Legendary Rock Interviews: Q & A with Framing Hanley’s Ryan Belcher

By John Parks

The band Framing Hanley is touring in support of their new album, The Sum of Who We Are, and will be appearing in the stateline area Thursday, May 22, at Take 20 (438 U.S. 20, in Cherry Valley) along with Devour The Day. I recently interviewed guitarist Ryan Belcher about the band’s history, their new album and more. Read on …

Q: For those who are unaware, can you tell us briefly how long the band has been around and how much it’s changed in that time? 

A: The band started in 2006 when a couple of the guys met in college. The rest of the guys fell into place over time, being plucked from other Nashville bands. We’ve changed tremendously over the years. Without a doubt, the biggest transformation has been throughout the process of writing and recording our latest album, The Sum Of Who We Are. We’ve learned a lot over the years doing this, and now we’re hitting it hard and in a better place than ever.

Q: How did you guys arrive at the name Framing Hanley?

A: A close friend of the band named Ashley Hanley passed away in a car accident in 2007, so it’s in memory of her.

Q.  How supportive is your hometown, and how much different is the perception of your hometown versus the reality?

A: Nashville is an interesting place — for music, food, everything, really. Its image of being a music city is not an illusion; it’s everywhere. It’s not just country, either — there is a bit of everything. We have always had a tremendous amount of support at home. As one band in a city that is a sea of bands, it’s a great feeling to be getting such a good reaction.

Q:  The band made waves in social media and radio due to a quirky cover song and got a lot of attention. Is that a double-edged sword in terms of how the band is perceived by some?

A: It definitely is, but it’s what got us out there. It opened the door to a big audience that we wouldn’t have met otherwise. If people can learn of us because of something we did to have a little fun and then hear the rest of our music and find something to grab onto, then that’s great!

Q: When you holed up to write and record your latest album, were there certain things you had done in the past that you wanted to change up this time around, and if so, why?

A: We’re constantly writing and working to create music — it’s what we love to do. That being said, everyone is their own biggest critic, and we’re no different. I’m confident with the way our songs on our albums have turned out, but with an ever-evolving perspective on music, I would do a few things differently now just because I’m in a different place as a musician.

Q. Touring is a lifelong dream for many, and the time onstage is what most bands live for. Have you found ways to occupy yourself or deal with the other 20-plus hours in your day-to-day life on the road?

A: Oh, yes. In fact, between working on our live show, doing everything we can to interact with fans, and planning our next moves, there aren’t enough hours in the day. I wouldn’t choose to spend my life any other way, but as I nudged at earlier, touring can get stressful. 

Q.  Are there any places you would like to tour that the band just hasn’t made it to yet, and are there any places you guys get excited about every time you see the dates on your itinerary?

A: Absolutely! We’ve been fortunate enough to hit all the lower 48 states, a dozen or so countries in Europe, as well as Australia. But we want to go anywhere and everywhere that people would come see us. I’d especially love to tour Japan. Experiencing different cultures is one of my favorite parts of touring.

Learn more at www.framinghanley.net.

From the May 21-27, 2014, issue

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