ACL Music Festival Interviews
Saturday, 3:30pm, AMD stage
Perhaps you've read somewhere that the Frames are Ireland's second biggest musical export after U2.
"Don't believe it," says the Dublin band's frontman, Glen Hansard. "It's complete bullshit."
Hansard says the band's overzealous Irish fans are to blame for the American misconception. The Frames have been touring in the UK and making albums since 1991, meaning many of their most vocal supporters fans that flood message boards and fly overseas to see a gig have been following the band more than half their adulthood.
"They're more like Frames patrons than Frames fans," Hansard says. "Their passion is brilliant, but it's also a little embarrassing. It's part of why we enjoy America so much. There's nobody whispering, 'You should be the biggest band in the world!' I'm really not interested in that. In my experience, when you aim your arrows that high, they wind up coming back down on your head."
So far, Hansard & Co.'s aim Stateside has been dead on. Anti- released a live introduction to the band in 2004, followed earlier this year by proper American debut Burn the Maps. Rave reviews for the album's cinematic melodies and anthemlike choruses make it a likely year-end list contender, while their American tours of large clubs and small theatres tend to sell out well in advance. What Hansard believes people are reacting to is a band comfortable enough onstage to trust in the X-factor.
"Magic is what people go home talking about, not the band or the jacket I wore," posits Hansard. "All they're interested in is what they felt. The moment. At a great gig it's those moments. But that's magic. And that's all you really need. And it's still out there for the taking. You can pay $15 to see Will Oldham in Baltimore and have a fucking moment. That's amazing."