The Fray display "Scars" with confidence on new album

Tue Feb 7, 2012 4:58pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Of all the people impacted over the years by the lovable Muppets -- singing frog Kermit, sassy Miss Piggy and their friends -- perhaps the most unlikely is rock band, The Fray.

Following the success of their second album, 2009's self-titled "The Fray," the four members were on the verge of breaking up. Then, lead singer/pianist Isaac Slade and bassist Joe King were put together in one room in Las Vegas to record a cover of the classic Muppets song "Mahna Mahna" for the "Muppets: The Green Album" record released in August 2011.

"Something happened between the Muppets, the drunkenness and Las Vegas, and Joe and I maybe both remembered at the same time that we actually enjoy doing this," Slade told Reuters.

With the release of their third album, "Scars and Stories" on Tuesday, The Fray have finally moved past their internal differences and found new confidence that allowed them to lay bare their emotional wounds with pride.

The band -- comprised of Slade, King, guitarist Dave Welsh and drummer Ben Wysocki -- don't put on flashy concerts or wear elaborate costumes. They simply play music and sing lyrics with heart, and those songs have earned them fans worldwide.

"I don't have Lady Gaga's persona, I don't have Bono's sunglasses, I'm a bald 30-year-old man standing on stage singing songs about my life and I'm starting to be comfortable with that," said Slade.

The Denver, Colorado band shot to fame with their debut album "How to Save a Life" in 2005, earning two Grammy nominations for hit singles "Over My Head (Cable Car)" and "How to Save a Life," which are examples of The Fray's trademark piano-driven ballads of melancholia fused with hope.

Their self-titled 2009 album met with similar success and earned the group two more Grammy nominations, but with fame came internal pressures and friction that threatened their longevity.   Continued...

<p>The band "The Fray" performs at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 22, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith</p>