Members: Isaac Slade, Joe King, Dave Welsh, Ben Wysocki
The Fray is a four-piece alternative rock band from Denver, Colorado. Their single "Over My Head (Cable Car)" saw global success, making top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, the top twenty of the Canadian Airplay Charts, and the top forty of the ARIA and RIANZ charts in Australia and New Zealand respectively. The success of the single helped their debut album How to Save a Life reach the top twenty of the Billboard 200 album charts in the United States.
They were formed in 2002, and currently consist of Isaac Slade on lead vocals and piano, Joe King on lead guitar and vocals, Dave Welsh on guitar, and Ben Wysocki on drums. They have no official bassist, but they recently have been touring with bassist Jimmy Stofer. While many critics compare the band to Coldplay,the band lists its main influences as Better Than Ezra and Counting Crows.Although the band initially drew comparisons to Christian rock groups, they deny that their Christian upbringing has a significant effect on their music.
In Spring of 2002, schoolmates Isaac Slade and Joe King met up in a local music store. They soon began regular two-man jam sessions that led to writing songs and devising a style pitched between the arena-friendly style of U2 and the Triple-A rock of bands like Counting Crows and Coldplay. Slade and King later added Welsh, Wysocki and Slade's brother Caleb to the band. Wysocki was a former bandmate of Isaac Slade, and Welsh was a former bandmate of King. Tensions quickly grew between Caleb and the rest of the band, and Caleb was asked to leave. The bittersweet relationship between the brothers became the inspiration for "Over My Head (Cable Car)".The band chose "The Fray" from a suggestion bowl that was placed at a graduation party for one of Slade's brothers. The members of the band first claimed that they found the name suitable because they frequently quarreled over the composition of the lyrics in their songs. However, they have since stated that the band is usually on good terms while composing music, and acknowledges contributions from all of its members.
In early 2003, they released Movement EP, a collection of four songs that the band had written. Very few copies were pressed, and it is currently unavailable for purchase. Only the song "Vienna" would be performed on future releases. Later that year, they released Reason EP to some local critical acclaim, particularly by Denver's Westword alternative newsweekly. Despite these reviews, the band struggled to find launch a single. Denver radio station KTCL rejected eight songs before the band decided to submit "Cable Car". The song found airplay on a KTCL radio show highlighting local bands, and the radio station received a large number of requests for the song. The song eventually became one of the stations top 30 most played songs of 2004, helping their popularity to grow locally. Later that year, the band was voted "Best New Band" by Denver readers of Westword. Epic records found out about the band through Westword's original article and sparked the interest of A&R man Mike Flynn.Epic Records officially signed them at the end of 2004, and released their debut album, How to Save a Life, in September 2005. The band changed the name of "Cable Car" to "Over My Head (Cable Car)", and by the end of 2005, it had become KTCL's most played song of the year.
In July 2005, The Fray opened for Weezer for ten concerts. At the conclusion of the Weezer tour, the band opened for Ben Folds for twelve shows. The Fray headlined their own tour in January 2006, playing with Mat Kearney and Cary Brothers.
HOW TO SAVE A LIFE
"Over My Head (Cable Car)" became a top 40 hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in late 2005, but only peaked at position #37 and fell off of the chart after three weeks. Despite this, the single gained airplay nationally, entering the Billboard Hot 100 charts on the issue marked February 25, 2006. For the next twelve weeks, the song was ranked higher than the week before, and two weeks later it reached its peak position at #8 on the Hot 100 chart. The song found success on VH1 where the music video has hit the #2 position in the Top 20 Countdown, and it has been a top 3 hit on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart.
While the song was rising on the charts the song "How to Save a Life" was featured during a fifth season episode of Scrubs and a second season episode episode of Grey's Anatomy. Despite not having been released as a single, "How to Save a Life" entered the Hot 100 chart on the issue marked April 15, 2006. The song was promptly released as the band's second single, and is currently in the top sixty of the Hot 100. On August 18, 2006, ABC announced that the song would be used for the main advertising promotion for the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy. To date, their debut album has sold over 500,000 copies in the United States, and has been certified Gold by the RIAA. The single "Over My Head (Cable Car)" has been certified double Platinum (over 400,000 downloads), and the single "How to Save a Life" has been certified Gold (over 100,000 downloads). The single has also hit the top 40 in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
On July 18, 2006, The Fray released their first live album: Live at the Electric Factory. The concert was recorded on May 21, 2006 at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The digital download of the album is available exclusively on iTunes, and orders for a CD version of the album are available through their official website.
2005 - How to Save a Life
2003 - Movement EP
2003 - Reason EP
2005 - Over My Head (Cable Car)
2006 - How to Save a Life
2006 - Live at the Electric Factory