INTERVIEW WITH KENNETH NIXON OF FRAMING HANLEY
Alternative rockers Framing Hanley came through Denver for the first show of their Western leg of the tour. The boys put on a killer show! Lead singer Kenneth Nixon gave us a few minutes for an exclusive interview.
DD: Your last album was successfully funded with a Kickstarter campaign. You surpassed your goal of $40,000, pulling in over $60,000. What did you learn from this?
Nixon: We’re very fortunate to have a hardcore group of dedicated fans that helped us out during this period. We would not have been able to record this album without them. Initially, I think we were worried about reaching that goal – to not only reach it but surpass it the way our fans did was pretty incredible experience. We never imagined raising that much money. It enabled us to spend a couple years recording this album and we felt that we had the best album of our career thus far. Its all because of those fans that allowed us to do this.
DD: What did you guys do differently in the creative process of this album?
Nixon: We never had rules really. The only rule we’ve always had is that there’s not a certain type of song that we’re not going to do. We’re not going to set limits by saying “Hey, that doesn’t sound like us” or “That’s too far from what we normally do” because that pigeon-holes you in a corner. You don’t need to put artistic boundaries on yourself or the band. Going into this we knew that we wanted to write freely and whatever happened and came out….we would choose the songs that we felt made a cohesive album. We’ve never spent as long on an album as we did this one. It was nice being able to know that we had a group of people (fans) that were patiently waiting for an album. We probably wrote and tracked over 30 songs and then chose 13 that we felt made a good album.
DD: How did you guys come up with the album title?
Nixon: Originally it was referring to us and our fans, who helped us with the Kickstarter campaign. This album is a team effort. This is the sum of us as a band and you guys together, this is who we are. This is a collective project. There was a lyric that didn’t make the album: “The sum of who we are outweighs the battle scars and weary hearts.” It’s about us as a band, everything we’ve been through. Us together, we’re strong enough to surpass anything. The third meaning: the collection of songs on the album is about what we’ve went through in our lives over the past few years, stories about things that we had gone through. It was really a group of songs that explained who we are as people. It was cool to watch the album title mean one thing in the beginning and see it encompass three main themes by the end.
DD: Growing up, what bands did you listen to?
Nixon: Guns and Roses is what got me into rock and roll. That was the first band that was a real rock band to me. I will always credit them as the reason that I wanted to do this. My dad was a country musician so I grew up around country music. Hearing Guns and Roses for the first time was just something so different. I gravitated toward that naturally… you kind of go away from what your parents are all about. Bush was definitely a band that had a lot of influence on myself as a kid, as a song writer, and the things that I listen to. Bush was that band for me, more so than Nirvana. I remember in the fourth grade when “Smells Like Teen Spirit” first started to take over. That was the song that my friends and I were talking about in the gym before school started. That was a big influential time in my life. I was getting more into rock and realizing that there was this whole other sub-culture of rock that I hadn’t been introduced to you yet.
DD: Any cool stories from the road?
Nixon: We’ve got some interesting stories that have taken place over the years, none that I can really talk about. We like to have a good time and we always find a way to keep things interesting, whether that be us maybe doing some things we shouldn’t do…we find a way to have fun. Right now we’re on an RV with no TV, no X-Box, no Playstation and it’s been hell so far. I’m sure we’ll find some interesting shit to get into. We rolled into Denver mid-way through the day and got to spend the majority of the day exploring to eat some good shopping that you can only do in Denver. We’ve been to Biker Jim’s Dogs twice already.
DD: Any big plans for the future?
Nixon: Just touring man. For us, it’s a treat for us, especially when you spent as long as we did on an album, it’s nice to be out there and play the songs live. It was nice to spend time at home with our families, but we also went a little stir-crazy from not touring. We’ve spent a better part of the decade on the road.
The Sum of Who We Are is now available! To purchase, visit framinghanley.com/