The Fray is one of the biggest new bands to explode onto the pop-rock scene in the last few years. Its hits like “Cable Car,” “How to Save a Life” or “You Found Me” have become the soundtrack to your lives due to their ubiquitous life on radio or on television shows like “Grey’s Anatomy.”

The band played before a fervent audience at the ASCAP Music Café here at Sundance yesterday, but before they took the stage, lead singer Isaac Slade gives Hitfix the exclusive on their third album.

Q: How’s the next album coming along?
A: We’ve been in the studio off and on for the last four months. No producer yet. We’re just bringing in our engineer and kind of feeling it out. We really want to bring in somebody and kind of do a collaboration, but we want to get a little bit farther down the road first so it feels like we can go pretty strong left or right with this third record and kind of stay where we are or get way more commercial, which we don’t want, or go super indie and lose a broad swath of our mainstream fans, so we’re kind of at a weird junction. The label’s been really cool. They said, “You know what? You gave us two records of what we wanted so now do your thing.”

Q: So what do you want to do?
A: It’s a good question. We’re trying to figure it out right now. Loosely, I can’t really speak for the guys, but for me, I think I want a build a longer-term career and I feel like we’ve been really fortunate to have some big success with a few things, but I want smaller success with more things.

Q: You want the long tail theory.
A: My manager made me read that book. I still haven’t read it yet. I think I want to spread our foundation a little bit. We’re not like the one-hit wonder, we’re like a four-hit wonder, so it’s broader than I ever imagined it could be, but if you’re asking, that’s definitely a goal of mine to get the audience to know every song on our record instead of six or seven.

Q: Will it come out in 2010?
A: No, most likely not. It will likely come out early 2011.

Q: The Fray has already been so successful with song placements in so many television shows. What do you want to get out of being at Sundance?
A: We’ve done a lot of more visible syncs, more commercial, larger, whatever. Wed like to start smaller from the ground up, maybe do something from scratch for the actual piece.

Q: So you’d like for a director to see you here and ask you to write for his or her project?
A: Yeah and maybe not even that direct. One of our guys, Dave, is way into movies and he’s got a dream director list of 25 people, so it’s just a scene that we’ve never really taken the time to come see. It’s awesome. There’s such a spirit of camaraderie and collaboration…It’s how I imagine how it used to go with collaborations with old school phone calls and someone sits in a room with someone else and actually writes the music for the movie.

Q: Do you want to score a movie?
A: Yeah, we’d love to. We’re interested in doing some end credits or some songs or some soundtracks or some stuff. We have a lot of bands that we really respect that have gotten into that from Jon Brion to the Decemberists. They’re all setting the bar really high…We took Sondre Lerche [who wrote the songs for “Dan in Real Life”] out on the road with us and that was a real inspiration.

Q: You’re getting ready to go to Australia next month. How are Australian audiences different than U. S. audiences?
A: They’re a little nicer actually. [Here], you got to prove yourself to some people, they kind of stand there with their arms folded and kind of wait to see if you’re worth it and I respect that. I kind of do that but Australia is just a lot more openly gracious, I’ll say that. And it’s either the culture or they’re all drunk. One of the two. They’re pretty stoked about their alcohol.