About The Artist
The Set List
This show was a special one for the Soundcheck Crew. Not only did it mark the beginning of year 2 for the show, but it featured the band that started it all - San Diego rockers Switchfoot. We joined the guys in Burbank, CA, where they were rehearsing for an upcoming world tour. And if today's show was any indication of what's to come, then you guys definitely want to catch the band live, as they brought down the house with an inspiring and rocked-out set of all-new tunes.
The New Album
Unafraid of taking a musical adventure on each album, Switchfoot has teamed up with legendary producer Steve Lillywhite (U2, Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band) on their latest release, Oh! Gravity. The resulting sound is polished rock 'n' roll that showcases the band's socially conscious lyrics.
We asked them what they set out to achieve on this album: "The new album, from a musical standpoint, was an incredible experience to loosen up our approach to recording," said drummer Chad Butler. "You know, I think we live in an era of technology (where) it's a lot easier to make a tight, perfect record then it used to be." Added singer-guitarist Jon Foreman: "With music, you're not talking about math... you don't want everything to add up perfectly sometimes. You want to maybe even hear a mistake here or there. The thing that we love the most about music is the humanity involved."
Who Are Their Heroes?
Many Switchfoot fans already know that brothers Jon and Tim (singer-bassist) are big Led Zeppelin fans. (They played in a Zeppelin cover band in high school.) But, who are some of their other musical inspirations? "All of us kinda grew up in different circles, but I think we all have commonality in the music that we appreciate," said Jon. "You know, a lot of the San Diego bands that were around when we were up and coming ... Pinback, Heavy Vegetable, Three Mile Pilot, No Knife, Rocket From The Crypt and Drive Like Jehu ... (they) definitely shaped who we are and what we do live."
They helped us kick off year 1 of Soundcheck, and we couldn't have picked a better band to do the same in year 2. It didn't hurt that they delivered a brand new album of incredible material either; we think you'll enjoy it. Catch ya again soon.
-The Crew at Wal-Mart Soundcheck
- Switchfoot hail from San Diego, CA. They are: Jonathan Foreman (vocals/guitar), Tim Foreman (bass/vocals), Chad Butler (drums), Jerome Fontamillas (guitar, keyboard, backing vocals) and Drew Shirley (guitar).
- Switchfoot was founded in 1996 under the name Chin Up, consisting of Jon, Tim and Chad. Their name changed to its current moniker only a year later.
- Jon and Tim are brothers, and were once in a high school Led Zeppelin cover band.
- Switchfoot contributed several songs to the soundtrack from 2002's A Walk to Remember.
- The term Switchfoot refers to a surfing technique that involves moving the feet to face the opposite direction on the surfboard.
The title track from Switchfoot's sixth studio album (and the first single), 'Oh! Gravity' is a subtle musical shift for the band. With Drew's rousing guitar riffs and an edgier sound, the song takes us to darker places, but ends with a satisfying uplifting message. "Sons of my enemies," Jon sings. "Why can't we seem to keep it together?"
Dirty Second Hands
The second single from Oh! Gravity, 'Dirty Second Hands,' is a powerful rock anthem that begins with a mellow acoustic purr, then crescendos into a guitar-laced metal roar. Evoking a sound reminiscent of early Stone Temple Pilots, the song is a standout track.
In the socially conscious 'American Dream,' the guys go on a deeper level to communicate their position on life and politics: "I want out of this machine," bellows Jon. "I want to live and die for bigger things. I'm tired of fighting for just me. This ain't my American dream."
"Here we are now with the desperate youth and the pain... we're awakening," Jon sings on this infectious, emotional song to broken dreams. 'Awakening' is a signature Switchfoot tune. It begins as a cautionary tale ("facedown on the L.A. curbside"), then ends as a call to action - an urging from the band to wake up and move on.
Let Your Love Be Strong
The band closes their powerful set with a ballad that's sure to become a classic. When it comes to writing love songs, Switchfoot bring a bittersweet beauty that's more than a little revealing: "Maybe I'm just idealistic to assume that truth could be fact and form, that love could be a verb. Maybe I'm just a little misinformed."