Lifehouse demonstrates band’s versatility on Out of the Wasteland
“There was a kind of unlearning with this album,” says Lifehouse frontman Jason Wade in speaking about the L.A. outfit’s new release, Out of the Wasteland. “We wanted to retrace our steps back to the beginning and really find the innocence, that feeling of being 17-year-old kids who get excited about playing in the garage,” the singer reveals in a press announcement posted on LifehouseMusic.com. The Ironworks Music project “captures the sound of a band going through a rebirth and finding the freedom that comes after a period of transition and regeneration,” reads the statement. Wade adds the group opened up communication and got honest with each other. “We ended up with something that’s an amalgamation of all of our influences, a collection of everything we’ve done for 15 years,” he says.
Out of the Wasteland comes after a self-imposed hiatus that followed the release of 2012’s Almeria. The members decided to hold off on any more touring and take time to pursue separate side projects. “We had gotten so caught up in the rat race of making music a certain way and it got really draining,” explains Wade. “We’d been on the hamster wheel for so long, we just needed a break.” Wade went to work on trying to create a solo album, but found it too difficult to agree on which of nearly 70 songs to put on different solo efforts.
Wade says two of his songs—‘Hurricane’ and ‘Flight’—sounded like they were really meant to be Lifehouse songs. “Those songs were really the catalyst to bring the band back together,” says the vocalist. “They felt reminiscent of our earlier stuff. And I think everybody was in a place where they wanted to do it.” When the band got back together after more than 18 months apart, demos of the songs “started to breathe and jump-start,” declares Wade. Out of the Wasteland began to come together over the next six months, evolving into a different feel than what the band was accustomed to making—minus the pressure of worrying about making singles.
Lifehouse decided to leave the Geffen label and self-release Out of the Wasteland. The band also worked with longtime associate Chris Murgula aka Winnie as co-producer. The 12-song track list on Out of the Wasteland reflects how versatile Lifehouse is today. “There’s a bit of everything,” continues Wade. “Some of it is a bit more mellow, but other songs like ‘Yesterday’s Son’ and ‘Hurt This Way’ feel like a continuation from the last album.” Other tracks such as ‘Alien’ are a “little more playful,” giving the band the freedom to get outside of only one genre. First single ‘Hurricane’ is currently No. 33 on the Mediabase Hot AC airplay chart and No. 40 at Adult Contemporary radio.
Out of the Wasteland is not only a culmination of the band’s life work, but also a “new chapter that serves as the pay-off for having the patience to reconnect with the musical and personal chemistry that took them to the top.” Lifehouse is touring North America in support of Out of the Wasteland through August, beginning June 2 in Fayetteville, Ark., and wrapping up Aug. 29 in Atlanta. A European leg of the tour kicks off Sept. 15 in Amsterdam for 15 dates that include concerts in France, Germany, and the Republic of Ireland, concluding with four shows in the U.K. (Sept. 29-Oct. 3).
Watch the official music video for ‘Hurricane’ from the new Lifehouse album, Out of the Wasteland.
As A Matter of Fact…
* Singer-songwriter Jason Wade moved to Los Angeles in 1995 and met bassist Sergio Andrade. The two formed a band called Blyss and began playing gigs at high schools and colleges. Producer Ron Aniello (Bruce Springsteen, Gavin DeGraw, Barenaked Ladies, Jude Cole) learned of the group and a meeting was soon arranged with DreamWorks Records principal Michael Ostin.
* In 1998, Anniello produced a few Blyss demos backed by DreamWorks. Some of the recordings ended up on the 1999 EP Diff's Lucky Day, which was sold at concerts and distributed among supporters and music industry contacts. In 2000, Blyss re-recorded, remixed, and released 12 of the 15 ‘Diff's’ demos as the album No Name Face under the new name of Lifehouse.
* Lifehouse broke through in 2001 when ‘Hanging By A Moment’ from No Name Face spent 20 weeks in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, winning the Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year. The band has since released five more albums—three of which made the Billboard 200 Top 10 and sold more than 15 million records worldwide.
* Shortly after touring in support of No Name Face, Lifehouse reentered the studio to cut second album, Stanley Climbfall, featuring the singles ‘Spin’ and ‘Take Me Away.’ After several personnel shakeups, Wade and drummer Rick Woolstenhulme were the remaining active members of Lifehouse as the band recorded an eponymous third studio album.
* Lifehouse was released in March 2005. First single, ‘You and Me,’ was actually written a few years earlier for the 2000 independent film “All Over Again.” The song was a success and stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 62 weeks, peaking at No. 5. ‘You and Me’ along with three other tracks also appears on the soundtrack to an episode of the TV series “Smallville.”
* In mid-2006, Lifehouse began recording their fourth record at Ironworks Studios, the Los Angeles studio owned by actor Kiefer Sutherland and singer-songwriter-producer Jude Cole. Fourth album, Who We Are, was released in June 2007 and showcases the current core lineup of Wade, Woolstenhulme, and bassist Bryce Soderberg.
* Lifehouse’s fifth album, Smoke & Mirrors, debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 in February 2010, marking the highest chart debut to that point. A new single titled ‘Between The Raindrops’ featuring Natasha Bedingfield was released in September 2012, and new album, Almeria, appeared in December 2012.
* A temporary hiatus found the band members going their separate ways as Woolstenhulme began touring with the Goo Goo Dolls, Soderberg formed a new band called KOMOX, and Wade worked on a solo singer-songwriter record that never got off the ground. The release of next album, Out of the Wasteland, got underway in 2014 and was preceded by the single ‘Hurricane.’