Archives For the fray

On Monday night, before Kentucky beat Kansas to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, The Fray took center court for what proved to be a very different rendition of our country’s National Anthem.

I’ll disclose that I’m a fan of The Fray, and Isaac Slade has joined my show twice over the past six months. I honestly don’t think the performance was awful. Sad to say but at least Slade got the words right. Bottom line: the guitars playing the wrong key/out of tune is what doomed this performance. If Slade sings acapella, there’s probably no negative backlash over it.

The Fray’s Isaac Slade first told me last October of the song, “Run For Your Life.” He fought his band-mates for it to be the first single from Scars and Stories.

“There’s another song called, ‘Run for Your Life’ that I think is probably my favorite song on the record,” said Slade during the phone interview. “It’s real ballad-y, beautiful, and heart wrenching and kind of like, whatever you think of The Fray to be, kind of our cliché.”

Then when the lead singer and I met in person last December, I revisited the subject.

“It could be one of two songs,” Slade revealed of the possible second single during out sit-down. “But one of them is (‘Run For Your Life’), yeah.”

Despite completing the album last year, Slade said The Fray wanted to release Scars and Stories around Valentine’s Day. The LP hit stores February 7.

I stopped by WBRE’s “PA Live!” for my weekly segment, “The Ralphie Report.” This week, I recapped my interview with Jeremih, explained why The Fray’s Isaac Slade had to move a holiday party due to NBC’s “Today,”, and talked about David Archuleta’s announcement that he is taking a two-year break from music to go on a Mormon mission.

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Bread snobs unite.

The life of a rock star is not all fun and games, especially around the holiday season. Just ask The Fray lead singer Isaac Slade.

“We’re doing a big Christmas party that we had to switch the date on because of the ‘Today’ show,” the front man revealed recently on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “I called the family and everybody moved the date, sent out a new e-mail, and they were really sweet about it.”

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The Fray will be making the national media rounds over the next two months, leading up to the release of the band’s third studio album, Scars and Stories, due out February 7, 2012. Despite the success of the LP’s first single, “Heartbeat,” Slade insisted that the release date will not be pushed up.

“The (music) industry is a funny thing. You want to give the single enough chance, and give it some air, and then we’ll go to a second single when the album comes out,” Slade said of the thought process behind the later release. “It’s a really sexy record for us, and Valentine’s Day seems like the good time to put out a sexy record.”

Slade is already lobbying the band to tab “Run For Your Life” as the second single – a song that he thought could have been the lead track. In an interview last month on the show, the front man characterized the song as more of a “cliché Fray” production.

“That’s just a song that came together towards the end of the record,” he explained. “We kind of had the whole thing recorded and it felt like one was missing.”

A studio session deep in the backwoods of Tennessee yielded the track. Slade had also revealed in that earlier interview that the new album is completely finished and ready to go.

I stopped by WBRE’s “PA Live!” for my weekly segment, “The Ralphie Report.” This week, I talked about his interviews with The Fray’s Isaac Slade and Fall Out Boy front man Patrick Stump, who just released his solo album, ‘Soul Punk.’ I also talked about my interview last year with former “Hannah Montana” star Mitchel Musso. The actor was picked up last weekend in Burbank, CA on suspicion of DUI.

I appear every Thursday on “PA Live!” – a new, daily show on WBRE that airs weekdays at 4 p.m. The show is co-hosted by Dave Kuharchik and Monica Madeja.

The Fray has released three live albums, and lead singer Isaac Slade admits there is a sense of vulnerability that needs to be overlooked in order to allow the masses to hear your work live and raw. Yet, it was that same feeling of vulnerability that Slade thinks prohibited the band from meeting its expectations on The Fray’s second, self-titled album.

“We wanted to swing for the ball as hard as we could on (The Fray) and I feel like we were a little afraid to,” admitted Slade on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “Maybe the pressure to do a ‘How to Save a Life’ number two or to not really own up to who we actually are… it is a little bit of, I think, an embarrassment that we’re like so mainstream, commercial, yunno, on TV shows and stuff, and all of our friends are like, Indie Rock bands.”

The “sophomore slump” feelings only motivated the Denver-based band to work harder on its third studio album, Scars & Stories. The Fray teamed up with producer Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam) and Slade said it was a learning experience.

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“He kicked our ass a little bit,” the front man said of O’Brien. “I’d get in to these artistic, self-doubt tail spins and he’d just kind of slap me across the face and be like, ‘Just get in there and do it the best you can because that’s all you can do!’”

In addition to the figurative sparring between the producer and the band, there was some argument amongst The Fray themselves, particularly on the choice for the first single from Scars.

“There’s another song called, ‘Run for Your Life’ that I think is probably my favorite song on the record,” said Slade. “It’s real ballad-y, beautiful, and heart wrenching and kind of like, whatever you think of The Fray to be, kind of our cliché.”

Slade is confident that the song will elicit tears from listeners and that it will be “exciting to release to the public,” but ultimately the band decided to go in a more upbeat direction with “Heartbeat” – a track inspired by the real life events of the genocide and exile in Rwanda.

Scars & Stories is scheduled for a February 7, 2012 release.

Thought you might enjoy this, a clever mash-up of the 25 biggest songs in 2009 according to Billboard… definitely worth your time here.


03.18.09 : The Fray – Heartless (Kanye Cover)


Listen to The Fray’s Interview & Performance on the K-Pod!
Watch The Fray In The KKITM Studios Here!

A verse in The Fray’s debut single from their upcoming new album suggests that the last two years haven’t been just rock ‘n roll fame and fortune.
 
“I’ve been calling for years and years and years and years And you never left me no messages You never send me no letters. You got some kind of nerve, taking all I want… Why’d you have to wait to find me?” 
 
Appearing on the nationally syndicated Kidd Kraddick in the Morning Show today, lead singer Isaac Slade explained that the song is about the anger he was feeling towards his higher power.
 
“We just had a lot of bad things happen to our friends in the span of a year and a half and there we were out on the road, stuck in this whole weird tornado thing. I kept getting these phone calls…tragedy after tragedy, and you get the sense that if karma works, it must be busted.“ The song begins “I found God on the corner of First and Armistead”. Isaac revealed that it is an actual intersection somewhere in Texas but that’s merely a coincidence. 
 
Kraddick asked if it was instead a metaphor meaning “God is My First Friend” to which Isaac replied, “Dude, you are on it!” Isaac’s intent was to portray his relationship with God as more personal. “They always taught me in church that if I ran into God it would be a ‘fall on your knees’ moment, and when they said that I had a little fight to pick with them.” 
 
With three songs from the new album woven between talk segments, the small audience in Kraddick’s performance hall was treated to what Kraddick suggested later might be “the most intimate Fray show that’s likely to be had this year.”
 
“Like it or not, The Fray is a super-group now and that means moments like the one we had this morning will become more and more rare,” Kraddick said. Their last album was double platinum and “How To Save A Life” holds the record for digital downloads at over six-million. 
 
In addition to the debut single, Kraddick’s audience of two-million was treated to two other songs from the album, including a never-before-heard track called “Enough For Now”; a song about Isaac’s grandfather who abandoned his “mother’s mother without so much as a kiss.” 
 
It was an uncharacteristically long segment with the band, but Kraddick said he’s received no complaints from listeners or affiliates. “Our show is heard on many different radio formats across the country and The Fray gets played on most of them. I didn’t think anyone would mind if we gave them a little more time.