The Frames are an influential Irish band based mainly in Dublin. Founded in 1990, the group has released six albums and appeared in numerous music videos. The band's ex-bassist John Carney has become a film director, writing and directing the award-winning 2007 film Once , which stars the band's singer/guitarist Glen Hansard , who wrote much of the music for the film.
The name The Frames arose from Hansard's habit, at a young age, of fixing the bicycles of many of his friends. The large number of bicycle frames lying around his house led neighbours to dub it the "house with the frames." In a 2001 interview, Hansard said, "I worked in a bicycle shop for a little while, but the name came from... my back garden was so full of frames, my house became known as The Frames house, much to my mother's distaste, she hated it. But my garden was full of frames, old bikes, I would make up bikes for my friends out of all the old bikes. So it sort of became known if anybody found a bike up on the hill on the way home they would throw it into my garden, a graveyard for old bikes.
The band has had many members over the years, some of whom have also been, or later became, members of other Dublin rock bands. Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Dave Odlum both were founding members of folk group Kíla. Graham Downey, son of Thin Lizzy drummer Brian Downey, played bass for the band between 1993 and 1996.
The Frames have always collaborated closely with other groups that emerged from the buskers on Grafton Street, Dublin, where Hansard started his music career. Among these groups were the aforementioned Kíla, and Mic Christopher. When Christopher died in 2001, Hansard and his band were heavily involved in organising the Skylarkin' concert to commemorate his life and release the album. The Frames still occasionally perform Mic's songs — chiefly "Heyday" — as a tribute.
The band is also known for interspersing snippets of songs by other artists into their own as a form of homage; notable examples are "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley, "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash and "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, all of which are captured on the live album Set List .
In 1991, Hansard came to public attention after taking the part of "Outspan" Foster in the film The Commitments. However, Hansard regretted this role as he felt it distracted from his music career. Mac Con Iomaire also had a cameo in the movie as a violinist auditioning for the band. Bronagh Gallagher, one of Hansard's colleagues, can be seen wearing a Frames t-shirt in her appearance in the film Pulp Fiction. More recently, Hansard has appeared on screen as the principal character parodied by Irish music/comedy Web site Eyebrowy.com. and as the lead in the 2007 movie Once which featured his songs.
As of 2007, the band consists of Glen Hansard (vocals, guitar), Joe Doyle (bass guitar, vocals), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (violin, keyboard and vocals), Rob Bochnik (lead guitar) and Johnny Boyle (drums). Various people played drums during 2003 and 2004, including Graham Hopkins who drummed on Dance the Devil, Burn the Maps, and the band's latest album The Cost. On both versions of the album Fitzcarraldo, the band used the name The Frames DC, to avoid confusion with a United States band.
The band released its sixth studio album, The Cost, on September 22, 2006. They appeared on the setlist at Lollapalooza 2006 just 12 days afterwards.
Recently, the band's song "Dream Awake" was used in the pilot episode of NBC's "Life." Also, "Finally" was prominently featured in the 11th episode of the show, when the title character reaped the rewards of the detective work which he had been doing all season. However, a different song is used in the version of the episode on nbc.com.
On May 13, 2008, the US iTunes store released a Deluxe Edition of "The Cost." This edition included three extra songs - "The Blood," "No More I Love Yous," and "This Low." It also included the music videos for "Falling Slowly," "Sad Songs," and "The Side You Never Get To See."