The Fray is an American alternative rock band that formed in Denver, Colorado in 2002. The band's current lineup consists of Isaac Slade (vocals/piano), Dave Welsh (guitar), Joe King (guitar and background vocals), and Ben Wysocki (Percussion). There is no dedicated bassist; assorted session and touring bassists are used in the studio and while on tour. The Fray's soft musical style generally centers around piano riffs, supported by lilting, introspective vocals and a rhythmic guitar accompaniment. Critics often compare their style to that of Keane and Coldplay, two Britrock bands with prominent piano sections.The product of incessant high-school jam sessions between Slade and King, The Fray began recording in earnest in 2002, and released the four-song Movement EP late that year. Movement EP was produced in a small batch and is very difficult to find today. Nonetheless, the Movement EP did serve to successfully generate buzz for their next independent release Reason EP in 2003. Following Reason EP the band surged to the forefront of the Denver music scene, receiving positive hype in the local press and garnering airplay for their first single "Cable Car". Impressed by what he had heard, Epic records executive Mike Flynn flew to Denver to see the band and signed them to a record contract in late 2004. "Cable Car" was chosen as the band's first single in early 2005, but had its name changed to "Over My Head (Cable Car)" for its nationwide release. Wildly popular, the song received nationwide radio play on adult contemporary, Christian, (while the band does not create outwardly religious music, its members acknowledge Christian influences) pop, and rock format stations. The Fray released their first album How To Save a Life later on in 2005; the album went on to sell over two million copies despite mixed critical reception - while reception was largely positive, some critics found The Fray's music as somewhat bland and uninspired. The band released their second single "How To Save a Life" in 2006 - their most popular song to date, peaking at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 - which was quickly followed up by two more in 2007, "Look After You" and "All At Once". The Fray plans to release a sophomore album sometime in late 2008, again on Epic.
From the sleepy sprawl of America's 'Mile-High City', Denver, Colorado, United States, comes The Fray, a foursome whose melodic pop-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 - the demo version of "Over My Head (Cable Car)" became KTCL's top 30 most played song of 2004 in just 4 months. The band signed to Epic Records in 2004 and released their debut album "How To Save A Life" in September 2005.
The band FIRST began 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", originally 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 (self-titled) was released on February 3, 2009.
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The Fray is a four-piece piano rock American band from Denver, Colorado. Formed in 2002 by schoolmates Isaac Slade and Joe King, the band released their debut album How to Save a Life in 2005. The band is best known for the song "How to Save a Life", which charted in the top three of the Billboard Hot 100 and was also a top 5 single in Canada, Australia, Ireland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The Fray also found national success with the song "Over My Head (Cable Car)", which became a top ten hit in the United States and Canada. How to Save a Life was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and was also certified platinum in Australia and New Zealand.