June 14, 2017 Interview – Jason Wade & Bryce Soderberg of Lifehouse
Busting onto the Alternative Rock scene back in 2000 with their debut album No Name Face, Lifehouse are a band that take nothing for granted. An album led by the massive number one hit single “Hanging by a Moment,” No Name Face would go on to multiple platinum sales, leaving the young, talented band riding high. Even still, their humble prospective kept them grounded, resulting in a career that has spanned over 17 years of internationally touring, numerous highly charted singles, but most of all, memories that will last a lifetime.
Still going, Lifehouse unite once again in 2017 with a summer tour alongside Switchfoot and a 18-track greatest hits album set for release July 14th. Recently we caught up with Lead Vocalist/Guitarist Jason Wade and Bassist/Vocalist Bryce Soderberg to talk the unexpected ride of Lifehouse, looking toward the future, and much more.
CrypticRock.com – Lifehouse has built a name as a leading Alternative Rock band over the past two decades. Releasing seven successful studio albums and touring the world, how would you describe the incredible ride the band has been on?
Jason Wade – It has been just that, it has been incredible and surreal. We were all just kids playing Rock-n-Roll in a garage at one point dreaming of having your music be heard. The fact that we were able to do that at a really young age, 19-20, and to say that we’re in this band for 17 years now, it is pretty amazing. It definitely hasn’t all been a success story, there have been ups and downs, but at the end of the day we are really thankfully to be able to still go out there and play our music. We are closing in on 20 years and that is pretty amazing.
CrypticRock.com – It is fantastic. As stated, Lifehouse has been established for nearly 2 decades now and it was 2000’s No Name Face which really launched the band into the spotlight. That album was anchored by three massive singles. Looking back, what was the life and times of Lifehouse like when No Name Face started to pick up traction?
Jason Wade – Like I said, we just weren’t expecting it. We put the album out, “Hanging by A Moment” came out on the radio, and we had some really vivid memories not opening directly for Pearl Jam, but playing the Levi’s side stage at a festival. We would play a 45 minute set for people going to get beer and going to the bathroom. Then we would play to the same people walking back to the shed to see Pearl Jam. Halfway through that tour our song just started blowing up on the radio. That tour ended and then we ended up opening up for Matchbox Twenty in front of 20,000-25,000 people every night in an arena. It happened so quickly, it was kind of like a lightening in a bottle situation where we were in this crazy whirlwind which was “Hanging By A Moment.”
I remember being in a hotel room when it crossed over from an Alternative thing to Top 40. When it was at its largest, I remember flipping through four different stations and I think “Hanging By A Moment” was on three different stations at the same time on different formats. Then I would walk out into the lobby and hear someone whistling it. It was just kind of everywhere, it was really this kind of ubiquitous thing. I was only 20 years old at the time and I grew up kind of a poor kid, I had no idea what to expect playing in front of all these people. It was surreal.
CrypticRock.com – It really sounds like very fond memories. Since, the band has released six more diverse studio records. From album to album, the band has grown. As the songwriters, what has the creative growth been like for the band?
Bryce Soderberg – I feel like every record we make we try and encapsulate what we are going through or that time we are living in to the best of our abilities. We just always want to veer away from trying to capture the same sound from the first and successful records. We just try and keep that growth alive and move forward. With each record, every process is different, every time is different. To us, we feel happier when we are in our element trying to keep our integrity and move forward as musicians and as people.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, they always say if you are not moving forward you are not going anywhere. You have to keep looking to progress.
Jason Wade – I think a lot of bands get comfortable in this, their brand and their sound, and they keep making the same song over and over again. It works for a lot of bands and they are really successful at it, but we just kind of got bored easily. We didn’t want to keep making the same No Name Face record over and over again. We kind of took our knocks for it a little bit, but at the end of the day, we got to navigate creatively the way that we thought we should. I think we are fortunate to be able to have the freedom to do that.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, that is what matters most. The band did in fact release Out of the Wasteland back in 2015. This was an album that came after a brief break from touring. Was Out of the Wasteland a refreshed perspective for the band?
