NEW YORK — Fray guitarist Joe King recently found out how supportive U2 can be when he sent his new single to the band.
After listening to “Need a Woman by Friday,” King said Bono told him in an email: “I need a song like this every Friday.”
“It’s just encouraging to get that kind of response from people you respect and look up to,” King said with a wide grin in an interview last week.
It all started when he sent a copy of the track to the band and thanked the veteran rockers — specifically The Edge — for making him aware of New Orleans phenom Trombone Shorty, who plays on the new song.
But King says he was surprised by U2’s love for the track. His relationship with the band started a few years ago when The Fray opened up for U2 during a tour.
“They’re two of the greatest songwriters in the world,” King said of Bono and The Edge. “When we toured with U2 they would take us to dinner. They would talk with us about (being) creative and writing, being a band and being songwriters.”
U2 covered “The Saints Are Coming” with Trombone Shorty for a Hurricane Katrina benefit. King’s new song is from his debut EP, “Breaking,” out April 23. He said his Grammy-nominated band, known for the hits “Over My Head (Cable Car),” “How to Save a Life” and “You Found Me,” has already started writing songs for their fourth album and plans to go into the studio in June.
King said collaborating with Trombone Shorty musically has evolved into a great friendship.
He says he appreciates learning from other performers — especially U2.
“I think musicians need advice all the time. Being in the music business, it’s like being in a pinball machine, and you are the ball, and the paddle is like your label and your management and you’re going everywhere,” he said. “So as much as you can get grounded with those people, then it’s essential to being sane and continuing to be creative and inspired.”