Switchfoot: Still not afraid to ask the big questions

Wednesday 16th November 2011

Chris Mountford caught up with best selling Christian rockers SWITCHFOOT

Continued from page 1

Tim: I always root for the underdog, that's the way I'm wired. There's a lot of misconception about homeless kids. They haven't chosen this as a lifestyle, they've ended up on the streets after being kicked out from broken homes. It's a really dark place to find yourself in when you're 13, 14 or 15 years old and yet they haven't given up. There's so much inspiration there, that's not the type of resilience you often see.

Chris: You mentioned surfing there and I know Switchfoot is a surfing term. Are you still into surfing?

Tim: Yeah, absolutely! Surfing is my favourite thing to do other than making music and we're always trying to combine the two. When we're in Australia we take boards and turn it into a surf trip at the end of the tour. We've actually surfed in England and in Wales too.

Chris: It's not Australia though is it?

Tim: It's a little colder. Wales was really cold! In England we actually got really good waves down near Bristol.

Chris: I think it was Chad who said in an interview that during the making of 'Hello Hurricane' that the band was on a journey and you didn't know where the destination was. Have you arrived there with 'Vice Verses'?

Tim: Well, with 'Vice Verses' we were very focused. We felt like we were approaching the album from a position of strength. We knew who we were. We had a strong sense of identity. It was a great way to start our new record. We knew that we wanted to make a record that was really rhythmic and we had the songs that we wanted to record and we were able to go straight towards that goal and really put a lot of time and effort into a very finite number of songs as opposed to tackling 80 songs all at once.

Chris: So there's a strong focus in terms of the sound. Was there also a strong theme?

Tim: The title track from 'Vice Verses' was actually written during the 'Hurricane' sessions and we felt that it was a really special song and rather than trying to throw it onto that record at the end of the process, we decided to save it and make it the title of our next record. Having that theme, vice verses, the theme of polarity and the highs and lows of life was a strong starting point for the record.

Chris: It's a more, I guess, intimate track. a slower track.

Tim: It's one of my favourite songs that Jon's written. He wrote it in about 30 minutes and a lot of the time the best songs come quickly like that.

Drew enters the room.

Chris: Drew, you've come at a good point, I've got a question for you. You said that Switchfoot had a career full of songs filled with longing, almost an Ecclesiastical longing. There seems to be plenty of such songs on the new album as well.

Drew: It does. 'Vice Verses' is definitely filled with longing. Jon describes the title track as a string between two points, maybe birth and death, and the tension in between is where we live each day with a birthday and a funeral in the same month. How do you balance those things? There's a struggle, you know. Jon writes about and we sing about things that are happening in real life, things that we are struggling with in real life so for a lot of us there is that longing.

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