By Brian Ives
You might know Bryce Soderberg from Lifehouse, the trio that exploded onto the music scene in 2001 with the song “Hangin’ By a Moment.” They took the raw rock aggression from the ’90s and mixed it with more uplifting songs, which turned out to be a winning combination.
The band is currently on a hiatus, and these days, Soderberg, the band’s bassist, is dedicating his time to his own band, Komox.
“I’ve always been creative on my own while I’ve been playing with Lifehouse,” he tells Radio.com. “I have a laptop on the road and write songs, I just have this collection of ideas, so I started this project to express myself in a different way.”
“It started with a lot of ’80s groups that I was into, Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, the Cure, Simple Minds, bands that use analog synthesizers,” he says, noting that Komox sounds quite a bit different from Lifehouse. “But a lot of alternative bands that came out in the 2010s like AWOL Nation and Imagine Dragons and the 1975 also [are influenced by that]. We have pop and even hip-hop elements; we’re a hodgepodge of different influences.”
He understands that Komox may be surprising to fans of his other group: “I really wanted this band to have its own identity, rather than being ‘side-project from the guy from Lifehouse.'”
But he also says that there’s a continuity through both bands: “There is that [Lifehouse] influence, especially lyrically with the universal sort of lyrics.”
He has been working with a somewhat unexpected collaborator: Alessandro Cortini, who has recorded and toured with Nine Inch Nails. “It’s funny, when I started working with him, he really wanted to go much darker, and we started working on a lot of songs that were not very pop. They were very moody and etherial and I really love that sound, that flavor, that he brought. I really learned a lot about analog synthesizers from him. He just opened my eyes to a lot of electronic elements.”
He notes that “dark” isn’t really his thing: “I definitely have that pop-rock influence. I’m a pop songwriter. A lot of that I’ve gotten from Jason [Wade, Lifehouse singer/songwriter]. But the sound of this band is definitely a reflection of who I am now.”
Their latest EP is Untouchables, and Soderberg spoke about the title track: “‘Untouchables’ is a tune that is about wanting to keep the honeymoon going in a relationship. It was resurrection of a past relationship.”
The story didn’t end as he’d hoped. “Since then, the relationship has faltered, but my lyrics are all honest lyrics. It’s not a pity party, I’m good. Everything’s a part of the story. You grow and you learn and experience being a human.”
And even that song sounds uplifting: “I really like to express myself in a way that is optimistic. I don’t really have an outlook on life like the bands in the ’90s did. I really like to have my music touch people, if possible, and effect people in a way that helps people with their lives.”
Komox has released two EPs so far, but he says the first full length is on the way: “This year we’ve been recording a lot, and we’re going to release a record in early 2017, we’re hoping to have a tour going this summer.”
As for Lifehouse, that band may not be over, but it’s not his focus at the moment. He notes that Jason Wade recently signed a publishing deal to write for other artists. “We don’t really have a set plan. we’re not finished forever, we’re just taking a breather, but hopefully in the next few years we’ll do something.”