The Set List
By Brian Washburn
Switchfoot will bring their live experience to George’s Majestic Lounge on Tuesday night.
Switchfoot are definitely not a stranger to music industry success. From the moment their original songs found their way into a Mandy Moore movie to the moment their songs “Meant To Live” and “Dare You To Move” found enormous radio and commercial success, their pop-rock sound has been known around the nation.
But after more than a decade of being a touring rock band and with the recent industry downfalls that have cause more than a few bands to cut back or call it quits, it is a wonder the band still finds the desire and drive to keep trucking on. However, it is not the success that keeps Switchfoot making rock music, it is their passion for the songs and the impact it has on their fans that has kept them going.
“For us, one of the things that keeps us going is the true passion for the songs,” said lead vocalist and guitarist Joe Foreman in a phone interview last week. “Also, many times we hear a story about how a song had an impact on someone’s life where there’s been a struggle … and to hear that a song or album brought them through a difficult place, it’s very encouraging and gives us a lot of inspiration to write new music.”
The San Diego natives — Foreman, bassist Tim Foreman, drummer Chad Butler, guitarist and keyboardist Jerome Fontamillas and guitarist Drew Shirley — also consider themselves an extremely tight knit family, which should not come as a surprise because they have been playing together since 1996.
The music industry has been through a dramatic overhaul since those times, though. And with those changes, the band has found ways to keep up with the times and are even producing and releasing their own records, beginning with 2009’s “Hello Hurricane.”
Though the channels in which the music is released has changed, Switchfoot still find a way to create the best songs possible with new influences and experiences happening in their lives. “Usually the good songs come to me and I don’t have to chase them down. I bring the songs to Tim and the rest of the fellows and we perform a transformation like surgery to bring the song into the rock form from guitar,” Foreman said.
“We equate it to growing up. Sometimes kids get involved in drugs and get awkward in puberty, but hopefully on the other side of that they make it to another place that feels comfortable and into adulthood.” For the band’s recent record Foreman’s lyrical influence came to him through personal experiences and occurrences in his life that don’t make sense.
“The best songs covers difficult terrain — God, politics. Songs are always a safe place to act out these parts of the world,” he said. A staple of Switchfoot’s existence has always been their intense live show, which Foreman describes as a “good, old fashioned, sweaty American rock ‘n’ roll show.”
Concerts will also be a integral part of Switchfoot’s upcoming year, as they plan to tour the globe throughout 2010, as well as continue to write and record in their free time.
Brian Washburn is the founder of DBW and is currently working on a way to revolutionize the music industry.