Sunday, May 20, 2012

Backtrack with The Fray

Title: Backtrack with The Fray
Written by Jho Mariano
Edited by Jamie Ortega

Learn about The Fray’s journey to musical superstardom in this MCS Exclusive article.

You must admit-there’s just something so undeniably endearing about a band who has no qualms about baring their heart and soul with their music. Men, as a species, don’t give in to their emotions easily, but when talented guy musicians do, they produce songs that people cherish for years.

Meet Denver- based quartet The Fray. With their authentic sounds and sincere lyrics, there’s no denying how Isaac Slade, Joe King, David Welsh and Ben Wysocki  can tug at their fan’s heartstrings with songs like How To Save A Life, Over My Head (Cable Car), etc. Songs like these possess the power to evoke fresh or even long buried emotions of love, heartbreak, and everything in between. Before catching their concert on June 21, 2012 at SM Mall Of Asia Arena, let’s take a walk down memory lane and relive the band’s rise to success.

Like many great things the formation of the band started with small beginnings. Former schoolmates Isaac Slade and Joe King bumped into each other at a local music store in 2002, erstwhile signaling the start of their jam sessions. The duo was later joined by Zach Johnson and Slade’s younger brother, Caleb. Caleb’s departure from the band inspired the group’s first hit single “Over My Head (Cable Car).” Johnson followed suit, permanently leaving the band to attend an art school in New York. In 2002, the group released the “Movement EP,” which was followed by another musical offering, the Reason EP, the very next year. The band struck gold with Reason EP, garnering critical and local acclaim. with a local publication called Westword naming them the Best New Band of 2004.

You could definitely say that 2003 was a major year for the band because, aside from the fact that it made people sit up and take notice of their music, it also marked the entry of two more members, Dave Welsh and Ben Wysocki. After years of trying to get their music out in the market, a record deal with Epic Records materialized in December of 2004.

Musicians aspire for two things- to release their own record and tour with musicians they admire, The Fray achieved that second dream the following summer as they toured alongside bands “Weezer” and “Ben Folds.” They went back to making music in September 2005, finally releasing their debut album “How to Save a Life.” Their first single “Over My Head (Cable Car)” off the album reached number 8 in the Top 40 chart status. The Fray released their album’s title track and was profoundly used in an advertising campaign for the hit TV series “Grey’s Anatomy.” Their single “How to Save a Life” became one of 2006’s biggest singles and a world-wide hit.

In July 2006, The Fray took their music one notch higher by releasing a live album “Live at the Electric Factory: Bootleg No. In September 2007, they released another live album “Acoustic in Nashville: Bootleg No. 2.” The next month, they re-released their “Reason EP” while continuing to tour, intermittently playing new songs at their shows.

Late 2008, the band returned to the studio to record their second album “The Fray” which was released in early 2009. The lead single of the album, “You Found Me” climbed to number 7 in various music-related countdowns.

For their third album Scars And Stories the group decided to tweak their songs a little bit to create a “larger sound”. The compilation was inspired by the band’s Rwanda and Germany expeditions and produced by music heavyweight Brendan Brian. In an interview on Billboard magazine the band fondly looked back at their 10 years in the music industry. Isaac revealed that the group cane to a point where they felt they couldn’t “make it”. “Ten years ago we wanted to quit our jobs. Joe was working at an auto body shop. I had a little gig at a coffee shop and was still at my parents' house. My girlfriend at the time, who finally agreed to marry me, confessed years later that she never thought we'd actually make it. She thought it would be a phase, like, 'Oh yeah, Isaac's band phase ...' Then, two years into it, she started getting the sense that we were going to be doing this for awhile. You know, there are hard parts to it, but, by and large, it's the best job we've ever had. It's a dream job.”

Don’t miss The Fray Live in Manila on June 21, 2012 at the Mall of Asia Arena! Call SM Tickets: 470-2222 or visit for ticket inquiries and reservations. Proudly presented by Dayly Entertainment and That’s NTertainment Productions

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