Pitchfork recently ran this sweet hearted interview with The Frames' founder Glen Hansard and Markta Irglov, suddenly well-known stars of the film Once. As with most things this duo does, I liked how the Q&A showed off their warmth to good effect; but also for how it provided a sense of scale between the modest world of music and the crazy world of movies; and also for how it once again shows that Bob Dylan, the guy from the panty commercial, is cooler than everybody else.
Pitchfork: Well, you are an outsider. [The Oscars are] a completely different world.
GH: It was for me. I said it in one of the interviews that I felt like a plumber at a flower shop. I guess that wholly sums up how I felt about the whole thing, standing among all these…it's just a different world. It's not a good world or bad world or anything. It's just a different world and a different kind of reality. People kept saying to me all night, “So, what neighborhood are you going to live in?” I was like, “What do you mean?” They said, “Obviously you're going to come out here and get into film work.” I was like, “No.” Everybody just assumed we were going to move to Hollywood, and next year try to get another one. Dude, this is once in a lifetime. I'm going straight back to making music after this. I had this conversation with a few people who just didn't get it. People are trying to sign you up to an agency or write music for another film. As much as I would do it if it was the right thing, the last thing I want to do is move out here and try to make my money doing that.
Pitchfork: It's wild, coming from an independent music background. Once has made about $14 million at the box office, which in Hollywood is modest at best. But for an independent musician, that's inconceivable.
GH: It's insane. We honestly have no idea how this all happened. The original marketing plan for Once was to get one 35mm print made, which was going to cost us like four grand. A lot of money. We were going to drive around Ireland in a car, and [writer/director] John [Carney] was going to introduce the film. We figured there were enough Frames fans in Ireland to fill the cinemas. I was going to play a few songs with Mar at the end, and we were going to sell the DVD on the way out. That was huge. That was our plan to make our money back, and if it worked in Ireland, we were going to take it to the Czech Republic and try it there. In the background, John was sending it to all the festivals. Everybody refused it. The mad irony is that we sent it to Sundance but it didn't get in! It got refused. You probably know this story, but we showed it in Galway and one guy just happened to be in Galway and saw our film by chance. He said he worked for Sundance and wanted to bring them a copy of the film. We didn't even tell him that we had been refused! We said yeah, cool, brilliant, take it. And we got in.
After the jump, a funny anecdote about Bob Dylan
Pitchfork: I don't know if you noticed, but when the Frames toured with Bob Dylan, did you see that he tours with his Oscar statue?
GH: He does tour with it, but his roadie said it's just a joke, that it might be a plastic one that he keeps up on stage. I think he keeps the original one at home. When you tour all your gear gets fucked up, so I think he takes out one of those Hollywood copies. But I could be wrong. It's never there during soundcheck, only during the gig, so if it was just a plastic one it would probably be at soundcheck, wouldn't it? I noticed every night of the Australian tour and I thought it was very funny. I thought to myself, is Dylan taking the piss or does it actually mean something to him? Apparently it does mean something to him.
And here's the song which won Dylan his award: