Interview with Ben Wysocki of The Fray: All Grown Up

Overnight commercial success might seem like a quick path to fame and fortune for a band but this doesn’t always mean it’s an easy road to travel.

While the Denver-based rockers The Fray reached huge levels of international acclaim soon after their hit “How To Save A Life” was propelled into the spotlight by ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, it’s taken plenty of hard work since to ensure they’ve not only moved forward as a group, but that they’ve become known for more than just the popular TV medical drama.

“This is our dream come true but we had no idea what to expect. It’s almost like we didn’t know how to dream it,” drummer Ben Wysocki says, driving on his way to meet his bandmates. “To be honest, I’m not really an active follower (of Grey’s Anatomy) nor have I really ever watched it, but it’s been an interesting thing for us.

“It’s definitely been a double-edged sword in some ways because it’s been an amazing opportunity for us to tap into a group of people and an audience that maybe otherwise wouldn’t have been listening to our music-and literally being able to get into their living rooms, and into their television sets-that was the amazing part. And it’s been exciting within the last couple of years to witness TV and music, and the lines between those blur a bit. But it also, sort of, presented a challenge for us, having to overcome-or fight-the chance of becoming a Grey’s Anatomy band. As artists, we want to be known for what we’re doing.”

While “How To Save A Life” helped The Fray develop global fan bases, it was their first single “Over My Head (Cable Car)” which initially attracted local spotlight for the group. In the four years that followed the band’s double platinum debut release in ’05, they’ve successfully reached hit spots on charts not only across the States, but in countries as far reaching as Australia, Ireland, Sweden and the UK.

Early success can put a lot of pressure on artists but Wysocki says when it comes to his band, it’s worked in their favor. “It ended up being a really good thing because it kind of raised the bar for us to work a little harder and give people a true taste of who we were without any attachments to a story, or corporation for that matter. But overall it’s been a really cool thing because music on TV is a lot different to the way it was just five years ago. We count our blessings because there was a time when we never thought we would have had any of our music playing on a show like that.”