A generation ago, it wasn’t cool for rockers to cross-market their material on television. Self-respecting recording artists didn’t let their songs be used for commercials or television shows.
“That all changed,” Pretenders leader Chrissie Hynde said. “Back then, there were radio stations, which played new songs. That’s not the way it is anymore. We have to do different things.”
Hynde was defending a Pretenders tune used for a car commercial. If someone as cool as Hynde is down with television and music, it’s fair game for every artist.
Good news for The Fray, whose members have no problem showcasing their songs on television.
Thanks to the ABC smash “Grey’s Anatomy,” the band broke nationally.
The drama utilized The Fray cut “How to Save a Life” heavily on its 2005 promos. It didn’t take long for fans of the show to discover The Fray.
“That was pretty awesome,” drummer Ben Wysocki said. “It’s tougher than ever to get established now. The music industry isn’t what it was 20 or 30 years ago. It’s harder than ever for a young unknown band to get noticed. We were fortunate because we tapped into a group of people that probably would have missed our music. Now they’re our fans.”
The Fray’s fan base has been increasing through the years. The band’s first album, “How to Save a Life,” went double-platinum.
The group of Fray supporters grew with the well-marketed concert document, 2006’s “Live at the Electric Factory Bootleg No. 1.”
2009’s eponymous album is loaded with plaintive, well-constructed tunes. The Fray, scheduled to perform Saturday at Hartman Arena, especially hit its mark with mid-tempo rockers and ballads, which are comparable to Maroon 5 material.
“We worked really hard on that album,” Wysocki said. “We knew we had to take some steps up the ladder away from what we did the first time around. With every tour we do, the better we become. All the road work helped us with our last album.”
The Fray, which also includes vocalist-keyboardist Isaac Slade and guitarists Dave Welsh and Joe King, is coming back with “Scars and Stories,” which will be released in February.
“We just try to improve with each album,” Wysocki said. “We learn a little more each time we’re on tour and in the studio, and that benefits us album to album. I think we’ve taken a step forward with each release.”