Despite long being hailed as the one of the best live bands American audiences have yet to discover, the Frames frontman Glen Hansard admits he finds such a compliment confusing.

Despite long being hailed as the one of the best live bands American audiences have yet to discover, the Frames frontman Glen Hansard admits he finds such a compliment confusing.

"People keep saying that to me in interviews but I don't see it," Hansard tells Billboard.com. "More people are coming to our gigs, which is f***ing great. I suppose that's the only way I can ever really measure it and after you've been in a band for 15 years and you've struggled this long, all you really know how to do is struggle."

With five studio albums under its belt, including the 2004 Anti- debut "Burn the Maps," the Irish band is happy to have found a home on the Epitaph imprint. Hansard said the new label affiliation came at pivotal time in his life.

"[Anti-] is f***ing great," Hansard says. "They came along at a point in our career that was perfect for us. I was in that state of mind where I was like, 'I'm 33, I really f***ing need some good news in my life soon or I'm starting to really doubt the whole path I'm on.' They've really breathed new fire into the guts of the thing. And it's great."

Having just shot a video for "Dream Awake," the five-piece is in the midst of its final Stateside jaunt in support of "Burn the Maps." Hansard says he's really looking forward to the group's next project, for which two dozen tracks are already written. "Falling Slowly" and "No More I Love You" are getting stage time on the current tour, which plays Seattle tonight (Oct. 4).

"We are trying to decide which songs will fit and which songs won't," Hansard says. "Some of them are rock songs and some of them are quiet. I'm kind of feeling like I just want to make a mellow record. I want to just make a quiet, simple collection of songs. But then again, when you're on a stage you want to play the other ones."

Hansard says the group will record its next project in early 2006 for a tentative spring release, which will hopefully be "the big one" that further cements the Frames' North American draw. "Yeah, that's it," jokes Hansard. "I hope we don't disappoint them by giving them the little one."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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