Artist: The Fray Biography

18 Feb 2006, 23:12  52,327,104  2,149,764

The FrayFrom the sleepy sprawl of America's 'Mile-High City', Denver, Colorado, United States, comes The Fray, a foursome whose melodic piano rock songs and soaring vocals resonate with sprawling tapestries and tales of hopefulness and heartache. Formed in 2002 by Isaac Slade (vocals, piano) and Joe King (guitar, vocals), The Fray earned a loyal grassroots following through impressive area gigs and the support of local radio, which led a listener-driven campaign to get the band a record contract.

With strong word-of-mouth, the band won "Best New Band" honors from Denver's Westword Magazine and garnered substantial airplay on two of Denver's top rock stations. Specifically, he demo version of "Over My Head (Cable Car)" became KTCL's top 30 most played song of 2004 in just four months. The band signed to Epic Records in 2004 and released their debut album, titled 'How To Save A Life', in September 2005.

The band's roots come from when Joe King's band, Fancy's show box, and Isaac Slade's band, Ember, broke up. "Three years ago, I thought I wanted to start a real estate company," laughs co-founder King. A serendipitous encounter with former schoolmate Slade at a local music store began an impromptu jam session that began an impromptu songwriting session that began The Fray. It wasn't your usual rock n' roll lineup - vocals, guitar and piano - but it worked. The uplifting, melody-driven songs were catchy enough to attract two former band-mates of Slade's - drummer Ben Wysocki and guitarist Dave Welsh. "Ben and I were basically a package deal at the time," explains Welsh. "Ben joined first, but I think he felt lonely without me."

It didn't hurt that the boys were all consummate musicians. A pianist from an early age, King competed in the local recital circuit before dropping piano altogether and picking up the guitar in junior high. "The coolest guys in my eighth grade class all played guitar," confides King. "I wanted to fit in." Slade began singing when he was eight, but temporary voice problems led him to discover the piano at age 11. After regaining his vocal abilities a year later, he continued studying piano and learned guitar in high school. "I wrote my first song at 16," explains Slade, "which is when I first picked up the guitar." Wysocki began taking drum lessons in the sixth grade, but only after having endured piano lessons at his parents' request. Welsh grew up in a musical household, and struggled with piano and saxophone before settling on guitar at age 12.

The lineup secure, all the band needed was a name. Jokes about the boys' tendency to battle it out over song composition led to the suggestion of "The Fray," and the name stuck. So did The Fray's style - a sophisticated, emotional blend of tinkling pianos, acoustic and electric guitars, and gently insistent rhythms that serves as an ideal backdrop for Slade's pitch-perfect, slurred yet achingly beautiful vocals. The band's first single, "Over My Head (Cable Car)", echoes the poignant lyricism of Counting Crows and the melodic intensity of U2. The title track, "How To Save A Life", is a heartbreaking meditation on salvation inspired by Slade's experience as a mentor to a crack-addicted teen. Both songs employ an epic sweep, speeding up and slowing down so effortlessly that the listener can't help but become emotionally involved by the time the crescendo hits.

Considering the quality of songwriting involved, the band's rise to local prominence within the span of a year doesn't seem so implausible. In January of 2004 The Fray were no-namers trying to find gigs. By December, they were getting radio pick-up and playing sold-out shows at 500-capacity venues. With a series of U.S. tour dates supporting legendary geek rockers Weezer in July 2005, The Fray made even more new fans by the time "How To Save A Life" dropped in September 2005.

In a recent episode of "Scrubs" called "My Lunch", the song "How To Save A Life" featured in the final scene where things start going wrong for Dr. Cox.

The song "How To Save A Life" speaks about Isaac Slade's story about helping a trouble teen that was exposed to drugs. "Over My Head (Cable Car)", originally just called "Cable Car", speaks about the conflict between Isaac Slade and older brother/ former band mate Caleb. They fired Caleb from the band and thus their brotherly relationship began to stir, and Over My Head was written. "Look After You" was written for Isaac Slade's wife. "Little House" was written about a person who cut themselves.

