Jason Michael Wade (born , 1980) is the lead vocalist, songwriter and guitarist with the band Lifehouse. Originally from Camarillo, California, Wade comes from a highly religious background.
Wade spent his early years in Camarillo, California. Brought up in a Christian family, both of Wade's parents were missionaries, and much of his childhood was spent away from his native state of California, visiting Japan, Thailand and Singapore before moving to Hong Kong. Speaking about how he understands firsthand how bleak life can seem without something or someone to relate to, he said, "When I was a kid and we lived in Hong Kong, we lived in a small village and the people there hated us. They thought we were witches bringing trouble to their neighborhood. They lit firecrackers at our door every morning, and they actually stole our cat! I was totally scared and freaked out and I didn't have any friends."
After four difficult years, Wade's family moved back to the U.S., to Portland, Oregon. When asked why, Wade said, "My parents had a lot of issues. But they wouldn't allow me to see the problems in their relationship. Our family was always peaceful; there was never any fighting or anything. We looked perfectly happy from the outside. It was like 'Pleasantville.' The worst part was that I couldn't acknowledge anything was wrong, so I couldn't do anything about it. I felt completely powerless."
By the time he was 12, Wade's parents had divorced and he'd moved with his mom to the Seattle area (specifically, Port Orchard, WA). He spent most of his early days there alone in his room, pouring his heart out in poetry. "I was experiencing all the pain anyone feels when their parents get divorced. It opened up all this stuff," he said. "But it also opened up this creative outlet for me. It's funny, because I was never a musical kid - never took lessons, never really listened to the radio. But I suddenly just started writing lyrics and coming up with melodies. We lived in the woods, and I'd take these long walks and the songs would just start happening."
Wade's mother had been musical. "My mom always had a guitar lying around the house," he said. "I finally just picked it up and learned how to play a few chords." Finding a solace in music, Wade eventually began reconciling himself to his new circumstances and settled into his new home. This phase of his life ended, however, when his mother decided to relocate the family to Los Angeles. "I didn't want to move at all," Wade said. "I'd finally made all these friends, and Washington had been a really comforting place for me during the divorce. I thought it would be home forever." But it was there in Los Angeles where Lifehouse was formed and Wade's musical career began. Jason has been married to his wife Braeden since 2001.
Being "just a fan," a music lover like any other, is what Wade is and always wants to be. "My ultimate goal in writing songs is simply to connect with people," he says, "and I hope that comes across in everything we do."
At the age of 15, Wade moved to L.A., where he met bassist Sergio Andrade and began blossoming as a songwriter. "I really didn't know anyone. Serge lived next door and we had a lot of stuff in common, like playing basketball and running," he says. "He'd just started playing bass, so we hung out a lot. We spent all our time jamming out in the garage, writing songs and helping each other get better."
This partnership was the beginnings of Lifehouse, which, after a deal with DreamWorks Records, skyrocketed to fame with their first release, No Name Face.
"It's all been unbelievable," Wade says of the band's rapidly accumulating success. "We didn't expect any of this, but we're so grateful to have so many people hearing our songs. I really can't explain how it's happened."
"The best thing about all this is being able to stay on the road," says Wade. "We've been meeting new fans in cities all over the country. It's so cool to hear what they think about the music, and it makes me feel so good when they say that one of our songs has helped them get through a rough time, that they were able to apply it to their own life."
Reluctant to discuss his lyrics in detail, Wade feels they are infinitely open to interpretation. "That's the great thing about a song - a lyric may mean something totally different for someone else than it does for me and still be just as valid," he insists. A case in point is album closer "Everything": "We've been playing it on tour and when kids come up after the show, it seems like they always tell us how much they love that song. They don't really know what it's about, but they hear something in it that connects to them personally. That's why you don't have to tell the whole picture in the lyrics; you give a road to start on that people can relate to."
The band recorded the album "Lifehouse" in the recording studio/music label Ironworks owned by musician/producer Jude Cole and actor Kiefer Sutherland. A digital download of that album's first single "You and Me" was RIAA Certified Gold. In two months, "You and Me" sold over 100,000 downloads.
Wade's solo work includes songs featured in the successful motion pictures Shrek ("You Belong to Me") and Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! ("Days Go By"), which was later redone by the whole band, released on their 3rd album, Lifehouse. "From Where You Are" was released 11/6/2007. In partnership with Allstate Insurance, the song is dedicated to teens who have lost their lives in accidents, and used to educate and empower millions of teens in safe driving. The song was also dedicated to a close friend of Jason's that died in a car accident at the age of 16.
Lifehouse: No Name Face, released Oct. 31st, 2000
Lifehouse: Stanley Climbfall, released Sept. 17, 2002
Lifehouse: Lifehouse, released March 22nd, 2005
Lifehouse: Who We Are, released , 2007