Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | Photos | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Tour Dates/Tix | Feeds

In the recent past San Diego has been best known for the springing Blink-182 on us (ok it’s Poway but that’s close enough to San Diego). But there is a lot more going on in San Diego County than the pinup boys of Blink. From the hardcore metal of Cage to the power-pop of the Happy Regrets and then there is the melodic modern rock outfit Switchfoot, who have been working hard under the radar for years establishing themselves as formidable soundsters with a knack for turning out addictive melodies and heartfelt ballads. 

As a band Switchfoot has always stood a bit apart from the crowd, now that people are so hung over from the poor-me sentiments of nu-metal and the post grunge era, Switchfoot’s positive message and uplifting songs may just be what the doctor ordered. The inspiration for their positive outlook may be a turn off to some because Switchfoot is basically a Christian band. However, you have to actually look for that message because the band doesn’t beat you over the head preaching but instead subtly weaves their message in throughout the music in a very similar way to Collective Soul’s debut album, which was laced with Christian messages that most people didn’t pick up on. Unlike Collective Soul, Switchfoot has not abandoned their focus as their career progressed. 

It all began in San Diego as the three members of the group, frontman Jonathan Foreman, his brother Tim (bass) and drummer Chad Butler grew up together. Their first connection to each other was through church but it was on the beaches of San Diego where they really connected as surfers. They became quite well known in surfing circles, competing in national championships and earning product endorsements from surf equipment companies but they eventually discovered their mutual shared love of music and decided to form a group. 

 Instead of opting for the traditional surf music or the punk that is popular with many So Cal surfers, they instead decided to make music that fit into the modern rock category that was ruling the airwaves at the time courtesy of bands like Dishwalla, Matchbox-20 and Tonic. When it came time to selecting a name they opted for the surfing term “Switchfoot,” which is used to describe when a surfer changes his footing on the board while riding a wave. In a way it was the perfect name for the group because unlike most modern rock bands, their songs do seem to switch perspective and direction quite often. 

From the beginning it looked like fate had smiled on the group. A demo tape that they recorded in Jonathan’s bedroom shortly after the band formed somehow made its way across the country and into the hands of Charlie Peacock, a respected signer/songwriter and producer in the Christian music world. 

Peacock loved what he heard on the crude demo and offered the band a deal on his EMI imprint “re:Think Records”. Peacock took the band under his wing and executive produced their debut album, “The Legend of Chin.”  The album made an immediate impression among underground modern rock and Christian rock fans and earned the band the ASCAP San Diego Music Award for Best New Artist. The same honor that Jewel had received shortly before her career took off in a big way. 

Fans latched onto Switchfoot because of their well-crafted melodies and sentimental lyrics. Although some have criticized the band for being a bit too sentimental in the lyric department, there was no denying the music’s overall appeal and the group setout to win fans over on the road, which would become a second home to them over the next few years as they traveled the world exposing their music to all who would listen. It seemed a lot were listening as their fanbase grew across the world but the band couldn’t seem to break into the mainstream in a major way. 

Their second album, “New Way to Be Human,” built upon the foundation of their first and opened the doors further for the band in Christian music circles. The title track went on to earn a Dove Award for the Modern Rock Song of the Year for 1999. Their star had indeed risen in Christian music as that song became the most played Christian recording of 1999. 

In the secular world they began to make an impact as well. Their third album, “Learning to Breathe,” began their major breakthrough to the mainstream. The video for the single “You Already Take Me There” got healthy airplay on MTV2 and the album went on to earn the group their first Grammy nomination in 2001. 

Meanwhile, television producers caught on to the group’s appeal and their music has been featured more than 30 times in television programs ranging from “Dawson's Creek” and “Party of Five" to "Felicity" and “Jack and Jill”. 

All told Switchfoot’s indie releases have sold upwards of 400,000 copies but their major break came from the most unlikely of places--teen pop singer Mandy Moore. 

When the producers of the film, “A Walk To Remember”, went looking for music to include in the film they turned to Switchfoot. The bitter sweet movie marked Moore’s debut as a leading lady and actually shocked many when the film was released due to it’s maturity and Moore’s remarkable acting ability. Many were ready to write off the film as just another teen singer turned actor vehicle but instead the movie was greeted with acclaim and the detractors were soon silenced when they discovered it was a serious drama. 

The producers of the film turned to Switchfoot to provide the signature song for the film, “Only Hope,” which Moore performed in the film (Switchfoot’s original version was also featured during the climax of the movie). The ultimate irony came when Switchfoot and Jonathan’s music was featured as prominently in the film as Moore’s. The soundtrack, which included 5 Switchfoot songs, went gold and helped expose the band to a larger audience but more importantly it caught the attention of executives at Columbia records, who offered the group a record deal. 

Critics and longtime fans all seem to agree that Switchfoot’s major label debut, “The Beautiful Letdown,” is their best work yet. The title is ironic because the album is definitely not a letdown to fans. The group seem to capitalize on their strength this time around and while the band remains Christian at it’s core the spiritual content of the lyrics is approached in a practical manner so there is no fear of alienating the secular audience because once again the message is there for those who choose to find it but is also written in such a way that secular fans won’t feel preached to or in most cases pick up on the Christian angle. 

The band is careful to point out that while they are indeed a Christian band, their music is meant to appeal to everybody. When asked how they feel about the Christian label, Tim said, "It's an annoyance if people use it to write off your music".

