The Fray divide their history into pre-"Grey's Anatomy" and post-"Grey's Anatomy."
"So P.G. and ...," singer Isaac Slade joked, abbreviating à la "B.C." "Shoot, we're gonna have to work on those names."
The truth is the Fray were already rising fast when the medical drama used "How to Save a Life," from their debut LP of the same name, for a key scene and later in commercials for the show. The placement just catapulted the Denver band into another stratosphere, making its debut one of the best-selling albums of 2006 and the Fray one of the best stories of the year.
"It hasn't [been that] our song's on 'Grey's Anatomy' and now a whole lot of people are coming to our shows and are like, 'Play the "Grey's Anatomy" song!' " drummer Ben Wysocki said. 'It's just been a nice supplement that's come along with other TV appearances, CD sales and radio and just us touring a bunch."
"How to Save a Life" had actually been on other shows before "Grey's" ("Scrubs," for one), but how it was used made it stand out.
"All the shows we've been on have been really great — well, most of the shows we've been on have been really great — but I think 'Grey's' is one of the best in the way that it fit," Wysocki said. "It kind of made our song more impactful. It sounded different for once because you were listening to it with these visuals that are very powerful."
The bandmembers watched the show together and then saw the song become an overnight sensation — literally.
"By 5 a.m. we had a significant increase on iTunes," Slade recalled. "It happened right away."
"How to Save a Life" hit Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart in April and has remained a top 40 staple ever since, even garnering spoofs like the YouTube hit "How to Screw My Wife." A new video for the song recently premiered on "TRL."
"We sent [the first video] to ABC because they wanted to use it as a promo, and it was so hugely seen that people started thinking that it was like a 'Grey's Anatomy' commercial we shot especially for them," Slade said. "So we had to go back and shoot another video. It was weird how that success forced us to go back to the drawing board."
The Fray are also gearing up to shoot a clip for their third single, "Look After You." Their first single was "Over My Head (Cable Car)," which got the band signed and initially on the radio.
" 'Look After You' is a song I wrote about my then-girlfriend when she was in Australia and I was missing her like crazy," Slade said. "We had this chorus, but I couldn't think of any lyrics, so I was just mumbling this weird 'oh whoa' thing. [Guitarist Joe King] was like, 'Good enough.' So it doesn't really have any words, but it has emotive sounds."
So given what the show has done for them, is it safe to assume the Fray are among the 20 million followers who regularly tune in to "Grey's Anatomy"?
"He's actually a big fan of Dr. McSteamy," King said, pointing to Slade.
"I've seen one show," the singer replied.