Last Friday, at Bataclan, some of us had the chance to see to the first ever LIFEHOUSE show in Paris and it was epic.
Formed at the end of the 90’s in Los Angeles, the Alternative Rock Band released their first album, No Name Face, in 2001 and had rapidly a big success. Their first single “Hanging by a Moment,” spent 20 weeks in the Top Ten and won a Billboard Music Award for “Hot 100 Single of the Year”. Then followed 5 records including lovely singles like You and Me, First time, Whatever it takes or Between the Raindrops…
15 years later and 15 million albums sold, Jason Wade (Lead vocals, guitar), Bryce Soderberg (Bass,Vocal ) and Rick Woolstenhulme, Jr (drums,Percussions) are currently touring Europe to present their seventh album, Out of the Wasteland.
Few hours before their first Paris show, I had a little chat with Bryce Soderberg and here it is few things that I learned
Welcome to Paris! This is your first show in Paris in this beautiful Bataclan theatre. It looks that French fans were really waiting for you – the 2 venues were sold out quickly.
Are you excited to meet them?
Yeah, I am, absolutely. We are very happy to be in Paris. We have 15 years of history so most of our fans have been waiting since long time to see us.
Let’s talk about your new album Out of The Wasteland, a beautiful title.
What is the message? Why this title?
Well, originally we called the album 7, because it was the seventh album and Jason’s favourite number.
We did a whole artwork campaign, fans were making artwork but we just kind of thought that the title didn’t really do the record justice, also reminded us of movie Seven so, we just came up with this title, Out of the wasteland, as a kind of significance of our rebirth as a band .
We took 2 years off, there was a lot of uncertainty as to the future of the band, Jason was thinking about doing a solo record but then we’ve got the band back together and made Out of the Wasteland .
We thought at the title also because we are independent now, there’s been a lot of changes in the band, we write a new chapter…
So it’s a rebirth, a kind of going back to the roots…
Yeah, both, we are going back to the roots, musically, sonically, we have a lot of similar sounds with our first few records but we’ve also shown a lot of growth over the years, we are growing- ups now, we have a lot of creative control, we are doing things in our way.
How did you build this album?
Well, Jason decided 3 years ago that he wanted to do a solo record. Our previous album, Almeria, did not do the way we hoped.
I was ready to create something differently, Rick wanted to play with Goo Goo Dolls for a while, I did my solo project KOMOX which is still in development.
So, Jason did a solo record and he felt that some songs were very LifeHouse sounded. So he called Rick and I about one year ago and asks us if we are willing to do another LIfehouse record.
We weren’t prepared at all, we were in different stage of our lives but we missed the band, we felt like we still have a lot of life left.
So we got back together, we listen to a bunch of songs, about 70 songs that Jason have been written, then he liked a song that I wrote, Stardust , so we’ve made the record, then we spent time developing and recording the rest of the Out of the Wasteland and finish it.
So, what’s going to happen with the rest of the songs? You put only 12 on the record.
For every album that we made, we write a lot of songs, some of them are just throw away songs, you know, a lot of my mentors in song writing said that “you write for the trash”.
There are some really good songs that didn’t make the record, but every time when we go into studio we try to do fresh…
You have 7 albums, a lot of songs, so is it difficult to do your set list? I saw you ask your fans what they would like to listen. That’s very nice.
Our fans work hard, they come out and pay to see our shows, so obviously, we gonna play what they want to hear and they want to hear our singles Hanging out for a moment, You and Me, etc
We try to put together a set that is overall entertaining for our audience, for us. We do a couple of songs for ourselves.
But there is a general consensus about 10 songs that, probably, we couldn’t not play. And another 10 songs that we can play but we can switch with other ones…
We’ve been touring for 15 years now, and we know which works and which doesn’t work and we try to switch every time.
Jason is doing an acoustic set in the middle of the set. Whatever the audience want to hear , Ok, we’ll gonna play it
Talking about acoustic, did you ever think to do an acoustic album?
Actually, we have done a couple of EP acoustics.
But yeah, I personally, would like to do an acoustic record or even a live album. we’ve not do yet a live album…
There are a lot of things that creatively we would like to pursue.
You guys are very active on social media : Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, What do you think about this way to promote your music and also to communicate and to be close to your fans ?
We have seen changes dramatically in music industry since we have started as a band and there was no social media at the time.
When I first started I have said, oh, we should keep up with this, I built My Space page first, then we developed Facebook , Twitter, Instagram. Guys have also their own stuff.
That’s really important. You can’t pretend anymore that it is cool not to be in the social media. If you are in a band, you have to be in a social media.
It’s not the way that it was when we started our music, when the closest you get to your favourite artist was to look at the CD.
Now, fans would like to know what is going on all time, all around the world, we are letting them know what is happening by posting a photo of the audience, hanging out or doing something fun.
I think this is a real good change what is happen in music industry, we can reach fans in Paris, we do not have to be on a radio here and if we want to go to other market, we feel the same response. Most of our fans know us from social media, you tube, etc.
How much you are involved personally? Do you read comments?
Yes sure, we read, we respond sometimes but we try not to look so much, I mean not to be influenced by a comment. We like to be involved but a little bit of separation is healthy for the art.
I think it is important to keep in touch.
Our music connects to fans in a certain level that other bands cannot do. Our personal lyrics, some lyrics are going into their lives, it is interpretative music.
We try as much as possible to maintain that connection and I think, through interaction – there is something we are trying to exercise-is possible without crossing any lines.
What happens next? What are your projects?
I honestly do not know, I do not think that anyone really knows.
We were supposed to do a US tour this summer but unfortunately Nickelback cancelled. This European tour is going fantastic, then we will go to Philippines and also Australia.
I think I personally and musically I would love to continue with Lifehouse, writing and making a new record, show some growth in the same time .
Ultimately, this band is Jason’s decision, we cannot do it without him and honestly, he seems to be enthusiastic, we have a good time on tour.
Who knows, maybe a little acoustic tour, maybe we will go back in the studio…
What music do you listen personally?
It’s funny, I go through phases, I was raised with a lot of classical rock: Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones.
Then I got into 90’s – I was into the grunge from Seattle: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots.
A couple of years ago, I really got to the alternative music scene – I like the French band Phoenix, I like also Foster the People, Imagine Dragons.
But I feel like this last year, the best albums are hip hop albums, this is the best new music right now, like Kendrick Lamar and I really like Dr Dre new record.
But this is changing, you know, I’m always like oh, what’s new?
Music for me that’s always evolving, that’s a kind of what we do with our music, constantly evolving and changing, that’s keep us healthy.
Thank you very much. Enjoy the show and Paris