Having completed a tour of the UK with The Feeling and their own sold out show at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire, The Fray's drummer Ben Wysocki took time out to talk about the past few months and those ahead.
CM: How are you enjoying being in the UK at the moment?
BW: I'm enjoying it lots, I really like coming over here, I'm enthralled with this country, we always have a good time when we're here so it's good.
CM: You've recently been supporting The Feeling, how were those gigs and how were you received by their fans?
BW: It was good really as we've been headlining in our own country for the last two years and then we've come over here and it's new to people so it was cool for us cos it's kinda like a resurgence of energy into these songs.
We were very well received by The Feeling folk, both the band and their fans so it was a good experience for us, we got to see me more of this country than just coming to London.
CM: I guess coming to new country is like starting all over again, going out there trying to win people over with your songs is a different kind of atmosphere?
BW: It is, at home rolling into a theatre where there's 3000 people come to see you play then you get complacent and apathetic so it's good to come somewhere where you have to work for it and organically the best way to gain fans is to play music for em. You kind of have to start from zero with that so that's the best thing for a band to be put in that spot and really prove that your music is worth them listening to.
CM: You played your own show at Shepherd's Bush the other night, how did that go?
BW: That was really good, it was our first big headline show in London, we've done a couple of smaller shows like club gigs, not to say that they weren't great, cos they were, loud and hot and crowded, but Shepherd's Bush Empire obviously there is history there and it's a great venue. It was awesome for us to do a gig there and have people come out and sing along so it was a really cool thing.
CM: Have you had much time to see any of the UK whilst you have been here? Anywhere that you particularly wanted to check out?
BW: The first three or four times we came over here we just stayed in London, we did the touristy things but we didn't really feel like we were really seeing the UK, the same as if you just stayed in New York for two weeks. So it was good to be out with The Feeling as we got down to Bournemouth and Plymouth and down the coast then all the way up North and we got to see all the times but weren't incredibly exciting but it was nice to see the full range of the whole country. We did have enough time in the opening slot to get out and walk around a bit.
CM: You've done well to break into the UK top 5 so quickly, what do you think has been the key to your success here? A lot of big American bands like Counting Crows, Goo Goo Dolls etc have struggled to transfer their stateside success over here in terms of radio and charts.
BW: Some of that credit has to go to the song as it's down to the music. If it was down to us and our personalities then it probably wouldn't do so well as we're really boring people. We didn't think we'd really become part of the music scene here cos we're so intimidated by all the great music that has come from the UK. We never thought we'd be part of that so we're really surprised but humbled and pleased with that so thanks!
CM: The internet is obviously having a big part to play in band's getting their music out there these days, how do you think it's helped play a part?
BW: You kind of have to embrace that cos if you embrace it then it embraces you back. There's always going to be music but the days of just going out and putting a poster up are kind of gone now. Whenever we used to come across a band in Denver it was always "what's the website?"
To keep people interested you have to keep producing great music, the website could be great but if the music there is crap then people aren't going to keep going on there so it is still all about the music.
CM: Which bands influenced you when you were first starting out?
BW: It's interesting you mentioned Counting Crows as they were one of the first bands really. It's just kind of rootsy, real music, and it's all about great lyrics, they don't really have a look it just good music. We're all huge fans of those so I guess they were an influence.
In terms of modern bands I guess they are not so much an influence but someone I respect is The Killers, the first album went so huge and people wondered if they could do it again with a second album and really think they have. They've moved on a bit and it's a really great record and to top it all off they are really great guys.
In terms of new bands you should check out a band called MuteMath, we had them open some shows for us in America and they are making some really good music so you should definitely all check them out.
CM: I guess a lot of people will only have heard the single 'How To Save A Life' so far; how good a representation of the band and the album is that?
BW: It's pretty good I think, we're really proud of the album , I think now maybe we can do better and I'm looking forward to getting back into the studio but at the time that was the best we could do and we're all really happy with it and yeah I think 'How To Save A Life' paints a fair picture of the rest of the album and what we're like.
CM: Are you enjoying having a crew and such now? I guess Isaac was never able to lug a grand piano around with him when you playing small clubs starting out?
BW: We've built a really good team of people around us so it is really nice. I do remember one time we had this pretty big show in Denver so we wanted to use a real piano cos Isaac just used to use his keyboard. So we got his mother's piano and kinda hauled it into the back of this mini-van and covered it in blankets and got it to the show, but when we got it home Isaac got in trouble as it had gotten scratched and stuff so yeah, it is nice to have people carry things round now.
CM: Your next single is out on May 21st 'Over My Head (Cable Car)' can you tell us a bit about what that is about and then what else you have coming up for the rest of the year?
BW: Lyrically 'Over My Head' is really about Isaac's relationship with his brother which wasn't that great when they were younger but it's about learning to tolerate each other and learning to live with each other and they are great friends now.
We'll be coming back to do V Festival in the summer so it'll be great to get up on a big stage and do some shows in front of a big stage but for me personally I'm just looking forward to getting back in the studio and starting work on the second album.