Excerpted from the magazine for Billboard.com.
When it comes to Lifehouse's sophomore effort, "Stanley Climbfall," due Sept. 17 via DreamWorks, frontman/songwriter Jason Wade has no intention of hanging on a moment in time.
"Hanging by a Moment" is the smash single that propelled the band's 2000 debut, "No Name Face," to sales of 2.3 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. With the new recording, the band and label are unified in their mission to ensure that they avoid the dreaded one-hit wonder albatross. For Wade, the first step in the process was in assembling strong material.
"I started writing songs immediately after the first album was made," he says. "I didn't want to be unprepared when it came time to do the second record. As we toured, we gained a stronger identity of who we were as a band, and my writing grew from there. When putting together 'Stanley Climbfall,' we didn't have the pressure to make another hit single. We just concentrated on making a good album."
Lifehouse manager Jude Cole agrees. "It takes more than a single to define the character of someone's art," he observes. "This record does a wonderful job of capturing the identity of the boys and their music as a whole. It's a more confident record. The songs are more married to each other than their debut."
"Stanley Climbfall" also reflects a change in focus in terms of the band's overall message. Wade -- who prefers to distance himself from most of the pop culture that is served on radio or TV -- penned most of the set's tracks during downtime between concerts while on tour with Matchbox Twenty and Pearl Jam.
"The album is about moving forward," he offers. "We had a lot of songs to choose from when we started production of the album. It was clear that some songs fit each other better than others. Looking back, it was clear we had a more proactive theme overall. On 'No Name Face,' we spent time identifying where we were at. 'Stanley Climbfall' is about recognizing where we were at and deciding what to do next."
Like the band's debut, "Stanley Climbfall" was produced by Ron Aniello and mixed by Brendan O'Brien, who helped Lifehouse take Wade's four-track, back-of-the-tour bus recordings and develop them into the 12 final cuts appearing on the record.
"The record has real depth in terms of an overall body of work," DreamWorks president Michael Ostin says, pointing toward stand-out cuts "Wash," "Anchor," and "Take Me Away," as well as the single "Spin" -- all of which showcase memorable guitar/drum-driven hooks that complement Wade's potent lyrics. "They've outdone themselves."
Lifehouse, ending a series of summer concerts in the U.S., will do a handful of international concert dates in September and October before returning to the States for more touring and finalizing decisions on adding a guitarist to the band.
Excerpted from the Aug. 31, 2002, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Billboard.com members section.
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