Lifehouse’s new record Almeria is a different record for the band that puts some new instrumentation on display and takes advantage of some different types of songs compared to Lifehouse’s back catalogue. The biggest example is the initial single off of the album featuring Natasha Bedingfield, “Between the Raindrops.” In the song’s first week of release it had a group of Lifehouse fans excited and alienated a separate crowd. Lifehouse’s song with Bedingfield is a temperate hit for a pairing of two big names, but at the same time- it’s not even the biggest guest spot on Almeria. That belongs to the legendary Peter Frampton. In a recent interview with Alternative Addiction, Lifehouse’s Jason Wade talked about working with Frampton on the song, “Right Back Home.” Wade said that the band’s longtime manager and producer Jude Cole set up the recording session with Frampton.
“Jude had dinner with him the previous evening and very nonchalantly asked him if he would be willing to come in and play,” said Wade in the interview. “When you meet Peter he’s so affable and so approachable. He came in with this guitar… It’s kind of this legendary guitar. It’s the black Les Paul that was on the cover of Frampton Comes Alive.”
Frampton’s monumental live album that was released in 1976 is considered by many to be the greatest live album of all time. It was a breakthrough album for Frampton and the guitar he played on the cover he had dubbed Phoenix. It was with him for a decade during the famed musician’s more prominent years. Then in 1980, en route to a show in Panama, a cargo plane carrying Frampton’s gear went down. There was a debris site where the crash had happened, but someone had stolen it amongst the wreckage and Frampton thought it to be lost forever. Then somewhat out of the blue after thirty years, Frampton got an email with pictures of the guitar and jumped through hoops to get it back. The end story is that guitar and guitarist were reunited again, in time to help out on this Lifehouse song. Wade explained what Frampton told them about the guitar and his work on “Right Back Home.”
“The story with that guitar is he was estranged from it for more than thirty years because it went down in a plane crash. Then years later, he finds it on the internet. So he actually had to buy his guitar back. He comes in with it and he says that this is only the second song that he’s recorded on with it in thirty years. So we tailor-made the verse that he sings, and I’m sure most people don’t really know what that means. His lyric is ‘I played old Phoenix and she’s right back home again.’ It was just an amazing and really poignant moment in the record for everybody,” said Lifehouse’s longtime vocalist and primary songwriter.
Like any music fan, Wade and the guys from Lifehouse were giddy to be around Frampton, and just as ecstatic to be around the famous guitar.
“Oh we were,” said Wade about geeking out at the amount of history in the studio. “It was pretty funny, he set the guitar on the stand and it was kind of one of those things; ‘don’t even look at the guitar, don’t even get close to it’ [laughs.] It had this energy and it was legendary in its own right.”
Not everybody gets to work with Peter Frampton, but not everybody gets to have the career that Lifehouse has had either. Almeria is the band’s sixth album and it follows in the steps of commercial and critical successes, Smoke & Mirrors, Who We Are, and Stanley Climbfall among others. It’s available everywhere now.