The Fray Looking For Next Hits in 'Crappy Little Demos'
The Fray Looking For Next Hits in 'Crappy Little Demos'

Isaac Slade says that the group's next album could arrive in 2013.

After writing more than 70 songs for its latest album, "Scars & Stories," Isaac Slade says The Fray feels like it has a head start on its next album -- which he hopes will come quicker than the Denver group's first three albums.

"We've been on a survival pace, kind of, doing (the music) and making sure our relationships are intact back home and everything, so we ended up doing a record every three or four years," Slade tells Billboard.com. "Everything is kind of stabilizing now, so I think we'd like to pick up the pace a little bit and do it every two (years), maybe. I'm hoping something will come out next year."

Watch The Fray Talk New Album, Kelly Clarkson Tour in Billboard/AmEx Q&A

Slade says that before The Fray began its summer tour with Kelly Clarkson this month he "started organizing all the little voiceovers and demos and stuff like that" remaining from the group's sessions for "Scars & Stories" with producer Brendan O'Brien. "There is some really good stuff in there," he notes. "I really like it. I was listening to the demo for 'Heartbeat (the album's first single);' I recorded it in South Africa. I was renting a house down there, writing, and it's a little messy and not quite all the pieces are there, but there's this kind of pulsing, throbbing, heartbeat kind of feel to it and it's right there in this crappy little demo. It's good to hear that stuff because it gives you hope for the other demos that sound bad but have some promise. You feel like they can really become something."

"Scars & Stories" debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 when it was released in February. The album's second single, "Run For Your Life," is still active, while Slade says the group and its label are "in that great debate phase" about a third single. Meanwhile, The Fray is eyeballing more touring after it wraps with Clarkson in mid-September. "The first six or seven months of the record is kind of warming the engines up and getting everything going," Slade says. The group will be playing in Australia and Asia during the fall and is scoping out dates in Africa, the Middle East and South America, with a return to Europe and more North American dates in 2013. Slade is hoping that, as on "Scars & Stories," The Fray's travels will inspire some new material to add to the pile of remainders.

"I hope it does," he says. "It ended up being such a cool, fresh perspective. Before that we'd written so many songs in the comforts of our own world, our own home and bus and studio and stuff, and then suddenly we're in the middle of New Orleans or over in South Africa and everything was just different. So hopefully we'll get some of that as we travel. I'm bringing a guitar, so I'll do my best."

Meanwhile, Slade and company plan to enjoy the rest of their run with Clarkson, a tour that grew from teaming together for a benefit concert last December. "We just really hit it off," Slade recalls. "We became texting buddies and kept it touch and talked about the tour and what we'd want it to look like. We really respect her and her work and what she's done with the cards dealt to her. She's been an incredible artist for 10 years. I didn't know if it would work, but it's going great. It's a great dynamic."

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