ENVY is the latest album out now by the rock band, Framing Hanley. It was released last month on February 21st via Thermal Entertainment. It is their first album to be released in 6 years. Three singles have been released including, “Puzzle Pieces“, “Baggage Claim” and “Throwing Knives“.
Album can be ordered here: https://ffm.to/framinghanleyenvy
Framing Hanley is currently made up of members, Kenneth Nixon (vocals), Ryan Belcher (guitars), Jonathan Stoye (bass), Shad Teems (drums) and Nic Brooks (guitar). They have released three albums prior to breaking up in 2015. The Moment (2007), A Promise To Burn (2010) and The Sum Of Who We Are (2014). Framing Hanley have sold over 200,000 albums, 1.5 million single downloads and their music has been streamed over 150 million times. Each album charted in the Billboard Top 200 and their official music videos have surpassed 40 million views. Radio hits included “Hear Me Now,” “Lollipop,” “You Stupid Girl,” “Collide” and “Criminal.” They have toured coast-to-coast in North America and have had several successful European and Australian tours.
LISTEN to Framing Hanley Here- https://ffm.to/framinghanleyenvy?fbclid=IwAR01sVS4gq6kWTXhhEWnlaCcyJi6S1qxNu6Ck3gs1pNO5TvO65fx7NXSBck
Learn more about Framing Hanley in the following All Access interview-
Honestly, I’m just stoked for us to have new music out this year. It’s been almost 6 years since our last LP was released.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Do you find that your band name still represents you and your music today?
Ryan and I were always the principal songwriters in FH. When we started writing together again in 2016/17 we were planning on writing for a new project. I got really into Jason Isbell (who I think is the greatest songwriter on the planet today). The more we wrote, the higher we turned the gain level up on the amp…and we realized we were just writing new FH music. Stoye played bass for us in support of The Sum of Who We Are so we naturally asked him to join us in this new venture. Shad and Nic were both old techs of ours when we toured, but also two guys that I’ve known over 10 years and had always known to be wildly talented/creative musicians. We asked if they’d like to jam with us and it opened up new doors for where our music could go. This album wouldn’t be as strong of an album if it weren’t the combination of the 5 of us. I feel like it’s exactly what FH should sound like 6 years later.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If not, why is that?
I mean, everyone is well aware of how many talented musicians live in Nashville and the surrounding areas. There’s a good chance your pizza delivery girl is gonna be a better guitarist than you. Growing up in middle Tennessee (one of the very few, rare non-transplants) was surely a blessing that I don’t take for granted. More than anything I think just being submersed in this melting pot of all of these different genres and talents has always pushed us to keep grinding to get better. When we got out there and started playing bigger shows in the beginning we didn’t have to “act like we’d been there” because we grew up in it.
Let’s talk about your latest collection, “ENVY.” Did anything about the process of putting it together surprise any of you? What was it like getting into the studio to record after a 6-year absence?
I think the fact alone that we were back working on a new Framing Hanley album was surprising in itself. When we put this to bed in 2015, it was over — it wasn’t a hiatus. So when we started writing again and realized we were creating a new FH album, it was kind of a “oh wow…that IS what this is, huh?” The best thing about this album is we didn’t go into it with any goals necessarily. There was no target date. No target number of songs. What we wanted was to release an album that we felt was strong from start to finish; we wanted no “filler tracks.” So we spent 3 years writing, writing, and writing. I could go on until I’m blue in the face about how refreshing it was to do an album where everyone in the band is involved and present for the entirety. It was such a recharge.
Can you pick out a couple favorite memories during the process of making “ENVY”?
Well, we started writing songs for what would be ENVY back in 2017. We thought the album was “finished” Summer of 2019. Some things happened that delayed the release that I’m not legally allowed to really discuss, so we kept writing. The album suddenly got a release date of February 2020 and in December of 2019 we wrote Forgiveness Is An Art and Joke’s On Us — which are 2 of my very favorite songs on the album. Just the fact that it happened at the very end and we were able to squeeze those onto the album is pretty neat to me. I can’t imagine the album without those 2 songs. I really think they rounded the thing out.
What are some of your favorite tracks on this new album? What was the inspiration for them?
