People & Inspiration

In Focus: Two Decades And 10 Albums Later, Switchfoot Embraces Change

In Focus: Two Decades And 10 Albums Later, Switchfoot Embraces Change

Time is the means by which humans experience life. It structures our experience and with its passing, brings change, perpetual and inevitable. Everything is constantly shifting, changing, and becoming something other to what it was before. This constant flux, the ebb and tide of life’s currents, can be quite disconcerting. But, it is one that Switchfoot faces head on with the steadfast conviction to remain true to their faith and what they stand for. 

 

 

Change, after all, is part and parcel of a surfer’s life, an intrinsic thread of the fabric that makes up Switchfoot. The unrelenting surge of the ocean’s waves is one that they cruise on every opportunity they get, finding solace in its awesome turbulence. “The funny thing about surfing is that you’re out in this environment that’s completely unlike what you’re doing every day,” revealed the band's lead singer Jon Foreman at our interview right before they played in front of Filipinos last Easter night. It was the 21 year-old band's nth time to perform in Manila. “Anytime your brain kinda gets disconnected from what it’s doing every day, you’re forced to think of the world differently.” This rewiring of perspective aids in their creative process, a fount of inspiration that they frequently tap into. “Sometimes you’re out in the water and a song just comes to you,” said Jon. “It feels like some sort of transcendence that you’ve connected with.”

 

 

For a band who has walked in their faith daily, the connection to something that is greater than them forces them to confront their own morality, which provided clarity they needed to face pivotal situations that would shift the trajectory of their journey as a band. “There’s been a few moments throughout our career that feel like we’re taking an inward look at who we are and where we are at as a band,” said Jon, pinpointing their break from the major record companies as one of the crossroads they had to face. “We kinda took a long break to decide what kind of a band we wanted to be.”

 

 

It was precisely this detachment that enabled the band to clarify their fundamentals: what they are and what they hope to become. “We emerged from that season with this renewed sense of purpose, realizing that we wanted to be a band that sings songs of hope,” said Jon, “’Hello Hurricane’ was kind of like a rebirth, a rediscovery of what we love about music and what we love about each other.”

 

Switchfoot's new orientation motivates them to concretize what they represent. “If you’re going to sing songs about hope, you’re gonna have to do more than just sing,” Jon revealed, adding that participating in various fundraising ventures is a chance for the band to actually see hope performed in the flesh. “It’s an attempt to see these songs come to life. ‘What does it mean to hope? What does it mean to see love in action?”

 

 

As daunting as change can be, it can be quite liberating to view it as an opportunity to restructure their narrative, constantly adapting it to reflect their truth. “Every album is somewhat of a snapshot of who we are,” said Jon, adding that each album gives the band the chance to refine their identity. “Defining Switchfoot is this eternal thing,” disclosed Jon. “It’s a beautiful thing to start new every time.”

[related: Cultured!: Songwriting 101 with Switchfoot]

 

Two decades and 10 albums later, Switchfoot recognizes that their evolution is far from over and their journey brings them a constant flow of realizations about who they are as individuals and as a collective. “It’s a very honest approach in that we’re students, we’re learning what it means to be Switchfoot, what it means to be me,” said Tim Foreman, Switchfoot’s resident bassist. “We’re okay with admitting that we don’t have everything figured out. The goal is, with each album, each journey, we’re continuing to learn and grow into who we’re supposed to be.”

 

ALSO READ: Hot Stuff: No One Saw This Surprise Switchfoot Performance Coming

 

Photographs from Instagram.com/switchfoot and Switchfoot.com

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