The band's second studio album, a self-titled work, was released on February 3, 2009. Receiving considerable commercial success, 'The Fray' spawned off the popular single "You Found Me", a powerful, emotional track that appealed to many fans.

"Heartbeat," the first single from The Fray's third album 'Scars and Stories' was premiered by the band while opening for U2 on their U2 360° Tour in May 2011. It was released for airplay on October 8, 2011, and made available for download October 11, 2011. The song was inspired by Slade's experiences whilst traveling in Africa and also achieved notable success. 'Scars and Stories' itself was released on February 7, 2012. (The Heartbeat Songfacts).

Website: http://blog.thefray.net

Top Track "The Fray"

How to Save a Life - The Fray

How to Save a Life

1,089,453
8,897,728
You Found Me - The Fray

You Found Me

560,132
4,112,615
Over My Head (Cable Car) - The Fray

Over My Head (Cable Car)

552,896
3,530,761
Look After You - The Fray

Look After You

476,285
2,898,376
Never Say Never - The Fray

Never Say Never

392,839
2,574,722
She Is - The Fray

She Is

391,154
2,134,681
All at Once - The Fray

All at Once

374,467
2,077,409
Fall Away - The Fray

Fall Away

293,505
1,356,161
Trust Me - The Fray

Trust Me

293,066
1,460,290
Heaven Forbid - The Fray

Heaven Forbid

280,549
1,400,297
Vienna - The Fray

Vienna

263,239
1,440,315
Little House - The Fray

Little House

249,040
1,269,840
Dead Wrong - The Fray

Dead Wrong

233,967
1,095,422
Hundred - The Fray

Hundred

231,667
1,102,080
Syndicate - The Fray

Syndicate

200,351
1,107,536
Say When - The Fray

Say When

160,647
951,222
Absolute - The Fray

Absolute

159,151
876,974
Where the Story Ends - The Fray

Where the Story Ends

155,827
803,750
Happiness - The Fray

Happiness

145,721
756,954
Enough for Now - The Fray

Enough for Now

140,788
737,898
Heartbeat - The Fray

Heartbeat

132,166
659,026
Over My Head - The Fray

Over My Head

129,052
1,098,525
Ungodly Hour - The Fray

Ungodly Hour

118,417
599,658
We Build Then We Break - The Fray

We Build Then We Break

113,292
553,605
Love Don't Die - The Fray

Love Don't Die

80,403
441,509
Unsaid - The Fray

Unsaid

73,017
380,291
Be Still - The Fray

Be Still

61,182
286,679
Run for Your Life - The Fray

Run for Your Life

59,843
263,119
The Fighter - The Fray

The Fighter

56,116
257,417
Turn Me On - The Fray

Turn Me On

47,772
199,128
Heartless - The Fray

Heartless

45,851
480,213
Without Reason - The Fray

Without Reason

42,429
172,271
The Wind - The Fray

The Wind

41,399
170,912
I Can Barely Say - The Fray

I Can Barely Say

40,394
168,690
1961 - The Fray

1961

39,772
160,823
Munich - The Fray

Munich

37,763
174,231
Rainy Zurich - The Fray

Rainy Zurich

35,744
174,008
48 to Go - The Fray

48 to Go

34,914
136,084
Here We Are - The Fray

Here We Are

34,542
132,987
Oceans Away - The Fray

Oceans Away

32,486
191,802
City Hall - The Fray

City Hall

30,670
108,433
Together - The Fray

Together

30,654
168,828
Hold My Hand - The Fray

Hold My Hand

29,182
128,775
Hurricane - The Fray

Hurricane

24,245
99,322
Some Trust - The Fray

Some Trust

20,990
116,824
Break Your Plans - The Fray

Break Your Plans

19,450
77,699
Give It Away - The Fray

Give It Away

19,088
74,696
Mahna Mahna - The Fray

Mahna Mahna

19,006
56,311