Interview with lead singer Nixon of Framing Hanley
It’s a free concert to kickoff the summer concert series as national touring rock band Framing Hanley will perform an all ages show at Beautiful Mountain Skate Plaza (Beaumont Skate Plaza) on Saturday, June 14 located at the intersection of Laurel and Magnolia in downtown Beaumont beginning at 5 p.m.
From Nashville, Framing Hanley is touring in support of their brand new album, The Sum of Who We Are, which hit No. 24 on Billboard’s Top Rock album chart. The band has several charting singles including “Hear Me Now,” “You Stupid Girl,” “WarZone,” “Back to Go Again,” their newest, “Criminal” that can be heard on radio stations across the country as well as SiriusXM satellite radio and, of course, we can’t forget the popular remake of Lil Wayne’s 2008 hit, “Lollipop.”
It’s been nearly four years since the band has put out new music. “We started working on the album in 2012,” said lead singer Nixon. “We lost our label and really didn’t have much of a timetable and decided to do this record on our own and ask our fans to help us out with Kickstater.”
Kickstarter is the world’s largest crowdfunding platform that many artists are using to help fund new music projects. Bands known to use online funding are Sevendust and Filter.
“If it wasn’t for them, there wouldn’t be a third album,” he said. “We had a collection of songs at the end of 2012, but we didn’t want to short change our fans after they put their money up after anything was heard from this album. We knew we had to give them the best Framing Hanley album that we had put out.”
Nixon said the band faced a crossroad and didn’t know how they were going to keep the Framing Hanley ship afloat. “Passion only takes you so far,” he said. “We all in the band have families with four of us being married. I have two kids and Chris (Vest) has a kid. It became a priority to take care of things at home. As far as a budget for an album, it was non-existent. At the time, Kickstarter wasn’t the phenom it is now. We were hesitant at first looking at crowdfunding. Some bands I am a fan of were doing it and saw some of the perks and rewards and I thought if this was we could give our fans as an incentive to get involved, then maybe it will work.”
And it did. Nixon and the band set a goal to raise $40,000 and received $60,691 from 1,828 backers. “Never in a million years did we think we would raise the amount of money we raised,” he said. “To see it surpass the goal was really a great surprise. We were able to record the album and do a music video and our fans came through like we never anticipated.”
The Sum of Who We Are was released on April 29. The 13-song album has gotten rave reviews from those who are most important — the fans. Reviews posted on Amazon.com read “This is one of the best complete rock album I've heard this year so far and they've definitely deliver the goods on every single track is great if you into rock then go get this LP,” posted Eric Eastman.
User Mary Beth posted, “Love love love it!!!! It is just amazing!!!!! Can't wait to see them on tour!!! Best album yet!!!!!! Worth the wait!”
Nixon was nothing short of ecstatic to know what fans have been saying about the new tunes. “It feels real good to know that our fan base is enjoying this and that’s who really matters,” he said. “To hear people say that this is still the band that I fell in love with seven years ago just a more mature version — that should be every band’s goal in my opinion. I knew we had to hit’em with something special for what they did for us. The time we spent on it was well spent. It’s a damn good album and it’s something we are very proud of.”
The title, The Sum of Who We Are, is not an actual song on the record. Nixon stated the title was originally slated to be a track on the new album.
“There was a song with a working title called ‘Hour Glass’ that ended up taking the title of ‘The Sum of Who We Are,” he said. “There is a lyric in the chorus that says ‘the sum of who we are, outweighs the battle scares in weary hearts.’ It was a statement for the band that we are strong enough to overcome everything we’ve been through. It was also a collective effort with our fans. This album is who we are as a group and through the time spending two and a half years on it. It really has multiple meanings. It’s a perfect fitting title for any of our albums.”
Beautiful Mountain Skate Plaza features a wide selection of world-class skate terrain for all ages and skill levels. Features include ledges, rails, banks, manual pads, a bank-to-bank, and long quarter pipes for transitional skating. There's a two stair, three-stair, seven-stair and even a big three-stair set. The park is open from dusk until dawn.