“People love to oversimplify the intentions [of the band] and who the band is,” says Tim Foreman, bassist and backing vocalist. “They're all complements, but they can be limiting.”
Switchfoot is just five guys – Tim and Jon Foreman, Chad Butler, Jerome Fontamilas and Drew Shirley – who love to play music that evoke thought, movement and emotion to inspire the masses. Ever since their emergence into the mainstream music scene in 2003, they've had three hit albums, tours galore, various television performances, a Web site dedicated to showcasing multimedia art that promotes social justice issues and two successful surf contests. For most of the true fans, the message is coming through loud and clear, while others still don't quite get it.
“We've reconciled with the fact that not everyone is going to understand what we do,” says Foreman.
In tribute to Switchfoot's message of not letting “the man” define who they are, I refuse to fall into the typical rock writer trend. Their musical evolution won't leave the original Switchfoot fans in the cold, but will definitely challenge fans to think harder and further appreciate the consistently progressive nature of the band's music. They're a lot like Barbie with accessories, not entirely unidentifiable, but a lot more fun and a bit more multi-dimensional.
They redefine the boundaries of alternative rock into a world where elements of classic rock, power punk and country can live in harmony. Songs like “Burn Out Bright” and “Awakening” showcase the band's positivity, with bouncy, lighter guitar riffs and catchy drum beats.
Then you have the equally impressive, melodic and lamenting rock ballads like “Yesterdays” and the second bonus track (available only on the special edition Best Buy release) to balance it all out. Anyone who's ever been picked last for dodge ball, went to the prom alone or spent Saturday nights sitting in their room pondering the secrets of the universe will get it.
“You've got to root for the underdog,” says Tim. “The songs are written for the losers.”
Oh! Gravity is a little more enjoyable, loud and just as thoughtful as the usual Switchfoot album. In fact, it's downright contagious.
The CD creates awareness of the inevitable pull towards corruption in the world we live in today and recognizes modern innocence as being liberating and hopeful. They left in some rough edges and rocked a little harder this time around because they used material they already had to create this album. It wasn't written to be appealing to the usual pop crowd, but just to be honest and real while expressing their personal thoughts and experiences on the road.
“We weren't thinking about writing a new album,” says Tim. “There's a lot of freedom in not worrying about who we're writing for.”
You can expect a lot of surprises on the highly anticipated upcoming tour with special guest appearances, a cool new light show and a different set every night. The tour promises to give back to loyal fans with more intimate venues and a selection of various Switchfoot hits (both old and new).
Oh! Gravity is currently available. Switchfoot will perform Feb. 13 at House of Blues, Anaheim and March 30 at the Avalon in Hollywood. For more information, visit www.switchfoot.com.