The Full Wiki

Isaac Slade: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Isaac Slade

Background information
Birth name Isaac Edward Slade
Born May 26, 1981 (1981-05-26) (age 28)
Origin Boulder, Colorado, U.S.
Genres Piano rock, pop rock, alternative rock
Occupations Vocalist, Musician
Years active 2002 ─ present
Labels Epic, Sony
Associated acts The Fray
Notable instruments
Piano, Guitar

Isaac Edward Slade (born May 26, 1981) is the lead vocalist, main songwriter, pianist and co-founder of Denver-based piano rock band The Fray.[1][2]


Early life

Slade was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the Denver area with his family, which included both parents - who were missionaries from the same family - and two younger brothers, Caleb and Micah. He also lived for a time in Guatemala due to his parents' profession. He attended the Faith Christian Academy in Arvada, Colorado and later attended the University of Colorado Denver.[3]

Slade started singing when he was 8 years old, and began playing the piano at 11, after temporarily losing his voice. He wrote his first song when he was 16, and learned to play guitar when he was in high school.[4]



Forming The Fray

Slade joined Ember, a band which consisted of Slade and his future The Fray band-mates Dave Welsh and Ben Wysocki. The band soon dissolved, and later, in the spring of 2002, Slade ran into former school-mate and vocalist/guitarist Joe King in a record store.[5] The two began regular jam sessions, which led to writing songs. They later added Slade's younger brother, Caleb on bass and Zach Johnson on drums. Johnson soon left to attend an art school in New York, while Caleb was fired. This caused a rift in Slade's relationship with his brother, which inspired the future hit single, "Over My Head (Cable Car)".[6]

Dave Welsh and Ben Wysocki re-joined Slade and King, to form The Fray. In the same year, the newly-formed band released Movement EP, and in 2003, they released Reason EP to some local critical acclaim, particularly by Denver's Westword alternative newsweekly.[7][8] Despite these reviews, the band struggled to launch a single. Denver radio station KTCL rejected eight of their songs before the band decided to submit "Cable Car". The song found airplay on a KTCL radio show highlighting local bands, and the radio station received a large number of requests for it soon thereafter. The band changed the name of the song to "Over My Head (Cable Car)", and by the end of 2005, it had become KTCL's most played song of the year.[9]

How to Save a Life

The band signed onto Epic, and the band's debut album, How to Save a Life was released in September 2005. The album brought the band mainstream success, and was certified double platinum by the RIAA. It was also certified platinum in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and in the UK.

Apart from lead vocals and playing the piano, the lyrics on the debut album were written by Slade based on his real-life experiences.[10]

"Over My Head (Cable Car)", the first single from the album, was written by Slade based on his rift with Caleb:

"It is about a fight I got in with my brother, Caleb. After he graduated high school, we drifted apart and really hadn't spoken in a long time. One day we both realized that we needed to fight it out. We'd been friends for twenty years. That's a long time when you're only 23 years old. We fought it out, and he's one of my best friends today."[11][12][13]

The song hit the top-ten of the Billboard Hot 100, and became a top 25 hit in several countries. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 2007.[14]

The title track from the album, which became a major international hit, was written by Slade based on an experience he had had while working as a mentor at a camp for troubled teens, called Shelterwood in Denver:

"One of the kids I was paired up with was a musician. Here I was, a protected suburbanite, and he was just 17 and had all these problems. He was a recovering addict, coming out of a really tough teenage life. Thankfully, he was on his way out of that life, so he was able to really look back with some objectivity. The song is more of a memoir about his slow motion descent and all the relationships he lost along the way." [15][16][17]

The song charted in the top three of the Hot 100 chart, and was a massive hit worldwide, charting in the top 5 in several countries. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 2007.[18] The song is one of the band's critically acclaimed and highest-charting song to date.

Apart from "Over My Head (Cable Car)" and "How to Save a Life", Slade also wrote "Look After You", the third single, for his then girlfriend and future wife Anna, when she was living in Australia.

