INTERVIEW: Bryce Soderberg (Lifehouse) talks about his new band Komox
SoCalMusicToday.com’s Chris Loomis recently spoke with Lifehouse bass player Bryce Soderberg about his new alternative indie-pop project Komox. Bryce tells us about the band’s new single, their upcoming EP to be released on September 23 and what it’s like being a front man.
Komox released a new single titled “Untouchables” on August 19 that will also be included on your upcoming new EP. Tell me about the meaning of that song and the decision to release that song first.
“Untouchables” kind of had more of a pop flavor compared to the rest of the songs. It has sort of a summertime feeling conducive to starting a new relationship, kind of like how do you keep that honeymoon phase going forever. It’s a song that resonates with me personally; we just felt it was the right choice to release this song first.
How has the fan reactions to the song been now that it has been released publicly?
So far really positive. You know in this industry when you are starting a new band and putting out new material, it’s always exciting when you get good feedback from both fans and industry peers.
What is the title of the new EP and when will it be released?
The title is Dreaming Awake Vol. 2, we released Dreaming Awake Vol 1 in January of this year. Vol. 2 will be coming out on September 23. It’s a seven song EP, we started a pledge music campaign and those endeared fans helped us make this record and we are really proud and excited to start something new and fresh. This has a different flavor than anything I have ever done and it resonates really personal with me.
Komox formed back in 2012, so you have been a band for about four years now. How did you get together with Pelle Hillstrom and Kris Persson to form Komox?
We have actually been Komox for a little over a year; the band went through a few names and changes through development. After having played with Lifehouse for so long, I felt it was necessary to get out and experiment and play a lot of shows and take on the role of being a front man.
I met Pelle and Kris through mutual friends, they are a couple of Swedes which makes them great songwriters by default and we just clicked and had that chemistry right out of the gate and it just felt like a natural fit. It’s working great.
How does the band create the music from writing to recording? Do you guys exchange files back and forth electronically or do you go old-school and all get in the same room?
It depends. Some songs just happen with a progression on keyboards and we’ll wrap a melody around it and sometimes we will all be jamming at rehearsal and come up with ideas. Songs almost write themselves with us and we just try and capture the inspiration when it comes around.
What is the story behind the name of the band Komox?
It was a town I grew up near (eastern coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia) and we used to take family vacations there. I remember the area being one of the happier places of my childhood. They played a lot of 80’s music in that area when I was growing up like Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears and those bands kind of have the influence to the sound of this group. It’s a name that means something personal to me and in turn I feel it brings out a lot of positive inspiration.
Do you have any upcoming tour plans or live shows for Komox after the EP is released?
We are planning on playing at South by Southwest in March and then hitting the road next summer and touring for the EP, then also releasing an LP (full album) sometime in 2017.
I have read you worked alot writing songs for others during Lifehouse downtime. How has that impacted your own song writing process?
During my time off with Lifehouse I kind of just dove right into the LA songwriting scene and soaked up a bunch of different influences. This band’s songwriting is a mixture of so many different genres and different inspirations.
I wrote a song for a boy band called CD9 in Mexico that turned out to be a big song, I like to write pop songs, I like to write dark, moody songs, hip hop songs and sometimes spiritual songs. I think this band has kind of like a mesh of all of that.
In Lifehouse you play bass and sing backup vocals. How was the transition to becoming a frontman and taking on lead vocals for Komox?
I sing some leads in Lifehouse so I kind of already had that engrained into my playing. But I always describe it as like changing a position in a sport, like if you are a forward in basketball then all the sudden you change to point guard. You just need to find new fundamentals.
It’s been really fun for me as I used to sing leads for a lot of bands when I was younger and getting back into that mode has been really creatively fulfilling. It’s a lot more responsibility so I know exactly what Jason (Jason Wade – lead vocals of Lifehouse) is going through a little more now – I totally understand it.
It seems today many musicians form side projects outside their main band for more of a creative outlet that allows you to create music outside your comfort zone. Was creativity a driver for creating Komox?
I’ve been really inspired by other artists who have kind of branched off and done their own spin-off projects. Look at Skrillex, he used to be a singer in some EMO bands then started his own thing, so I feel creatively it’s really fulfilling to just get out there and do what your heart wants to do.
I feel like it’s not a side project at this point, it’s an “other project” as it’s such a big part of me now. This along with Lifehouse go hand-in-hand as they both make up who I am as a musician.
How challenging is it to manage being in two different bands?
Right now its lining up great because Jason (singer for Lifehouse) really wants to write for other artists and not really tour or do anything for the time being – I don’t know how long that is going to be. So it’s giving me a really sound opportunity to pursue what I’ve always wanted to do without creating conflicts of interest. So right now it’s just good timing, but we’ll see what happens down the line.
What does Bryce Soderberg like to do in his spare time outside of music?
I live in a beautiful area, this is California, there is so much to do here. You can literally go snowboarding in the morning then play beach volleyball in the afternoon. Music is probably my main hobby. I just like song-writing and listening and pursuing and learning all the time.
I like sports, I like playing basketball and volleyball, hanging out with friends and just kind of checking out any art form anywhere. I like going to exhibits and watching movies and just doing stuff that is productive.
A lot of musicians claim they don’t listen to other music. What are you listening to on your iPod these days?
Musicians should listen to other music, I always like to check out what is going on. I have a very classic-rock taste in music, I grew up on Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, AC/DC. I listen to Jazz, Big Band stuff. As a song-writer, I am always listening to Pop radio and checking out what other song-writers are doing.
For this project, what threw it into a hodge-podge of different sounds is I was really influenced by Imagine Dragons and AWOLNATION back in 2012, just a lot of alternative stuff. What I listen to is a big variation and it is always evolving.
Bryce, Thank You for taking the time to speak with SoCalMusicToday.com. Best of luck with Komox!
Thank You Chris for talking with me – really appreciate it.