Well I just touched on Forgiveness Is An Art and Joke’s On Us. Another one for me personally is Misery. It’s funny because when we first wrote that song back in 2017ish, the working title for the song was Envy as the riff always reminded me of something akin to one of our favorite bands Envy On The Coast. When I started writing the lyrics, the song didn’t go in that direction though, so we ended up using that title for the album instead. But yea, Misery is just a brutally honest song about me dealing with alcoholism and coming to grips with the problems that existed in my marriage were due in large part to me and my issues. It’s a tough song to sing sometimes when I start thinking about what I’m really saying.
Generally, how does this group go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately? What is the first step in your music-making process?
Usually starts on an acoustic with me “cave-manning” a melody — just speaking jibberish in the form of melody. In the past it was always really just Ryan and I. This album started that way, but toward the end everyone started to really throw in their two-cents. Our new drummer Shad is probably the most talented all-around musician in our band, so it’s not like he’s a guy that just shows up and plays drums — that’s nice to have. In fact, the opening track Say You Ever was all Shad and I. Forgiveness Is An Art was the first song our bassist Stoye ever wrote on guitar with me. There’s really no set guidelines for how we write now. We get in a room and we just create.
I always like to ask bands if you all hang out socially apart from the music? When you aren’t working on music, do you guys hang out for fun?
These dudes are my very best friends in life. I was able to reach a level of sanity that had escaped me for years not just because of the music we were creating but also because of the social hangs with these guys. We rehearse in an area of Nashville known as Germantown, so we frequent the bars in that area after rehearsals (shout out to Mother’s Ruin). A lot of Germantown was actually just destroyed by a tornado so that sucks — that’s become the stomping grounds for FH.
How do you feel that this band has grown through the years? What has remained the same?
That’s not really for me to say, I guess. I just know that I’m inspired to continue developing as a creator so that’s what I strive to do.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
With my kids is where I’m at my absolute happiest. Beyond that, I love performing but I would live in a studio and just spit out songs all day if I had my choice. There’s nothing like watching a song from the original inception and what it becomes when the recording process begins. This album specifically I produced with my buddy Josh Baker. So to be able to separate myself as a writer and someone that had these ties to the song to then the role of a producer, and not having these pre-conceived notions standing in the way, it was liberating in a way I’d never really experienced with FH before.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for this band? What have been some of your favorite shows and venues lately?
Hmmm, not sure about “ideal show.” I love em all — the small clubs, the big clubs, the festivals. I love headlining, but I feel we’re at our best when we’re supporting another band because we’re out there trying to win people over who may not be as familiar with FH. A dream show for me would be supporting Biffy Clyro. They’re my absolute favorite band on the planet.
Where are you excited to tour this year?
Everywhere. Really excited to get back over to the UK and Europe in general this year.
With all the different social media platforms out there, how do you balance it all? How do you think that social media has impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans? How have you been able to utilize it through the years?
Dude, for a band that was a “MySpace band” in the beginning, we really fucking suck at social media these days. This tik-tok shit seems to be what it’s all about nowadays, but none of us even have one. Actually, I believe I have one and I’ve posted one video making fun of our video guy Sorenson. I live on twitter but I mainly use that for football and wrestling stuff haha. Facebook is the biggest crock of shit. We’ve got half a million fans on there and you can’t reach any of them with a post unless you spend thousands of dollars. It’s insane, really.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today?
Well, is it “very trying” or are we just more consciously aware of it because of things like social media throwing it in our face all day. Don’t get me wrong, I fucking hate the current state of affairs in our country as it pertains to politics. Music is certainly a nice “escape,” but it’s not even really an escape because I end up just writing about the shit that’s weighing on me and then that pisses me off more sometimes (a song like Puzzle Pieces comes to mind here).
What musicians have really been inspiring you all since you first started making music? Who would you still love to work with?
Well it was Guns n Roses that made me fall in love with rock n roll. Bush was another band for me growing up that really helped mold me. Nowadays, it’s all over the spectrum: Jason Isbell, Billie Eilish (and even moreso her brother co-writer/producer Finneas), Noah Gundersen released my favorite album last year…Harry Styles’ was a close 2nd. I’m a big hip-hop head, too. Saba is the best out there right now that many don’t even know about unfortunately. I just love good music.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I don’t really have a hope as it pertains to that. I just want people to hear it. If they like it: great! If not, that’s alright. We made this album for us this time. It’s just an honest album from start to finish and I feel like you can really tell that.