The Fray Biography

Review The Artist (12)

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From the sleepy sprawl of America's Mile-High City comes The Fray, a Denver-based 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 listen-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 will release their debut album "How To Save A Life" this September.

"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 begat an impromptu jam session that begat an impromptu songwriting session that begat 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 bandmates 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, 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, The Fray will have the opportunity to make even more new fans by the time "How To Save A Life" drops in September 2005.

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The Fray<3 | Reviewer: River | 7/10/13

I LOVE everything about this band! I listened to it so much a couple years ago and just kinda stopped, was going through my iTunes and came across their album listened to it and fell in love all over again! Best band EVER! I replay their dogs over and over. And I NEVER get tired of them! Love them so much!

So This Iz Yur Maverick<33 | Reviewer: Alexis | 7/7/10

Best band EVAH! Im obsessed and proud of it(: I luv aLL ther songs but to name a few........vienna (hence the review title), say when, little house, heartless (cover; originally by kanye -_-) syndicate, and of course HoW tO SaVe A LiFe......

Piano | Reviewer: Dani | 1/9/08

There are definitely not enough piano based rock/pop bands. Great job, guys! How to Save A Life is going to be in the rotation of my CD player for a while. Also, kudos on your use of strings, very beautiful.

Exotic | Reviewer: Bre | 6/23/07

You guys are not like the rest and i really mean that. the emotion you put into your songs leave a sort of peace in the room once you song is over and the muisc fades away. You lyrics a hypnotic well worth attention.

love | Reviewer: Kirstin | 5/25/07

i love you guys you are the best band in the wold i men it ireally do i listen to you guys every night on my i-pod i really reall really badly want to meet you i am going to your consert june 28 i can not wait i am so excited

david | Reviewer: david carter | 4/17/07

i love the fray there my fav. band

About The Fray | Reviewer: Rachel | 4/1/07

I love this band. You can really see youself in some of the lyricks and their songs are sung with such feelings and emotion. I can't wait to hear their next cd xD

I've got to say How to save a life is great, caus' it's just so moving. But also Look after You (breathtaking) <3

Rebecca | Reviewer: Rebecca Majors | 2/26/07

This is the best band I've heard in ages... I have been a country fan for the last few years, I am very impressed.

Vienna | Reviewer: Fray Fan In General | 2/12/07

This is my favourite song of theirs in general! I love the Fray and am (and will be) for life!!!

How To Save A Life | Reviewer: Lauren Miles | 2/11/07

Cannot stop listening to this song.Either its playing outload or its playing into my ears. Not scared at all ofgetting tired of this song,as its so easy to with many others. Great song

Look After You | Reviewer: Carolann Corey | 4/16/06

I am absolute love with this song, it's amazing, he sounds so emotional when he sings , im a huge fan of The Fray.

How To Save a LIfe | Reviewer: Celeste | 3/22/06

Has anyone heard the song "how to save a life?" I'ts so beautiful. With real life lyrics, it makes you feel like he's singing the song right to you. It's great... someone should check it out and write a reveiw about it... then e-mail it to me if you like it!

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