I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Bryce Soderberg, bass player with Lifehouse in March 2010. The band were in Nashville prepping for an upcoming tour with Daughtry. They have just released the album Smoke and Mirrors and the song "Halfway Gone" is climbing at top 40 pop radio.
Bill: For long-term Lifehouse fans, what's new here on the Smoke and Mirrors album that they might be looking for?
Bryce: One of the differences from this record compared to the last is it shows a lot of growth in the band while still maintaining that Lifehouse sound. We explored new directions. We tried to kind of raise the bar on this record and try out some synth sounds.
We did some co-writes on this record with different artists. Jason wrote with Kevin Rudolf and Chris Daughtry. We just took a year and a half on this record. We took our time to develop the band and try and make the best record that we could. So it's not exactly the same. You can't keep making the same record over and over again.
Bill: How did connecting with Kevin Rudolf to work on the album come about?
Bryce: It was actually our producer Jude. He listened to that song "Let It Rock" by Kevin Rudolf, and we all liked that song. He seemed like a guy that had this cool hybrid of pop and rock, and Jude e-mailed him and he responded right away. He said he would love to write a song. We got together and "Halfway Gone" was born and "Falling In." They were written in the course of like half an hour each. He's just great.
What happened is our record Smoke and Mirrors is kind of a hybrid of the live organic rock stuff and also the radio-friendly pop. That song ("Halfway Gone") is kind of a perfect blend of the two.
Bill: And you worked with Chris Daughtry too?
Bryce: Yeah we worked with Chris. He's been a friend of ours for like a good two years. Our band is friends with his band. He invited Jason to write a song for his record awhile ago. After they got together the chemistry was good, and he invited him to write with us for our record. He wound up singing a song on the record, and it turned out to be great.
Bill: You've got your first lead vocal on this album, right?
Bryce: Yeah, I'm singing a song on the record called "Wrecking Ball."
Bill: And how did that go?
Bryce: It wasn't anything that was premeditated at all. We were jamming as a band in our rehearsal space. We were going to take a lunch break and during the break I showed Jason the songs I had been listening to from Canada, and we came back and we came up with this cool beat that was influenced by those bands. "Wrecking Ball" was made. Jason was originally singing lead on it, and it was about to get swept under the rug. The song wasn't going to make the record because our producer wasn't a fan of it. I was like, "We gotta do 'Wrecking Ball,' we gotta do 'Wrecking Ball.'"
Then Jason was like, "Well, why don't you sing it?" I said, "OK." I sang it, and this was one of the songs that was lost in a sea of 35 tunes we had come up with. It wound up being one of the ones that stood out, and we put it on the record.
Bill: You sang lead vocals with a group before you joined Lifehouse?
Bryce: I was in a band called T.E.A. about six years ago, and I was the lead singer in that band.
Bill: Had you missed it? Did it feel good to be back on lead vocals?
Bryce: Absolutely. There's a certain part of making music and playing live that when you sing lead it's a completely different hat than being a bass player. I did miss it, and I'm honored I get a chance to sing lead with Lifehouse.