The Fray performed a set at the 96.5 TIC Acoustic Cafe last night in Hartford, and they shared their favorite song to perform, what inspired them and what’s coming next with their new album Helios.
The Fray have no shortage of great songs, including their latest single “Love Don’t Die,” but while they love writing and performing their new songs, it’s one of their biggest hits that they go back to as their favorite song to play out. “‘How to Save a Life,’ I think is probably still my favorite,” said Ben Wysocki. “It’s cool to do lots of other songs and they’re progressing… it feels like we’re getting stronger as musicians and artists and everything, but there’s something so innocent about those first couple years, those first songs we wrote. We didn’t know what marketing was, we didn’t know what charts were, we didn’t know any of that stuff. We were just trying to write stuff that resonated with us. For some reason this song feels really simple against the other songs– it’s embarrassingly simple, because we have all these choruses and huge drum beats– but the song still hits me hard.”
Helios, which is due out on January 14th, will be the band’s fourth studio album, and while they’ve come a long way since their debut album How To Save A Life, singer Isaac Slade still believes if they had to do it all over again, they’d do everything the same. “There’s no different formula to ‘make it.’ Everybody’s story of success is so different how you get there, it’s so hard to make it,” he explained. “If you’re having fun with it, number one, that’s huge. If you’re enjoying it, you alone or you with your band mates and its enjoyable, that’s a good start.”
“And be able to be willing to write a lot of bad songs, and know they’re gonna be bad,” he continued. “It’s okay because it takes a lot of bad songs to write a good one.”
The other key to success, according to The Fray, is making sure you get a following, even at those early shows. “We begged our parents and friends to come out to those early shows, and they came,” Wysocki said. “We played shows on weekends, and we’d be playing some small bar, and our faithfuls would be there early on. All they heard were bad songs, every weekend.”
Not being afraid of bad songs is part of the creative process, but listening to other artists was another factor in The Fray deciding to go for it as a band in the first place. “Joe was listening to Nirvana, Isaac was listening to Third Eye Blind, I was listening to Dave Matthews Band,” Wysocki recalled. “And Dave was listening to Our Lady Peace.”
“That was about ten years ago,” Dave Welsh added, sheepishly.
“That’s pretty much the musical setting that made us want to be a band,” Wysocki continued. “Some of that has changed, and some of it hasn’t.”
As the band continues to gear up for the release of Helios, and “Love Don’t Die” is already on the airwaves, they also just shot a video for the new single. The video, filmed at Cowboy Palace Saloon in Chatsworth, CA, will premiere in December, and as fans might expect based on the band’s old school music tastes, they went for a classic kind of theme for the new video. “We made a bar room brawl set up, in a little bar 45 minutes from LA,” Slade said. “There’s a place that had stunt men and broken bottles a-la Blues Brothers.”
Check out the full interview here: