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10. 2. 2008

LiveDaily: Hello.

Glen Hansard: Hello. What’s your name?

My name is Maya.

How are you Maya? Glen here.

Hi. I’m okay. How are you doing today?

Very good, yeah, very good.

Good. Well, I want to let you know, I’m a pretty big fan so I’m thrilled to be able to talk to you today. Thanks so much fo r offering to speak with us.

No it’s great! We’ve been having the best trip over here. It’s been superb and it’s very difficult not to get your head up your ass in all this, it really is.

I see.

It’s everyone telling you how fucking nice you are so, I don’t know, I’m a bit overwhelmed with the whole thing, but it’s really really nice. I’m having a great time.

Great, good to hear it. We American Frames fans have always felt somewhat spoiled to be able to see you in these small, intimate venues. In fact, my Belfast-bred fiance always tries to tell me, “you guys don’t know how lucky you are to be able to see them in the smaller venues.”

That’s great.

But all of that will probably change once “Once” gets its wide U.S. release in October and more Americans are exposed to your music. Do you have anticipation in regards to this?

Well I have to say that I’m over the moon.


I have to say that I’d be an idiot to say, “fuck it, I don’t care,” because it kind of feels to me like the Frames have almost gone out and canvassed for every single member of our audience so far and it almost feels to me sometimes like we know every single member of our audience.

I see, I see.

Do you know what I mean? And so, a couple of times on this trip, for instance, there’s a really good friend of ours in Philadelphia and she was like, “This fucking film, man! What is this going to do to you?” and I’m like, “What do you mean?” and she was like, “Agh, just, you’ll be playing the Wachovia Center now in Philly and we’ll never get to see you again and I don’t like this,” and I was thinking that’s amazing, like fair play to her honesty but on the other hand, I’m like isn’t this what we do it for? Isn’t this what you wanted? So it is a kind of weird double-edged sword. You have to kind of embrace this and enjoy it, and to be honest with you, the past couple of weeks have been really really amazing for me and it kind of feels like for 17 years I’ve been kicking against...it’s been me against the world or the Frames against the world and you’re making your albums and you’re putting out your art and you’re really into it and then one day you make this little film and as parts of you are moving on and doing your thing and one day the world just turns around and goes, “What?” You know, you’re kicking the world’s ass for all that time and it turns around and says “What?” and it’s the most terrifying and overwhelming and weird feeling…


You know? And so that’s what it felt like. We landed in New York four or five days ago and we, myself and Mar (Marketa Irglova,) we did an interview at Sirius radio and we decided to walk back and within two blocks we got stopped like 20 times.
People coming up and saying, “I really enjoyed your film. Thank you,” and the response which we’ve been getting everywhere has been really genuine which basically gives me a lot of heart, I got to say. If we were in some sort of big American romantic comedy, I’d be so fucking ashamed right now, but it just doesn’t feel like that. It feels like a different thing. Not that romantic American comedies are evil.

I have to concur with you there, actually. I won’t argue that they aren’t evil! Now, it’s probably selfishness on the part of fans...it’s really funny because for years fan have been saying that the Frames have to be one of the most underrated bands out there and so now that you’re finally get your due, it’s funny that they should not accept it.

It would be very strange in a way, but it would make me feel very angry and I don’t know because we haven’t toured here since all this kicked off so...We’re going to be here in a month or so, the Frames. We’re going out to New Zealand and Australia to do the tour with Bob Dylan right now and next week and I’m really excited about that, but if we come back to America and people start giving us shit about it, I’ll just be like, “you want to fucking pay my rent?”

That’s right! When I watched the film a couple months ago, I couldn’t help but overhear a couple talking next to me who were amazed that you and Mar had not only “acted” in the movie but were shocked to find in the credits that you both wrote the songs as well. Now how do you react to the fact that a lot of people’s first impression might be that you’re an actor who also writes music?

Well that’s kind of strange for me, it is. But then again, I guess in all the interviews we’ve done, and maybe people don’t read interviews, but certainly anything we’ve put out there in the world...the whole thing was that John had kind of discovered fairly late on that, Cillian only pulled out...Cillian (Murphy) was to play this role, and Cillian only pulled out two weeks before we started shooting and I was given basically a couple of days to decide, you know, because John has kind of thought about a couple other people. I had recommended Damien Rice for the role because Damien’s younger than me and the character in the film was meant to be a younger kind of guy…

Oh wow. Okay.

...and John was like, “no, Glen, I really want you to do it,” so I only had a couple of days to really think about it because after that, I was in, you know. I was kind of locked into the job and so...so...so I can’t remember your question now, sorry…

Would it get your goat in any way that people would actually think that way...

