Lifehouse have accomplished so much since they released their debut album, No Name Face, in 2000. Now, 15 million album sales later, we’re chatting with the band’s Jason Wade and Bryce Soderberg about their biggest songs, their upcoming Nashville show and their road buds, Switchfoot.
Nashville Noise: Thanks so much for taking time to chat with us today. I want to talk about the greatest hits album but, first, I thought it was interesting when I researched you that you’re given so many labels (Christian, rock, pop). How do you describe your music?
Jason Wade: I think that we’ve always just wanted to make just music and never wanted to be in a box… I started as a worship leader in a church and one of the youth pastors was analyzing my lyrics, some of the stuff I wrote on the first record. He said, “You can’t say that. You can’t say that. You can’t say that.”
That really turned me off to wanting to be kind in that genre. I wanted to be able to express myself anyway that I needed to at the time… We just wanted to be a band that writes songs and connects to fan.
You’re certainly doing that. How’d you know it was time for a greatest hits album?
JW: It just felt like it was time… Our last album, our seventh album we put out was kind of a frustrating process for us because we spent three years on it and Nickelback had to cancel the tour. The whole album was just kind of done in a period of two weeks. After 15 years of touring we took some time off and we just kind of felt rejuvenated… it just felt like enough time had gone by that it was time to reflect on the music we put out over the last 17 years and just get back out on the road.
Jason, you wrote several of the greatest hits tracks including the smash, “Hanging by a Moment.” When you wrote that song did you realize it would resonate so well with people?
JW: I knew there was something special happening when I wrote the song. It was written in 10 to 15 minutes and I was just kind of channeling the song from another place so I knew there was something very visceral happening in the room… But I had no idea that it was going to be the biggest song on the radio that year. I do really believe when moments happen like that that are really inspired, people can feel it. The music is alive and it resonates with them.
You’ve been playing that song for 17 years consistently. How do you keep it exciting for yourselves when you’ve played it so much?
JW: I think the important thing is to connect, make sure you’re looking out to the crowd and see how people are responding to it. That makes it fresh every night. I feel like when the day comes that people don’t want to hear it anymore and we’re getting a bad reaction then it’s time to stop playing it.
I don’t think that will ever happen. That song, and that entire album, still resonate so well today.
JW: It was a special moment. I was really young at the time and I was just turning a bunch of angst and negative things that happened to me when I was young into something positive. There was always kind of a light at the end of the tunnel so there was a contrast between hope and belief but also feeling kind of isolated and a feeling of despair.
Now you’re out on tour with Switchfoot. How’d that tour collab come about?
Bryce Soderberg: We were contacted by Switchfoot’s management who had been sitting on the idea for quite some time… We did a tour with them 10 years ago, it was great chemistry. I think that our fanbases are definitely lining up, musically we’re on the same page.
What can you say to people who are on the fence about getting tickets to the show in Nashville this week?
JW: If they were a Lifehouse fan back in the day and lost interest on the last couple of albums, the set list is definitely put together to kind of reminisce over some of the songs we did in the early 2000s.
Lifehouse and Switchfoot play Nashville on Friday night and it’ll be a night of “nostaglia” for Lifehouse fans. Before you go to the show, make sure to grab a copy of Lifehouse: Greatest Hits.