Interview with Ben Wysocki of The Fray: All Grown Up

And there’s no denying the band’s sophomore self-titled effort certainly gives fans the full Fray flavor. Heartfelt, melodic, and introspective, the band’s second piano rock delivery is arguably a well-rounded follow-up record. “We wanted to make sure it progressed because I think the worst thing we could have done was to put out something else that was exactly like the first one. This is definitely still a Fray sound that people are familiar with, and it’s not really surprising anyone, but lyrically it’s much more mature, and musically it’s more mature, and it was just the step we needed to take and now we know ourselves a little bit better, so for any sort of exploration we’re now better set up for that,” he says.

“I’m really, really proud-not proud because I think it’s perfect-but proud because I think it was the right thing for us to do and it’s a very good representation of where we are right now. We have definitely grown on many different levels. Personally, we’re much different people, just over the course of three years or so, and musically, we toured so much on the first record, and we were playing a lot, so inevitably you’re going to get better. And we got so much better at playing together and learning how to just be a band and be a group of musicians all working toward one final goal on stage.”

In addition to the spotlight from Grey’s Anatomy, The Fray’s music has also been featured on One Tree Hill and Scrubs, as well a commercial for LOST. While they’ve clearly had a huge helping hand when it comes to exposure, at the core of the group’s success-and the reason why they keep progressing-is the strength of the band members’ relationships. Wysocki says he and lead guitarist Dave Welsh were in the fourth grade together and have been family friends for years, and he’s known lead singer Isaac Slade since junior high.

“We have amazing history. We’ve lived a lot of our lives with each other which definitely helps and they are, you know, my three best friends. And I really think that does a lot for the music too, because your relationships, and the way that you create art, are very much intertwined,” Wysocki says. “If we didn’t care about each other-if I didn’t care about Isaac or know the potential within him-then I probably wouldn’t tell him when he does something that sucks. And sometimes that can be an interesting thing but in retrospect you know that it’s all out of love and there really is an amazing amount of respect because they are three amazing guys. The four of us, in some ways, were just placed into this situation. No one really understands, with the exception of my wife, what this is really like for me better than those three guys.”