Rockers Lifehouse go indie and find unexpected fans

Rockers Lifehouse go indie and find unexpected fans
Musicians Rick Woolstenhulme, Jr.,Jason Wade and Bryce Soderberg of Lifehouse attending a celebration of the 57th annual GRAMMY Awards.

NEW YORK - Rockers Lifehouse have gone indie for their latest album. That means a lot more work for the band - but also discovering fans in unexpected places.

Developing a social media presence for the band's upcoming album, the Los Angeles-based group found, to its surprise, a significant following in Brazil.

"Either it's that, or there are a few hundred people there making a lot of noise," bassist Bryce Soderberg said.

"We never knew (about Brazilian fans). It comes through worldwide networking, and we embrace that," he told reporters Tuesday at a "National Concert Day" in New York.

With an assist from Facebook to connect with fans, Lifehouse also played the Philippines in 2012 before a crowd of 17,000 -- the largest ever for the band as headliners.

Lifehouse has sold more than 15 million albums with hits such as "Hanging by a Moment" and "You and Me," part of the hard-edged but pop-driven alternative rock that grew in the 1990s after Nirvana.

The band moved in a folk-influenced direction on its previous album, 2012's "Almeria," and later went on hiatus and parted ways with label Geffen.

The band's seventh album, the pointedly titled "Out of the Wasteland," comes out on May 26. The tracks include "Hourglass" which was a collaboration with prominent film composer James Newton Howard.

"To kind of get outside of the rock/pop genre, whatever people have put us in over the last 15 years, to get to do something that is very cinematic and atmospheric, was really a highlight for me," said Jason Wade, the lead singer and guitarist.

Wade said that the band members enjoyed the greater artistic control of releasing the album independently but discovered the logistics -- everything down to driving themselves to radio station appearances -- more time-consuming.

"It's a lot harder as far as the workload. You have to go and do everything and not rely on that big machine that's pushing you," Wade said.

But the band members, now in their mid-30s, said they were determined not to fall into a routine that lacks creative challenges.

"We still get so excited when you get in the studio and come up with a song that gives you the chills," Wade said.

Lifehouse took part in the inaugural National Concert Day, which entertainment giant Live Nation hopes to make an annual event to generate fan interest and recognise staff at live venues.

The show in New York featured performances by the Heartland rocker Kid Rock and country stars Florida Georgia Line.

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