They shouldn’t fear people writing off their music. While the lyrics may come across as overly sentimental to some, overall the music is compelling and highly enjoyable if your tastes run to the modern rock sound. Like all of the group’s efforts, “The Beautiful Let Down” varies from full on modern rockers to middle of the rock indie rock and bittersweet ballads.  Jonathon’s rich soulful vocals should appeal to mainstream modern rock fans as it fits nicely in with other vocalist in the genre like Johnny Rzeznik, Josey Scott and Brandon Boyd. 

The album is chock full of appealing tunes from the instant classic modern rocker “Meant to Live”, the equally rocking yet melodic “Ammunition” and “Adding to the  Noise”, to a mid-tempo number like “More Than Fine” and the somber ballads “On Fire” and the beautiful heartfelt “Twenty-Four”. The band gets a little funky with “Gone” but their finest moments come with the radio friendly “Redemption” and the moving emotionally charged “Dare You To Move,” which was the leadoff track from their “Learning to Breathe” album. 

All told Switchfoot have once again topped themselves and the music on “The Beautiful Let Down” is more than strong enough to complete the band’s journey from the underground to the mainstream. If you are looking for a strong group of melody makers in 2003, all you have to do is look to Switchfoot, a band like last month’s featured melody makers, Jimmy Eat World, that has steadily and patiently prepared for their moment of truth and face it with their talents but also with their integrity intact. 


Visit the official site for more info on the band

Listen To/Purchase Switchfoot's Music 

Live photos by Adam Bielawski
Group Photos Courtesy DreamWorks Records
All Rights Reserved

Keavin Wiggins is the founder and editor of
Adam Bielawski is an antiMUSIC Network Contributor.

News Reports
Day in Rock:
Metallica To Do Rare Unplugged Show- Unreleased Tom Petty Song Streaming Online- Avenged Sevenfold M Shadows Reveals Good News Following Surgery- We Came As Romans- more

Day in Pop

Yesterday's Day in Rock: Taylor Swift Reveals Her Mother Has Cancer- Rich Homie Quan Surrenders To Police Over Alleged Nightclub Assault- Justin Bieber Duets With Ariana Grande- Mumford & Sons- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock


Ladies Only: Jennie Abrahamson- Rachel Garlin- Nneka- More

Album of the Week: Led Zeppelin's When The West Was Won

Karyn Crisis' Gospel Of The Witches - Salem's Wounds

The Blues: John Mayall's Bluesbreakers- Arlen Roth, Mike Henderson Band- Slam Allen

Trauma Interview

December in Red - The Way Out

Battleaxe - Power From the Universe Reissue

SOKO Interview

The Compulsions - Dirty Fun

Rock Reads: Morbid Tales! A Tribute to Celtic Frost

Death Penalty - Death Penalty

On The Record: The Wild Beyond

RockPile: Minutian- Odin's Court- THEO

Michael Ubaldini Interview

Root 66: Cameron Mitchell- Stacy Jones- Greg Shirley


Search for Tickets

Or Browse For Tickets

Today's Rock News

Ozzy Sets Home On Fire

Santana, Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie Reunite at Journey Show

Ted Nugent's Wife Arrested

Iron Maiden Tops Billboard's Hot Tours Chart

Pop Star Fergie Names Son After Guns N' Roses Frontman Axl Rose

Jack White Recording New Songs With The Dead Weather

Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington Reveal EP Details

The Who Releasing Massive Super Deluxe Edition of Tommy

Paul McCartney Talks New Song and His Plans Never To Retire

August Burns Red Announce Special Screening of Documentary

The National Curating Grateful Dead Tribute Album

KISS' Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons Announce Book Signings

Mike Portnoy Reveals Full Progressive Nation At Sea Lineup

Saxon's Biff Byford Explains Evil Look Was Down To Illness

Astrid Kirchherr's Early Beatles Photos To Be Exhibited Next Month

Gene Simmons and Engelbert Humperdinck Footage Goes Online

Red Fang Streaming New Song ' Blood Like Cream' Online

Sammy Hagar Compares Les Paul Guitars To Muscle Cars

What Do Crocheting And Rock 'N' Roll Have In Common? Deap Vally

Classic Rock Going Country

Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

Today's Pop News

North Korea Reportedly Execute 12 Musicians

Jay-Z Releases Holy Grail Video Featuring Justin Timberlake

Big Sean in Fall Out Boy's New Video

Thousands of Justin Timberlake Fans Flood 'Take Back The Night' Filming

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O Unplugs

Miguel Covers Pink's Just Like A Pill

Eric Church Going In A Different Direction With 'Chief' Follow Up

Kip Moore Has Almost Finished New Album

Juicy J Twerk Tweet Ends Up As Scholarship Competition

Danny Brown's On Stage Sex Act Was Not Planned

Bastille Trace The Best Of British Rock, Including Morrissey's Pompadour

Singled Out: Dulcinea Renee's Pictures Of You

More News

anti Worthy Links
The Screen DoorsuperLOUDA Journal of Musical ThingsLloyd Zeffler blogDemolish MagNightwatcher's House of RockCJ ChilversDeja VoodooThe 1st Fivethecopycat.bizHard Rock Memorabilia Day in Rock @twitter

New Mystery Book from
antiMusic's Dawn Marie Fichera!

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!


Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2013 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.