Starting as a college jam session among high school friends Chris and Luke, this band quickly made their mark on the local Tennessee music scene. Since then they’ve recorded two albums, have had several hit singles (including a cover of Lil Wayne’s” Lollipop” that went digital gold – over 500,000 copies sold!), and have been touring extensively on both sides of the pond. Over the years they’ve supported bands such as Evans Blue, Trapt, Saving Abel, Hinder, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Hollywood Undead. They are currently on a headlining tour of their own, making a stop recently in Flint, MI. That’s where we caught up with guitarist Ryan, who gave us a glimpse inside the Framing Hanley world.
When you look at this record vs. your first album, conceptually, where were you when you went into the studio?
Ryan: We definitely wanted to, you know, set ourselves apart from the first record, and uh, wanted to try to be diverse and show people what we’re all really about. I wasn’t in the band on the first record so that definitely changed things. Different guys, different sounds, you know?
How do you solve creative differences among the band?
Ryan: Um, argue. [laughs] I guess it’s kind of majority rules. So if three guys are like, yeah, we really like that part and then you’re the odd guy out, it’s like, too bad.
How do you feel about using backtracks on stage?
Ryan: When people put a bunch of instruments, it’s like ghost players on stage…it’s like you can’t…it takes away from the realness of the show. It’s not something I really think is cool, but I mean, putting strings or sounds or anything – that’s fine. I think that definitely adds to the show. It definitely doesn’t take away from the credibility unless you’re, like I said, flying a whole bunch of crap that there’s no way you can play.
Does that influence what you do in the studio when you’re there?
Ryan: Well, I mean, you know, we’ve got five guys that are…they can only play so much so we don’t try and write ourselves under the table with just a big cluster of parts that go nowhere. We definitely are restricted a little bit but kinda not at the same time.
Does anyone play any non-traditional instruments?
Ryan: Not on the record, but uh, Luke used to play the trumpet back in high school. But other than that, no.
What is the best prank you guys have pulled either within the band or on another band?
Ryan: Best prank? Um, well…on the last tour before we recorded the record we were out with these same guys actually, and we got a guy in a gorilla suit to come out and dance. He actually duct taped Andy – the lead singer from Transmit Now – to a chair on stage and started giving him a lap dance. It was pretty great. They got us back right after with some shots of vodka with, like, tuna water. Oh, it was terrible. We all [motions drinking a shot and gagging] spewed on stage. [laughs] It was a rough night.
Besides practical jokes, how do you keep things interesting on the road?
Ryan: We actually play a lot of video games in here and just play music and hang out…cards…It’s kinda hard to keep entertained a lot of time when you’re sitting here doing the same thing day in and day out but, I mean, it’s fun. We’re all pretty lively, so…
If you could go back in time and leave a note for yourself, would you give yourself any advice?
Ryan: Wow, that’s a tough one. I don’t know about that one…I don’t really have anything on my mind right now…sorry. [laughs]
For more information on this impressive up & coming band, visit their official website here: FramingHanley.com. And be sure to check out their newest album “A Promise To Burn” – a must-have for all music lovers!