Lifehouse have finished recording their second album and ... honestly, singer Jason Wade has no idea if he has written another "Hanging By a Moment."
"If I knew how to do it again, I would," Wade said Friday, phoning from his Los Angeles home. "I didn't even know that song was going to be so big. I'm just hoping one of these songs will turn out big. If it doesn't, if it is half as successful, I will be happy. With the last record, everyone said not to expect much airplay because radio was playing heavy, rap-rock stuff. So maybe it was just a fluke."
Fluke or not, "Hanging By a Moment" — the most played song on radio last year — catapulted Lifehouse to rock star status, helping their debut No Name Face go double platinum and keeping the band on the road for nearly two years. If Lifehouse's new album, Stanley Climbfall, due September 17, doesn't have another smash single, it's not for lack of trying.
"I never stopped writing while we were on the road," Wade said. "I had a little four-track [studio] in the back of the bus. I just remembered everyone saying, 'You have your whole life to write your first record and four months to write your second.' So I just kept writing and by the time we were ready, I had parts of like 70 or 80 songs to go through."
Still, Wade and producer Ron Aniello (Days of the New), who also worked on No Name Face, continued to write new material while in the studio. One of those tracks, "My Precious," turned out to be Wade's favorite.
"We were in the middle of tracking another song and I went in the other room and picked up a guitar and, in the spur of the moment, was inspired to write a song," Wade explained. Once finished, he invited guitarist Sergio Andrade and drummer Rick Woolstenhulme into the room to play it for them and they picked up their instruments and played along. Aniello hit "record," and that version of Lifehouse playing the song for the first time made the new album. "I'm really proud of that one," Wade added.
Aniello also convinced Wade to try experimental writing techniques, including one random method that yielded Stanley Climbfall's title track and at least another one of the 14 out of 20 recorded tracks that will make the album.
"Instead of actually trying to write the lyrics, we set up a tape recorder and let the tape roll and I was kind of mumbling and [Aniello] was decoding what I was saying, making lyrics out of mumbo jumbo," Wade said. "All of the sudden we had a song."
The title "Stanley Climbfall" stems from the verse in the song, "Stan climbs, falls/ You can't carry the world if you can't carry your own." The band couldn't think of a name for it, so Wade abbreviated it "Stan Climb Fall." "Then it sort of took on its own personality," Wade said. "So we started joking around and calling it 'Stanley Climbfall.' It ended up being the most creative song we recorded."
Wade called the titled track "an album song," and said the first single will be the more up-tempo "Spin," which he likened to some of the live favorites on No Name Face. The new album, in general, is more rocking than Lifehouse's previous, and has a bit of British rock influence the last one didn't.
"We've been listening to Radiohead, Coldplay and Travis," Wade said. "I've been getting into Pink Floyd. I've always been a big Beatles, Elliott Smith fan, but then [I'm also into] the Seattle bands Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden so it's kind of an interesting mix between those sounds."
Lifehouse took off for Atlanta on Monday to mix Stanley Climbfall with Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, U2), who also mixed No Name Face.
Afterward the trio will return to Los Angeles to look for a new guitarist, whom they will test out on the road with a tour of summer festivals and fairs. A headlining fall outing will follow, which Wade said will have more lighting and production than their previous tours.
Lifehouse tour dates, according to their spokesperson:
- 7/3- Del Mar, CA @ San Diego County Fair
- 7/5- Chautauqua, NY @ Chautauqua Amphitheatre
- 7/6- Milwaukee, WI @ Summerfest
- 7/7 - Indianapolis, IN @ Indy Summer Stages Festival
- 7/18- Joplin, MO @ Route 66 Country Music Fest
- 7/20 - Comstock, NE @ Second Wind Ranch
- 7/21 - Eau Claire, WI @ Summer Jam at Country Jam USA
- 7/25- Troy, PA @ Troy Fair
- 8/4 - Bethlehem, PA @ Bethlehem Musikfest
- 8/6- Jackson, MI @ Jackson County Fairgrounds
- 8/7- Columbus, OH @ Celeste Center- Ohio State Fair
- 8/9 - Kings Island, OH @ Paramount's Kings Island
- 8/10 - Charlotte, NC @ Paramount's Carowinds
- 8/11 - Doswell, VA @ Kingswood Amphitheater Kings Dominion
- 8/13- Lewisburg, WV @ State Fair of West Virginia
- 8/15 - Aberdeen, SD @ Brown County Fair
- 8/16 - Imperial, NE @ Chase County Fair
- 8/17 - Pueblo, CO @ Colorado State Fair Event Center
- 8/19 - Boise, ID @ Western Idaho Fair
- 8/21 - Sacramento, CA @ California State Fair
- 8/23- Salem, OR @ Oregon State Fair
- 8/30- Shawano, WI @ Shawano County Fair
- 9/1- Seattle, WA @ Memorial Stadium
- 9/2- DuQuoin, IL @ DuQuoin State Fair
- 9/7- Albuquerque, NM @ New Mexico State Fairgrounds