Web buzz propels indie band

<p>Ryan Kash seems pleasantly exasperated as he explains the conceptual origins of The Framework, Toronto’s latest indie darling.</p><p></p>


The Framework tries to avoid overexposure



Haley Lepieszo 2007


The Framework include, from left, drummer Tobias Smith, synth player Rayanne Lepieszo, singer-guitarist Ryan Kash, bassist Scott Winter, singer-guitarist Chris Graham.

Ryan Kash seems pleasantly exasperated as he explains the conceptual origins of The Framework, Toronto’s latest indie darling.

The lead singer — flanked by two of the band’s five members, synthesizer player Rayanne Lepieszo and his writing partner, guitarist-vocalist Chris Graham — explains how he created a MySpace page (Myspace.com/songsintheframework) last November for a group that at that point had no members and no music.

As a lark, Kash added Graham’s name as guitarist and Lepieszo on synths to the page with a rhythm section to be decided. The hits started mounting, as did the requests for information on The Framework’s first gig.

“I said there’s no music on there yet, but I’ve wanted to do this for like two years and … this just kind of fit,” Kash recalls his pitch to Graham. “Technically we didn’t know where it was going to go musically because we hadn’t written anything yet.”

The longtime friends agreed to collaborate and Kash — previously a solo singer-songwriter who had several ill-fated development deals with major labels and a top 30 stint as a contestant on Rock Star: INXS — and Graham, himself an independent singer-songwriter, sat down and hammered out their first song, the new wave-inspired rock track She Thinks I’m Famous.

Lepieszo heard the demo, was floored, and eagerly signed on, with bassist Scott Winter and drummer Tobias Smith soon to follow.

From a basic concept, The Framework’s guitar-driven melodic sound and impressionistic lyrics began to take shape while the members made a mutual pledge to use their past industry experience to their advantage.

On a whim before they started playing live, Kash and Graham entered She Thinks I’m Famous in the Mix 99.9 FM Radiostar contest. The song placed third and the band’s MySpace page was flooded with traffic. Even before taking the stage The Framework had a devoted fan base.

But there would be just one Toronto gig per month — the first to a packed house at The Rivoli in July of this year, followed by The Horseshoe and later The Mod Club — a conscious decision to avoid overexposure and ensure well-promoted shows.

As Lepieszo points out, the download-ravaged music industry no longer signs just any band, a point the members of The Framework knew all too well from past disappointments.

“Labels want to see resumes,” she says. “They want to see that you can sell out repeatedly.”

Graham adds: “They want you when you’re already successful so they can just jump on board and take you to the next level.”

A gig at Arlene’s Grocery in New York City next week – where bands such as The Bravery and The Strokes became hipster household names — could be the one that takes the band to new heights.

In the meantime, the relative newcomers continue to court interest from south of the border and revel in the indie success that began with an idea and a webpage.

  • See it live: The Framework plays The Rivoli tomorrow night.

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