[Interview] Frameworks Talks About His New Album and Prepares To Visit Atlanta With Desert Dwellers
In anticipation of the upcoming Desert Dwellers show, we chatted with Frameworks. He'll be supporting the duo at their Atlanta tour date. We learned about his forthcoming album, Kings, and dug deep into his approach to music. He was delightful and relaxed and we’re very much looking forward to seeing him play.
There’s an interesting gap in many people’s minds still between “musicians” and “electronic artists,” but it’s mostly a false dichotomy. Where do you see yourself on that spectrum and how would you describe your music?
I don’t know what I’d call my stuff, really. I come from a live background. I started off drumming in a metal band, but then I got into production, and I was basically just bored of relying on other musicians. I started producing and just learned to do everything myself. It was more out of necessity, and I just fell into that kind of approach of working. When you’re working like that, you need to look at what’s available out there, so a part of my music became electronic out of a necessity to produce, and then I’ve always used live instrumentation as well. I’ve kind of just crossed that boundary of using both.
Your upcoming show in Atlanta is supporting Desert Dwellers. Can you talk about some way they inspire you or something you’re excited about as you hit the road with them?
Well, on a personal level, I’ve met them before and they were both lovely. Musically, I just really like their stuff, man. I think they’re great at what they do. Live, they perform really well, they’re just great. The music’s solid. I had that with Emancipator as well. I got to know Desert Dwellers and their music at the same time, but Emancipator… I was a fan, and then I went on tour with him, and realized this guy is lovely. He’s so forthcoming, and humble… he’s just laid back, man. He’s mellow, and there’s so many people out there that aren’t like that. I don’t know if it’s that they see you as a threat or competition, or maybe it’s something deeper instilled within them… but when you meet someone that’s really great, gets a lot of attention, and still is just like “yeah, it’s cool”... it’s fantastic.
Tell us about the video for “Old Friend” that you made with J.P. Cooper. The visual setting is extremely English, but your music carries qualities that I wouldn’t immediately associate with England.
Well, the video came about because that place where we filmed it was an old fishing town. When everything changed and people started importing, that industry completely dissipated. Everyone lost their jobs; and what was this beautiful, thriving coastal town became this desolate, quite grim place. So, that’s what the music video’s about, and it depicts a guy that’s a fisherman and basically everything’s been taken from him because that industry collapsed.
Yeah, I think that’s a pretty similar sentiment to how a lot of Americans feel about their manufacturing jobs. Probably similar between Brexit and our recent election.
Are we gonna get into politics? I dunno, man. I wasn’t for Brexit, and when it happened I was just like why… why are you doing that?
We don’t have to get into politics, but is Brexit going to affect your ability to travel? Tell us about living and working in England and why you love it.
Well, I’ve just got a three-year visa, so I’ve got a little bit of time, but yeah. I live just outside of Manchester, so I live in the countryside. I just like the country. The British countryside is quite rich.
As a former metal drummer, I’m sure you know how to make quite epic-sounding music. Do you ever feel pulled back into those darker sounds?
I don’t know. I think I like to skate between light and dark, but when I say “dark” I mean melodically rather than with crashing instrumentation. I think that element is there but in a different form. Someone said to me once, about that relationship, about how I skirt the lines of it. And that really stuck with me, and I think about that when I make music now.
And what upcoming projects should we look for from you?
So, the album I’ve just finished, that’s gone to mastering two days ago. That goes to Loci, the record label. It should be out about two months from now. Loci is Emancipator’s label, so there’s a nice working relationship there. It’s quite a personal record. It’s really quite emotive and quite cinematic sounding. I draw a lot of inspiration from my family and my surroundings in the countryside. My son wasn’t very well for a time, so that inspired a lot of the music on the record. It’s quite melodic, it’s called Kings, so it’s got a sense of grandioseness without being overly patriotic or embellished. I’m really happy with it. I think it’s my best work to date.
Do you use your music as a place to invest your emotions or a place to escape from some feelings?
No, I think I put a lot of my feelings into my music. When I started this record, in my head it was going to be completely different. I wanted it to be a lot more uptempo, a lot more… not club, but relatable live. It just kind of ended up writing itself. Just because of my headspace and where I was at, it came out a lot differently. I don’t think I had that with my last album. I think on this album, one thing was being more mature musically and being able to put that onto paper, and two was writing it over a year, whereas my first album I was probably writing for four years.
After our chat, Frameworks was kind enough to send me the pre-masters of his upcoming album, and I can say that if you’re going to his show you will be transported to a wonderful place via string ensembles and gently folding beats. The music is somber, but not melancholy and took me on a winding path through some charming and relaxing places in my mind.