Twenty five years after he first started busking on the streets of Dublin, Glen Hansard has finally recorded a solo album, Rhythm and Repose.
I sat down with the talented singer, songwriter and actor to talk about his career so far.
His band The Frames formed in 1990 and enjoyed a string of successful albums and tours. But it has been movies that have hurdled Hansard into the spotlight. His involvement in the Irish sleeper musical-comedy The Commitments first introduced audiences to a shaggy-haired Hansard. Later he would get involved with a project called Once. This film was an unlikely hit that paired him up with fellow musician and actress Marketa Irglova. Once is a love story driven by music and the song “Falling Slowly” went on to win the duo an Oscar for best song in a film. Hansard and Irglova continued to tour as a real life couple under the moniker Swell Season for several years following the release of Once. The film has since been turned into a successful stage play on Broadway.
Glen Hansard has long been pegged as a musician more than capable of handling a solo career, but it took him decades to finally record an album. He recently released Rhythm and Repose and spoke with me about his music, his films and his career.
Listen to the entire interview below, or right click this link and download the interview.
Listen to the interview on Youtube. Part One. Part Two. Part Three.
On the new album, Rhythm and Repose:
"I remember I was sitting at a dinner table in Iceland with the Swell Season. It was the last night of the tour, and I said, you know what guys I think I am going to take a year where I am not touring and just be alone. They know that I am not very good a resting, so they were like, we support that if you absolutely promise to rest. I rented a flat in New York, hung out there, and my friend has a session night, and my friend said do want to get up and play a song? We started playing it and the boys just nailed it. I said, is there a studio we could take that one song and put it down? We went into a studio a couple of days later and we did seven songs, and all seven songs are on the record. It was like being on holiday. What I loved about it was that they were all loose takes."
On singing with Bono in New York City on his Birthday this past May:
"Just before I went on he asked, are you going to play the "Old Triangle?" I said, sure if you want. He said, ya do it, maybe I'll jump up. I did it and up he came. It was a lovely surprise for everyone in the room, but I think even more so for him, because he's not a guy who gets up in clubs."
On the film Once:
"It changed everything. We made in three weeks in Dublin in 2005. There was something in it. I remember all of us thinking that we made something good here. When we made Once, no one expected anything of it. It was just going to be this thing that we made and we were going sell it at gigs, like a visual album if you like for the work we had recorded. We won the audience award at Sundance at that was the beginning of something extrordinary."
On living in New York City:
"It's a city of excellence. The people who are best at what they do seem to gravitate there. New York is kind of the capitol of Europe in a lot of ways. It's a very European city, it doesn't feel American. You have all these incredible muscians there."
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on Jun 25, 2012