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Interview:
The Fray at The Fillmore, 5 Things To Know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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When they came together 14 years ago in Denver, the members of The Fray weren't thinking about hit singles and greatest hits albums. But they can now.

Earlier this month the quartet released is "Through The Years: The Best Of The Fray, collecting hits such as "How To Save A Life" and "Over My Head (Cable Car)" along with three new songs. It chronicles a decade of earnest and melodic rock that's brought the group three platinum-or-better albums, Grammy Award nominations and Billboard Music Awards.

On tour this fall The Fray is looking both back and ahead. It's been through quite a few years already, but as far as its members are concerned, there are many more ahead as well...

Putting a best-of album together not surprisingly led to some reflection, according to drummer Ben Wysocki. "It's been a very retrospective, introspective time for us, kind of looking back at what we've accomplished before we go forward with anything," Wysocki, 32, says by phone from Washington, D.C. "Now that we're touring it I think fans have the same experience, a looking back on an amount of time they have grown with us and been fans. Every day in meet and greets I'll meet a fan who's like, 'Oh, I've been listening to you for the last decade' and sharing stories about what our music has done in their lives, specific thing."

Wysocki says that it doesn't feel like 14 years since The Fray formed, or 11 since its first album. "It kind of feels like a time warp a little bit," he explains. "In some light we have always done the same thing, kind of; We wake up and think, 'OK, let's try to make music better than we did yesterday...' It's just a blur of, obviously, success and what the career, the job has done for our personal lives and all that makes it really surreal. And living that amount of life wtih three other guys and seeing the personal change with our families and marriages and children and everything, that definitely adds to it."

The Fray has, in fact, become a bit of a family traveling show these days. "Backstage we have toddlers and pre-teens that our children running around, and we're like, 'Wow, how did this happen? When did this happen?'" Wysocki, who has a two and a half year old daughter, says with a laugh. "We all had kids around the same time with the exception of Joe (King), whose kids are 13 and 11. It's amazing to see any of your friends have kids, but especially in this sort of isolated environment where you have a bond of shared experience with (the music) and now we have kids, that's really a trip."

Wysocki says the biggest collective surprise success for The Fray has been "How To Save A Life," which hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006 and went triple-platinum. "That's the little song that could," the drummer notes. "We never imagined a little piano song like that would become a defining four minutes of our career, so that's been humbling. We definitely have to keep in mind that songs take on a life of there own. We didn't really imagine any of these songs to be in the company of each other on a greatest hits album. It's just beyond us once we put them out into the world."

The three brand new songs on "Through The Years" give us an indication of where The Fray might head when it starts recording its next new album in earnest next year. "We had some songs that we had demoed and were just lying around, not sure what we were gonna do with them or how we wanted them to be represented," Wysocki says. "We knew we wanted a few songs on ('Through The Years') as a snapshot of where we are now to complete the full picture of the arc of our career. We had a lot of material to sort through, but these three were kind of obvious choices we could all agree are a really great snapshot to where we are now."

The Fray and American Authors

Friday, Nov. 18. Doors open at 7 p.m.

The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.

Tickets are $35-$64.95.

Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.

Web Site: www.thefillmoredetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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