately, a lot of rock bands have broken out of the scene we grew up in. The bands we used to see for years are finally getting the opportunity and helping the scene grow locally and kicking national bands’ asses.”