Catching up with the stars of ''Once'' -- Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova haven't let their real-life break-up get in the way of their musical partnership

How did you get from your 2008 Oscar win to making your new album, Strict Joy?
Irglová: I don’t think we had time to recover from the whirlwind until a couple months ago. We started touring a lot after the Oscars.
Hansard: You think that what you do after you win an award is break open some champagne and take a holiday. But we didn’t — we worked even harder.

Did you feel pressure to follow up the success of Once?
Hansard: Well, there is no following that up. That was the thing we all realized: ”S — -. This might be the biggest moment of my life.” You’ve got to be realistic. But it’s good to get back to doing what we do, which is making music.

Do you still find it easy to work with each other, even after the breakup?
Irglová: I’ve always found it really pleasant to play with Glen. There’s something intuitive that goes on. I’m delighted it’s still there.
Hansard: I’ve always impressed her with a guitar in my hand. I just wasn’t as good in bed. No, I’m kidding.

So will there be more Swell Season CDs?
Hansard: That’s a good question. The name of the band suggests it’s a seasonal thing. Who knows how long that lasts? [To Irglová] How do you see it? Do you want to be in a band with me?
Irglová: [Laughs, then pauses] I’ve been really aware of how important it is to me to just stay in the moment and enjoy it while it lasts. All I can say is, I will be in this band as long as my heart is in it.

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