By Andrew Gilhooley / 411

In the past few years, the members of Lifehouse have already seen enough success to last most bands a lifetime.  With two platinum-selling albums to its credit, the band has gone from playing at Los Angeles college gigs to sharing the bill with Pearl Jam, Everclear and Matchbox Twenty on tours of Europe and the United States.  Lifehouse is currently on the road again, in a tour that will not only cross the United States, but will also visit Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland.  This Friday, they stop off in Santa Cruz to play a show at the Catalyst Night Club.

The driving force behind Lifehouse is singer, guitarist and songwriter Jason Wade.  Originally from Camarillo, CA, as a young boy he lived in the Far East with his family, visiting Thailand, Singapore and Japan before eventually settling in Hong Kong.  It was not an easy time for the young Wade.  He recalls, “We lived in a small village and the people there hated us.  They thought we were witches bringing trouble to their neighborhood.  I was totally scared and freaked out and I didn’t have any friends.”

After four years, the family moved back to the United States, but by the time Wade was 12, his parents had divorced, and he moved with his mother to the Seattle area.  As an outlet for his feelings over the family’s breakup, Wade began writing poetry, and this eventually developed into songwriting.  “My mom always had a guitar lying around the house.  I finally just picked it up and learned how to play a few chords.”

Three years later, the family moved again, this time to Los Angeles, where Wade met Guatemalan-born bassist Sergio Andrade.  The two hung out together, jamming in the garage and writing songs.  They hooked up with a drummer and began playing every Friday night at a local school auditorium.  Producer Ron Aniello heard about the band, and let them record some demos at his home studio.

Soon afterwards, the original drummer left the band, and Wade and Andrade met Rick Woolstenhulme, an Arizona native.  The three clicked immediately, and began rehearsing and playing gigs.  Two years passed before Wade met once more with Ron Aniello and played him a demo of a track entitled “Breathing.”  Aniello loved it, and played it to a friend Jude Cole (now the band’s manager) who immediately contacted DreamWorks Records.  The eventual result was Lifehouse’s 2000 debut “No Name Face,” which achieved double-platinum sales. This was followed in 2002 by “Stanley Climbfall,” which was again released to rave reviews and huge sales.

The future is indeed looking bright for Lifehouse. Jason Wade, however, remains circumspect.  “I don’t have it all figured out,” he says, “You learn so many things every day, and it’s overwhelming sometimes trying to see how it all fits together.  I’m starting to realize that each day is a different road and a different journey, and you don’t have to have all the answers right now.”

First published in "411", The Salinas Californian, June 12, 2003

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