The Fray

Following the success of How to Save a Life, the band released their second record, The Fray in 2009. The lead single "You Found Me" was written by Slade, and he explained the meaning in an interview:

“You Found Me is a tough song for me. It started from just a song with a lot of hate towards God. More of questions, "why" It's about the disappointment, the heartache, the let down that comes with life. Sometimes you’re let down, sometimes you’re the one who lets someone else down. It gets hard to know who you can trust, who you can count on. This song came out of a tough time, and I’m still right in the thick of it. There’s some difficult circumstances my family and friends have been going through over the past year or so and can be overwhelming. It wears on me. It demands so much of my faith to keep believing, keep hoping in the unseen. Sometimes the tunnel has a light at the end, but usually they just look black as night. This song is about that feeling, and the hope that I still have, buried deep in my chest.”[19]

The song reached the number-one spot in Australia, and hit the top ten on the Hot 100 chart. "You Found Me" became the band's third song to sell over 2 million digital downloads in the United States, after "Over My Head (Cable Car)" and "How to Save a Life". Slade also wrote the songs "Say When" and "Happiness" on issues of war and happiness.

Other projects

Slade performed on the 2010 remake of the 1985 charity single, "We Are the World". He joined 74 other artists to record the track for the victims of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.[20]

Musical Approach

Vocal Characteristics and songwriting

Slade often uses falsetto in his vocals, and is recognizable by his strong American accent. While his vocals on How to Save a Life was quite simple and straightforward, he gave strong performances on the second album, adapting a slightly edgier and more aggressive style of singing, most notably on the songs "We Build Then We Break" and "Say When".[21]

While the band has been lyrically spearheaded by Slade, he co-writes all songs with King (only "Hundred", "Say When" and "Happiness" have been written entirely by Slade). Slade's first songs contained lyrics with strong religious beliefs and Christian messages. He later gave up on writing religious songs, and removed all traces of any Christianity in the songs he wrote for the band.[22][23] He started writing songs based on emotions, and experiences he had had while touring and performing with the band. When asked on his approach to songwriting, he said: "I just love getting an emotion in my head out on paper. It helps me make sense of life. It's the same way people write in journals so they can look back in years. I basically just put my journals to music."[24]

He stated in an interview: "We're not like real rocking rockers; we'd rather write about feeling and emotions."[25] In another interview with respect to the lyrics on the second album, he stated, "We wanted to make the songs count. I'm happy with this record because the songs feel like they count. They really connect to us."[26]

The lyrics on both albums revolve on issues of troubled relationships, growing up, life and its accompanying problems. Slade's lyrics often express anger, disappointment and hope towards life. AbsolutePunk, commenting on the lyrics on the band's sophomore album, stated that "clearly there are issues unresolved within Slade's psyche, and the heavy dose of unhappiness and disappointment are indicative of that".[27]


Slade stated in an interview that one of the first songs that inspired him was "Swallowed" by Bush.[28] In a blog on AOL Radio Blog, he wrote:

"As a kid 'Swallowed' was my siren's song. I was a sheltered church kid and here's this guy talking about living the life his way, doing whatever he felt like doing. Bush wasn't allowed in my house either, which made it that much more mysterious." [29]

His other musical influences include Counting Crows, Better Than Ezra, U2 and Radiohead.[30][31]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Herrera, Dave (December 25, 2003). "All Mixed Up". Westword Magazine. 
  8. ^ Heller, Jason (February 19, 2004). "The Fray: Reason EP (self-released)". Westword Magazine. 
  9. ^ Smith, Dane (March 30, 2006). "The Fray Live the High "Life"". Rolling Stone. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Diving Into - The Fray". Sauce. June 09, 2006. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Amistad by The Fray lyrics/". 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^;content_nav
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^

External links

Simple English

Isaac Slade
Birth name Isaac Slade
Born May 26, 1981 (1981-05-26) (age 29)
Origin Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Genres Rock
Occupations Vocalist, Musician
Instruments Vocals, piano, Guitar
Years active 2002 ─ present
Labels Sony BMG
Associated acts The Fray

Isaac Slade is an American singer-songwriter of the rock band formed in 2002 called The Fray. He was born in May of 1981. He has released several albums with the band The Fray including How to Save a Life (album) and Live at the Electric Factory. He records and performs more of a piano rock and acoustic. Singles include How to Save a Life, Look After You, and Cable Car.


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address