Well not really. I don’t really care because I guess the kind of people who would come see this film would be like, “oh, those couple actors wrote a couple songs. Maybe let’s check them out or maybe let’s not.” It doesn’t really matter to me. I guess in a way what always matters is that someone is kind of like, “Well who are these guys and what are they about?” John basically came to the conclusion very quickly that he’d rather have a couple of musicians who could half act than have a couple of actors who can half sing. And that’s been kind of the thing we’ve been saying across the board and it makes a lot of sense to me.

Now you seem to be a big fan of the cinema, having named the album “Fitzcarraldo” after the Werner Herzog film and, if I’m not mistaken, there are maybe a few other cinematic allusions in your music?

Ah, there’s plenty of them.

Now is film a medium you’ve always wanted to dabble in?

Well it’s always something I wanted to do as somebody who made films because, you know, I do shoot a lot of stuff. I’ve got a 16mm camera and I do really enjoy that idea, but in a way, I guess I’m more just a kind of lover of film. So I guess, yeah, I’d be a fan of film rather than somebody who would ever feel that I have a place in it, but I have to say that John’s original script for “Once” was...it was pretty light, and that’s the thing, once me and Mar got on board, it was kind of like, “Okay, John, you want us to do this film. Now you better be fucking brave and you better make something that’s real.” It was almost a challenge. Let’s make this film for nothing because if we use a producer...it’s not that making a film for money is bad, but if we use a producer, it means that we’re in a situation where they’re gonna have a say in what goes on and I really don’t want anybody telling me what we should and shouldn’t be doing with this film. Let’s fucking do it against all odds. And also, that kiss scene at the end, it’s gone. There’s no fucking kiss scene in this film. They never get it together. They can’t. And so myself and Mar and John sat down and argued and argued and basically fought for I think what...I think we fought for what I think ended up as a good script, or a good basic story.


So I guess in a way my love of cinema definitely helped with fighting John on a few points.


What I think “Once” kind of is, for me anyway, it’s kind of like a simple...almost like a Dardenne brothers story but with music and for some reason, I never would have thought honestly, and no disrespect to the tastes of America, but never would have thought America is the place where it would have any impact.

Sometimes there’s no telling.

There’s no telling, that’s the thing, there’s no telling. And what people have responded to in this film is something that we never really even thought about because people keep on saying there’s a genuineness to us…

There is, yes.

...and that was something that I guess we never even thought about.

Have you been getting offered more film roles as a result?

Yeah, yeah. I’ve got offered a couple of film roles, yeah.


Yeah, I’m not doing them, but I got offered and it’s nice to get offered. But it’s one of those things, you know. If someone like Herzog came along and said, “I know you’re a fan and I’d like to use you in something,” or Jim Jarmusch, you know what I mean? Of course you’d do it, of course I’d do it, of course Mar would do it, but it’s one of those things where that hasn’t happened.

So nothing less is going to tempt you away from the music?

Well yeah. Just the idea of getting an agent out here in L.A. or whatever right now is just a bit surreal.

Okay. So back now...let’s talk about music. You’re currently on your “Swell Season” tour, is that right?


And the Frames start touring in August?


Now when actually was the last Frames tour because I know you’ve been touring solo for awhile....when was the last time you went out with them?

Well the Frames tour...we did a European...yeah, we did a European tour about two or three months ago and then we came back over and did a U.S. tour after that, so when were we here last, Mar? When were we last in America with the Frames? It was in April and me and Mar now have kind of come back and done this and we’ve been doing summer festivals, I mean even like the night before I came over here, we were in Switzerland, or Belgium, at a festival, so the Frames have been working pretty much nonstop up to now and I’ll jump on a plane straight to New Zealand after this, so it’s like we’re busy, you know? I guess I just have to keep both of them on the go, but it is quite difficult for me, jumping from one to the other. It’s not as simple as just putting down the electric guitar and picking up the acoustic.

I can imagine.

It is quite different because it’s a different head space, you know?

Yeah. So, Mar is there?

Mar is here. Do you want to say hello?


Okay, hang on. Mar, this is Maya.

Mar: How are you?

Hi, I’m good. How are you doing?

Good, good.

Ah, yeah, I wasn’t expecting to talk to you. Thanks so much for jumping on the phone.

Oh, it’s fine.

I wanted to ask, are you going to be making any guest appearances on the Frames tour?

No. That’s a funny question. People have been asking me. They’ve kind of just expected me to be there with the Frames in September but no, I have to explain to them that I’ve never really played with the Frames…

Oh, okay.

...so no, I’m not going to be over in September.

Alright. I know a lot of the readers will be interested in knowing that.

Well, apologies.

But you are playing right now...you’ve got a show in L.A., don’t you, coming up very soon?

You mean the T.V., oh no, the concert, yes. We’re playing on Wednesday at El Rey Theatre it’s called.

