Getty | Getty One of the last things Levon Helm worked on before he died was…
- Posted on Aug 23rd 2010 12:00PM by Ashley Iasimone
"I'll go back to the Frames, and Mar will make her own record at some point," Hansard tells Spinner. "This band will eventually naturally end. But right now, all of us are just so grateful."
When Hansard and Irglova first embarked on their musical journey together, it was born out of a "hunch," according to Hansard. His instinct led to them recording two critically-acclaimed albums and winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2006's 'Once,' all under the name the Swell Season.
"Getting together and making music with Mar was a side thing for me, but it felt absolutely right," Hansard says. "I followed through on it even when it felt like I might've been abandoning my band a bit. But I had to follow through. I knew there was something in this that I had to follow through on."
That gut feeling has resulted in a period of great success for the pair, who have been on the road throughout the summer, performing in theaters and festivals around North America (sadly, they made headlines last week when a man reportedly killed himself at one of their shows in California). They will continue to perform a run of concerts in Europe this fall. As of late, Irglova has been showcasing a new piano-driven ballad during their live show titled 'Crossroads,' a song that Hansard assumes is likely to appear on her upcoming record.
"It's amazing," Hansard earnestly says of her work. "I love the way she writes. I think she's an incredible songwriter and I think she could make a really beautiful, beautiful record. I have no doubt, in fact. She could call it what she wants. She could call it 'Marketa Irglova.' She could call it something else. It doesn't really matter. She's writing great songs. I'm very, very proud of her."
With Irglova focused on her own songwriting, Hansard will be revisiting the Frames. Currently, the group has a performance slotted at Electric Picnic on Sept. 4 and dates set in Philadelphia, New York, D.C. and Chicago in late November. And while Hansard's spent the last few years centered on the Swell Season, he says that his mindset as a musician doesn't change from one band to the next. He is currently writing new material -- he's always writing, he says -- but it's not for one project or the other.
"I've never written songs for the Swell Season or for the Frames. You just write songs, and whatever person you're next to, you play them with," Hansard explains. Still, he does note one variance: "The Swell Season, I guess, was more mellow. That's the only difference. I allowed myself to enjoy the slightly more mellow aspect of the songs, whereas the Frames was always a bit more male -- just a little bit."
It seems, considering the aforementioned plans, that a hiatus may be in store for Hansard and Irglova as a musical duo, but things haven't run their course just yet.
"The Swell Season will continue to do things. I just don't know whether it's ... I don't know in what context we'll do it," Hansard says. "The thing that this band has proven to me is that when you're political, it doesn't work. When you're careerist about it, it doesn't [work]. It just shines less."
In the meantime, Hansard is enjoying the Swell Season tour and his summer playlist: Baxter Dury, Serge Gainsbourg and R. Kelly. "Do you know the 'Chocolate Factory' record? It's so good," he raves. "I've been listening to that, especially the 'Step in the Name of Love' remix. That's the one that you really should go and check out."