'Beer' session with The Fray
MANILA, Philippines - With the kind of melancholy, bittersweet music they make, you’d think the members of The Fray would be just as sad and serious as their songs.
But the guys who showed up for their — believe it or not — first press conference on November 9 at Holiday Inn Ortigas were as warm and friendly as regular American friends out for some beer.
And like any beer session, topics of their press conference included Manny Pacquiao, good sisig and girls.
The Grammy-nominated rock band behind the hits “How to Save a Life,” “Over My Head” and “You Found Me” is in Manila for their first Philippine concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.
“Our live shows are a different other animal,” says pianist and lead vocalist Isaac Slade in practically the same soulful, gritty voice that has helped make their songs distinct.
First time in the Philippines
The members were unanimous in their excitement to perform in front of a Filipino audience which according to guitarist Dave Welsh is the “most outgoing of the South East Asian bunch,” a statement based on their experience performing on Eat Bulaga earlier that day.
Isaac observes, “In America, people usually cheer at the start and end of the song but here, they cheer ever 30 seconds.”
As first-time visitors to the Philippines, guitarist and vocalist Joe King confesses that their first impression of the Philippines was “Manny Pacquiao,” but since arriving, they’ve had their taste of sisig (which they enjoyed) and good ol’ Filipino hospitality embodied by the 75 fans who were waiting to welcome them at the airport upon their arrival.
Would they ever collaborate with a Filipino artist?
While Joe played with the idea of Manny Pacquiao (“I’ve heard him sing on TV. He’s got a pretty good voice.”), all considered local girl band General Luna whose faces they saw printed on a bus advertisement.
Aside from their established hits, The Fray will be playing new songs from their latest album, Scars and Stories.
Based on the title alone, you can expect no great departure from the sad, brooding light-rock ballads the group is known for.
According to Joe, the album largely features their new sound as well, one that is “bigger and more ambient, the kind that fills the whole room and that people can sing to.”
Even the creation process for the tracks was “big.”
They used large chambers to produce sounds during recording to make the songs fuller and more encompassing. The band also did extensive travel to get inspiration for their songs which explains why 5 of the tracks are named after cities.
“Munich has this dark and grey feeling, very different from the atmosphere here,” says drummer Ben Wysocki.
Isaac adds that the new tracks reflect their newfound “confidence and clarity” that has come with their 10 years in the music industry.
Ten years and still going strong: something remarkable in a band that has gone through several member changes starting from the replacement of original drummer Zach Johnson and the removal of former bassist Caleb Slade, Isaac’s younger brother.
But with all that behind them, the 4 guys are closer than ever and are already working on their next album.
Their band may have changed over the years but as Joe puts it, they can assure their fans one thing:
“You’re going to get the best Fray [tonight].” - Rappler.com