Formed in 2005 in White House, TN, Framing Hanley initially played a blend of post-grunge and stylish hard rock under the name Embers Fade. High-school friends Chris Vest (drums) and Luke McDuffe (bass) met vocalist Kenneth Nixon upon entering college, while guitarists Brandon Wooten and Tim Huskinson joined the lineup soon after. Embers Fade retreated to Vest's basement to write songs and create demo records, which they later used to solicit help from former Creed bassist Brett Hestla. Impressed with the band's sound, Hestla served as an early mentor and helped nurture the musicians' songwriting. More good luck came in 2007 as the band inked a contract with Silent Majority Group, an independent label based in Florida.
After adopting a new name that paid tribute to Ashley Hanley, a close friend who had died in a car accident in late 2006, Framing Hanley retreated to the studio to record The Moment in six short weeks. Taking its cues from the likes of 30 Seconds to Mars and 3 Doors Down, the debut album melded ballads with post-grunge anthems; it also won support from outlets like Sirius Radio, which helped boost the band's profile. Huskinson exited the band in 2008 and was replaced by guitarist Ryan Belcher, who joined just in time to record a cover version of Lil Wayne's "Lollipop." Retooling the rapper's risqué song with hard-edged vocals and heavy guitars, the band soon logged over a million plays on MySpace with the tune, which was released as a single in October 2008. ~ Andrew Leahey