Bryce Soderberg – Absolutely. We had gone on a little bit of a hiatus before we released that record. It had been two years since our previous record, Almería (2013). Out of the Wasteland, Jason had gone his journey and the same with Rick and I. Rick had played with the Goo Goo Dolls for a while. It was a really good leading up point and chapter in our career. It was our seventh record, and we never really thought we would remotely get that far. Now we are onto a greatest hits which we will be releasing July 14th. With each new chapter we kind of step into this world of wow we are still doing this and still enjoying the process after 17 years. It is kind of an epic feeling to be at this point in the venture. It is all good vibes around.
CrypticRock.com – Fantastic. The band is back on the road in 2017, this time teaming up with Switchfoot. How excited are you for this summer run?
Jason Wade – We are so excited! Out of the tours we have done, it is going to be the one that is probably going to be the most epic out of them in 17 years. I grew up listening to Switchfoot, their first album came out in 1997, The Legend of Chin. No one knew who they were then and I wore that record out. Jon Foreman, as a songwriter, and all the guys in the group are amazing. The tour kind of came out of nowhere. We were all kind of doing our thing and enjoying being home. As soon as we got the offer to co-headline with Switchfoot and be on the road with those guys we said, let’s put everything we are doing on the hold because this is going to be an amazing experience!
CrypticRock.com – Yes, it will be a great show! Anyone who knows Lifehouse knows that the band has had their radio success, but at a live performance, you really are a Rock band through and through. Do you often find some fans surprised to see how energized the band is in a live setting?
Jason Wade – I think so. I think a lot of people, especially in the early 2000s, when “Hanging By A Moment” became such a big Pop song. We did have some success on Pop radio, I think they weren’t exactly sure what to expect when they come and see us live. Really, it is just two guitars, bass, and drums. We don’t play to click, we don’t fly a whole lot of stuff in, the show is not run by computers, it is just a very human feel. It is great because there is a different energy every single night. I do think people have been really surprised when people come to see the shows.
CrypticRock.com – It is always good to surprise people. A lot of Lifehouse’s songs translate very well acoustically as well.
Jason Wade – Yes, we have really enjoyed taking the middle of the set and do an acoustic bit. We haven’t toured in a long time, but the last tour, we would do an acoustic bit in the middle of the set where we would let fans call out songs and I would play a snippet of songs on the acoustic guitar. That is kind of fun to. Obviously we aren’t going to play 4 hours every night so you can get everyone’s favorite song in a snippet.
CrypticRock.com – Very cool, well it is a fantastic summer tour. Over recent times, you had been working with solo projects including Bryce’s Komox. Does working with others perhaps broaden the view of Lifehouse as a band moving forward and writing new material?
Bryce Soderberg – Absolutely. I think, especially being together as long as we have, it is important to creatively go on separate ventures for certain periods of time to explore, learn, grow, and see what is going on with other people in the industry. Also going inwards and looking at personal growth on your own. We have been in this band so long as young people. Our first two albums did quite well, so we spent our twenties engulfed in working.
Now that we are in our mid thirties we felt it was necessary to take some time and explore things. Jason has been releasing solo stuff recently, I have been working on my thing, Rick played with Goo Goo Dolls for a while and has been creative in the culinary arts lately. Now that we come back at this chapter, it is really positive moving forward.
CrypticRock.com – Well that is all positive. My last question for you is pertaining to movies. CrypticRock.com covers music and Horror/Sci-Fi films. If you are a fan of the genres, what are some of your all-time favorites?
Jason Wade – Oh yea! I loved life (2017).
Bryce Soderberg – There are so many classics. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). For Horror, I like the classics like The Exorcist (1973). That is a terrifying movie.
Jason Wade – The Conjuring (2013) messed me up. I literally couldn’t sleep for a couple of days. I was so scared I couldn’t see the second one (laughs).