"It's all been unbelievable," says the group's vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Jason Wade. "We didn't expect any of this, but we're so grateful to have so many people hearing our songs."
Wade is humble and soft-spoken by nature. He's also just 20 years old, which is another reason why he speaks with such awestruck appreciation for his band's early success. His introspective songs are rooted in personal experience, which is a key reason why they've connected so well to the trio's young audience.
Lifehouse, which plays a passionate brand of mainstream rock, has already toured with such rock titans as Matchbox Twenty, Everclear and Pearl Jam. The group also became an MTV staple and appeared with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.
After spending his formative years in Camarillo, CA, six-year-old Wade and his family moved to Hong Kong where his parents did Christian missionary work. It was hardly an easy, carefree life for the young Wade.
"We lived in a small village and the people hated us," he recalls. "They thought we were witches bringing trouble to their neighborhood. They lit firecrackers at our door every morning, and they actually stole our cat and ate it! I was totally scared and freaked out and I didn't have any friends."
However, Wade experienced his greatest trauma when his family left the Orient and settled in Oregon. His parents divorced when he was 12 and he lived with his mother in Washington State and then in Los Angeles. He began pouring his tangled emotions into poetry, and then into songwriting while playing his mother's guitar.
At age 15, he met bassist Sergio Andrade. Eventually, the pair hooked up with drummer Rick Woolstenhulme to form the current Lifehouse lineup. The group of teenagers had developed a strong following in the Los Angeles area, which led to a meeting with producer Ron Aniello. Several years later, Aniello introduced the band to recording artist Jude Cole, who fell in love with the band and is now its manager. Cole helped the group land its current deal with DreamWorks Records.