Sunday, December 9

Lifehouse takes life on the road to promote new album


Singer-songwriter Wade jams for major artists' tours, lands big record deal

CATHY JUN Singer-songwriter Jason Wade of Lifehouse opens for
Better than Ezra at the House of Blues in Hollywood on
Thursday.

By Chris Moriates

Daily Bruin Contributor


Perhaps Jason Wade doesn’t realize his success yet. At 20
years old, few men successfully reach their dreams. But with a
record deal with major entertainment player, Dreamworks, and a song
heading toward heavy rotation on radio stations across the country,
Wade’s band, Lifehouse, is well on its way.

Wade was calm, soft-spoken and friendly as he sat at the empty
bar of the House of Blues in Hollywood last Thursday, a few hours
before Lifehouse was to take the stage, opening for experienced
rockers Better than Ezra, who may be remembered for their hit song
“Good” back in 1995.

It seems like the success all started happening at once for this
singer-songwriter, who began writing poems and lyrics at the age of
12, after his parents’ divorce, and picked up the guitar at
15, just five short years ago.

“I would write lyrics, but I never played an
instrument,” Wade said. “I only figured out how to put
the lyrics and the melodies and the guitar together when I was
about 15.”

But Wade quickly developed and, along with current bassist
Sergio Andrade, occupied a steady gig performing for a local youth
group on Friday nights during his teen years. It’s hard to
imagine a band that, within a few short years, went from playing at
an elementary school to sharing the road with Pearl Jam.

But that’s just what Lifehouse has done.

During Pearl Jam’s recent U.S. tour, Lifehouse performed
on the small stage in many of the cities.

“It was a really great experience,” Wade said.
“It was a great opportunity because even though there would
only be about 400 people standing in front of the stage, a lot of
people would pass by us on the way to their seats, so maybe
they’ll see the banner and maybe they’ll hear us on the
radio now and be like “˜hey I know those
guys.’”

Lifehouse’s first album, “No Name Face,” was
released on Halloween this year, and has already yielded a
successful single with “Hanging by a Moment,” a song
that Wade describes as “a love song that can be interpreted
in many different ways.” The album is a moody, soul-searching
trip through questions about love, despair and, ultimately,
hope.

Although much of Lifehouse’s music deals with
spirituality, Wade feels that it is unfair to label their music as
“Christian rock.”

“We are not a “˜Christian band,’ but I’m
a Christian, and the bass player is a Christian,” Wade said,
as the rest of his band began to plug in their instruments for
their sound check. “I don’t feel that you have to label
music as “˜Christian music.’ A Christian plumber is just
a plumber.”

Labels and genres aside, the members of Lifehouse have the
youthfulness, ambition, and talent to follow their dreams, taking
it one step at a time.

“(Life on the road) has been awesome. I’m really
having a great time,” Wade said with a sincere smile.

The members of Lifehouse seem to be taking their success all in
stride, but they are still young and the excitement is obvious.
Following the sound check, Andrade was overheard standing at the
bar gushing to a friend about how cool it is to have their
“first tour bus.” It doesn’t stop there. This
band is in the middle of a chapter of firsts: first album, first
tour, first video and first radio hit.

The members of Lifehouse are enjoying their time on the road
performing their current album for many different fans, but Wade is
already working on the next batch of songs, writing by himself or
with his producer, Ron Aniello.

“This album is a lot of really moody stuff.” Wade
said. “The second album will be more upbeat,
radio-friendly.”

Onstage later that night, in front of a large crowd at the House
of Blues, Wade seemed just as open, sincere, and inviting. Despite
a scattered group of fans who seemed to know Lifehouse’s
music, the crowd was made up of mostly Better Than Ezra supporters
who did not know who Lifehouse was (although there was quite a
reaction when the radio-recognizable “Hanging By a
Moment” was performed), but Wade seemed to capture their
interest with a solid and heartfelt set.

The performance ended the same way the album does: with a
passionate rendition of the song “Everything.” The four
members of Lifehouse led the crowd through the mysterious twists
and turns of the emotional tune.

Wade feels that “Everything” is a special song that
really connects with other people. The audience’s reaction
seemed to confirm this fact.

The patchwork curtain of the House of Blues came to a close, the
equipment was packed up and Lifehouse was off to Phoenix in its new
tour bus to win over another crowd at a show the following
night.

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