I did see you play at the Troubadour last year with Glen and also at Largo.

Oh, nice. Yeah, I remember both of those gigs.

Great. I was front row center and you both sounded amazing. 

Oh great. Thank you!

Is it a bit more intimidating playing in larger venues right now for this tour?

No, not at all. We’ve been really excited about the whole thing and it’s just great walking on stage in a venue full of people. The biggest gig we did was in Washington, D.C. which was 1200 people at the 9:30 Club. It’s such an amazing feeling to walk onstage and just feel the energy of the room. Intimidating is not the word, if anything it’s exciting and it’s energizing and...oh, we’re just in the Jay Leno studio and he just walked onstage. I think we’re on soon.

Alright, well thank you so much for talking!

No problem. I’ll put you on to Glen.


Glen: Hi.

Hi. I hear that you’re onstage pretty soon for Leno!

Yeah, but it’s cool. I mean we’ve played the song a million times so it’s not like we care.

What song are you doing?

“Falling Slowly,” so it’s not like we have to worry about it.

Okay. Speaking of live performances, you encourage a lot of interaction when you perform which is something I personally love about your shows. Is it important for you to have the audience dictate in a way the set list and the other elements of a gig?

Not really, no. I guess at one point in my life it was, as in I’m a big fan of everybody in the room feeling like...like I’m really into the idea, the hippy idea of a happening, that we’re all in a room and it’s happening there and then. I’m really into that, but I guess more and more I’m kind of getting into this idea...it’s kind of strange thing but that actually what audiences want sometimes is that they want you to be the artist, you know, and sometimes I get sticked for it from my band saying, you know, they want you to do your thing so that they can watch it rather than you interacting or you basically letting them set the terms, so it’s definitely a bit of both.


I mean I do like the idea of it but I think sometimes you have to, you’ve got to know when to....

Take the reigns?

Take the reigns, exactly, and take control of what you’re doing.

Now you’ve already released two terrific live cds, but are there any hopes at all of you releasing a dvd in the future? I’m of course now speaking selfishly as a fan.

It’s all down to me. I keep looking at it and looking at it and going, “it’s not good enough.”


That people won’t like it, so basically what needs to happen is that it just needs to be taken away from me. I need someone to kind of just take it away from me and basically someone else put it out and say, “Glen, fuck it. You don’t have any say about this. We’re doing it anyway.” So that’s kind of where I need to go.

I see. Okay, let’s make that happen.

I’ve got a ton of footage. It’s almost like at this stage it needs to be, it’ll almost be like a dvd which will span 20 years almost.

That would be great. That would be amazing. Now I know that you’re a big admirer of greats like Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, whom you were fortunate enough to meet early on in your career.


Do you think it’s important for established musicians to seek out and help emerging musicians? Are there any up and coming artists that you’re championing? 

I don’t think it’s important that for anybody to seek anybody out or help anybody out. I think it’s important that you make your way in the world and that you do your thing. I think if you’re being true and if you’re good, you’ll always find your way. Fionn Regan is someone I think is just really really fantastic.

Who, I’m sorry?

Fionn Regan. He’s an Irish guy who’s just released an album which just floored me. I just think it’s fantastic.


He’s on tour right now in the States if you get a chance to see him, you shouldn’t miss him.

Okay. I’ll keep that in mind. What is it about him that you believe sets him apart?

I’m not really sure. You’ve just got to listen to those songs. He’s got an album called “The End of History.” It’s just come out. He’s getting a little bit of attention, but I really think you should take a listen to it.


It’s kind of hard to explain what it is he’s doing. It’s quite simple but sometimes something that’s quite simple has such a great impact, you know.

Okay, so I think we’re up to our last question. Now this is our standard Ticketmaster question that we like to ask artists. What’s the most memorable concert that you’ve ever attended and why?

The most memorable concert I’ve ever attended was a Leonard Cohen concert when I was fifteen.

Wow, okay.

I went to see Leonard Cohen with my cousin who was like five years older than me. He had recently been in hit by a stolen car in Dublin and he was having epileptic fits after the thing and during “Famous Blue Raincoat” at the gig, my cousin went into a fit…


...and Leonard stopped the gig and basically said, “is this kid alright?” Basically he was in a matinee and an evening show and we went off to the hospital and they made sure we got tickets to the evening show and we came back and Leonard came up and shook our hands and said,” are you okay?” to my cousin.

That’s amazing.

You know, as a 15-year-old singer/songwriter, that was the most profoundly important moment.

Yeah. That’s an incredible story.

Yeah, so for me that will always stand out as the gig, the gig for me.

That’s probably one of the best answers I’ve ever gotten to that question.

Oh good!

Well have fun there with Leno and thank you again so much for talking to us.

Thank you so much Maya!