The Denver-based rock band, The Fray, will return to Milwaukee to play a gig at Rock The Green on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 4:30 p.m.
Tickets to Rock the Green are $25 in advance or $35 at the event. There is a $50 VP ticket that ensures admission to a reserved area in front of the stage.
Rock the Green is a one-day music festival at Veterans Park that's billed as "The Midwest's Near-Zero Waste Music Festival." Ticket sales benefit two local groups committed to ecological sustainability, The Urban Ecology Center and The Park People.
Because The Fray shares an eco-friendly vision both on and off the road, the American rock band is a great fit for the festival.
The Fray formed in 2002 and since then, has released two albums containing hit singles, "Over My Head (Cable Car)" and "How To Save A Life." A third album, currently untitled, is due out by Thanksgiving.
OnMilwaukee.com recently checked in with Isaac Slade, The Fray's lead vocalist, pianist and founder to find out more about his music, his passion for good food and his commitment to the environment.
OnMilwaukee.com: Who is the "greenest" member of the band?
Isaac Slade: Dave (Welsh), our guitarist, for sure. He's the one who got us to originally think about reducing our carbon footprint and he was the first to purchase a hybrid vehicle.
OMC: Do you have a hybrid vehicle now, too?
OMC: Would you say the whole band is committed to environmental sustainability?
IS: Yeah, it means a lot to us to minimize the environmental impact of our band. We purchase carbon offsets. We also have booths at our shows with information on how people can get green. And we drink all of our water from Nalgene bottles when we're on the road. We're pretty damn green.
OMC: Your new album is due out soon, but it still doesn't have a name. What's the hold-up? Are there a couple of working titles?
IS: That's the hotly debated item of the summer. We're good at a couple of things, but naming albums is not one of them. The drummer's sister named the first one, and the second one we self-titled partly because we liked the idea and partly because we couldn't think of anything else. You can really only self title one of your albums, so we really need to come up with another title. Soon.
OMC: Will you debut any of your new songs at Rock the Green?
IS: We will probably have a single out by then and we'll take five or six new songs out for a spin.
OMC: You write a lot of the music for the band. Can you tell me about your process?
IS: I write little phrases down anytime, day or night, when I think of something or read something. Then I keep them in a big pile and when I get an idea for a song, I go through the junk yard and see if anything fits. I usually piece something together out of that and then I start driving it around and certain parts fall off and some stick and it starts picking up speed. I get an idea if its slow or fast or sad or optimistic and then I have the basic sculpture and the rest is details.
OMC: Are you looking forward to sharing a bill with Ben Folds again?
IS: Yeah, I'm stoked. I talked to him just the other day about getting a beer together. We opened for him in 2005. He showed us the ropes on how to play in theaters.
OMC: What other bands inspire you?
IS: It's eve-changing. There are the hall of famers, like U2 and Wilco, and then lately, I've been obsessively listening to Wye Oak and Rogue Wave.
OMC: Do you think The Fray will always be based in Colorado?
IS: I don't know. Dave moved to Nashville and Ben (Wysocki), the drummer, moved back from San Francisco. I think, ultimately, we would all like to have multiple houses, with Denver as our home.
OMC: What do you like about Denver?
IS: All four of us grew up here. I was born here. Everyone else lived here by the time they hit puberty. I really like the climate here. It's really sunny and dry. It's one of the sunniest places in the country. And the amazing mountains are only 40 minutes away. I just can't seem to leave this place.
OMC: Anything come to mind in particular when you think of Milwaukee?
IS: I have some good friends who live in Milwaukee, so we have been stopping by since we started touring in 2004. But even before, a friend "painted" a great picture of Milwaukee, telling us it was between Chicago and Minneapolis and we were going to love it. And Milwaukee also makes me think of beer.
OMC: Does your wife tour with you?
IS: She used to, but she has been pretty busy. She looks at the tour and picks a few items off the menu.
OMC: Speaking of menu, I heard you guys are foodies?
IS: I don't know about that. But I will say that when it comes to food, we all go crazy. We don't do drugs, I don't drink when I'm on the road. We're really not a Van Halen type. But what we do like is good food, and we spend a lot of money at good restaurants while touring.
OMC: What's your favorite kind of food?
IS: Probably French.
OMC: What do you like to do other than music-related stuff?
IS: I have been discovering my personal life lately and what to do with my free time. I purchased a four-wheeler and I like camping, using my ax to cut wood for the fire. I really like going to different kinds of restaurants in Denver, too. And I recently realized how much I like cooking. I can make a pretty good breakfast. If you give me four eggs and a fridge full of anything, I can make a pretty damn good scramble.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.