The Fray

  • Alternative rock band formed in 2002 from Denver Colorado. The primary members are Issac Slade (lead vocals, piano, songwriting), Joe King (lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, songwriting), Dave Welsh (lead guitar, bass guitar) and Ben Wysocki (drums).
  • Slade, King and Wysocki were schoolmates at the same Christian school in Denver, and they were active in performing music at worship services. Wysocki and Welsh were members of the same Contemporary Christian Music band. In 2002, Slade and King reconnected and started to collaborate on songwriting. Soon, they added a drummer, guitarist and bassist, and started to perform together. Shortly thereafter, the drummer, bassist and guitarist left, and Wysocki and Welsh joined. Needing a name for the band, they asked people to submit possible names on paper, and they randomly picked The Fray from a fishbowl. They liked the name, since they frequently argued over the lyrics for their songs.
  • In 2002 and 2003, they released 2 EPs with an independent label. The second, titled Reason, received airplay in Denver, and the band gained prominence locally. A national recording label heard the EP, and by 2004, they were signed to a recording contract. Prior to the release of their first album, they toured with Weezer and Ben Folds Five, allowing their piano driven alt pop rock sound  to gain some national exposure.
  • The Fray released their debut album, How To Save A Life, in 2005. The first single from the album, Over My Head (Cable Car), slowly gained momentum, and 9 months after its release, it peaked at #8 on the Hot 100 chart and at #2 on the Adult Top 40 chart. The title track was the second release from the album. It originally was picked up for episodes for the television shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scrubs, and then ABC-TV used it as the theme to promote the 2006 season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy. This increased exposure of the song, and it drove it to #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Top 40 charts. The song remained on the Hot 100 chart for 58 consecutive weeks, the seventh longest of all time. Both songs were subsequently nominated for Grammy awards, and the album won a Billboard Music Award for Digital Album of the Year.
  • Over the next several years, the band released 2 live albums, and re-released their Reason EP. In 2009, they finally released their second album, the self-titled The Fray. The album topped the Billboard 200 album chart, and the first single from the album, You Found Me, reached #7 on the Hot 100, and #1 on the Adult Alternative Songs and Adult Top 40 charts. Another single, Never Say Never, was a modest success, reaching #7 on the Adult Top 40 chart. The song was nominated for a Grammy award, as was the album.
  • The band released 2 albums during the 10s – Scars and Stories in 2012 and Helios in 2014. A couple of songs from these albums managed to chart in the top 10 of the Adult Top 40 chart, but the band did not have the success of their first 2 albums. Other than that, they have been pretty low key, playing occasional concerts. Here’s their video to How To Save A Life – no doubt, they can thank ABC-TV for their international popularity!

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