Switchfoot - Dare You To Move
Quick facts about Switchfoot
PLACE OF ORIGIN
The Story of the Renewed Switchfoot
To date, Switchfoot has released ten studio albums, countless number one singles, and achieved many milestones in the area of records sold, streams, and awards. But after twenty years of pumping out albums and touring energetic shows, the band decided to slow down and have a hiatus.
They had just toured following their latest release Where the Light Shines Through and thought it was an appropriate time for a spiritual, emotional, and physical recharge. They had the special opportunity to revisit crucial questions that were central to the band’s future such as why they are still continuing Switchfoot.
The Christian Rock band found the hiatus proved helpful, resulting in a new album written by a seemingly new band. The fourteen-track album Native Tongue which would be the product of this season of rest displayed the band’s renewed purpose: to pursue joy.
Joy Became the Central Goal for Switchfoot
For Jon, the lead singer, joy was an important motivator. He reflected on how joy can be found in every moment and only in the moment, not by living in past or future events. He connected this pursuit of joy in the moment to their ultimate goal in making music.
He intentionally put aside hopes of records sales and expectations of past music to freely write an honest expression of the ‘in-the-moment’ joy he had discovered.
“The season of reflection was a chance to fall in love with songwriting and music all over again.”
Not an Analysis, Just an Antidote
Switchfoot reflected on how they didn’t want to separate and divorce people from them because of the music they were making by including political statements, rather they would offer a message which transcends politics altogether. They noted that words born of outrage, jealousy, hatred, fear, and pain are becoming like the ‘native tongue’ of the western world.
They wanted to offer a counter-narrative to that story, by inviting people to believe that inside everyone is a thread of love running through them. The season of reflection for Tim, the co-founder of the band, was a chance for him to fall in love with songwriting and music all over again.
The poignant lyrics and inspiring melodies were born out of sessions completely free of expectation. Often, he and his brother Jon would sneak away into the studio and just write whatever was on their heart. One song which came from these sessions is the deeply impacting, Let it Happen.
From Surfers to Superstars
Native Tongue is the 11th studio release for Switchfoot after the Christian Rock band first released The Legend of Chin back in 1997. It was this album that kickstarted it all for the San Diego Surfers and led them to musical heights including their multi-platinum masterpiece, The Beautiful Letdown, Hello Hurricane, which took home a Grammy Award, and Fading West, which was the title of the band’s breakthrough documentary.
Over the years, they have experienced amazing highs but has always felt the weight of the world as they try to pigeonhole them into a particular type of activity. Chad insists that ever since the beginning, Switchfoot hasn’t been a Christian Rock band necessarily, or any other type of band for that matter. They have never fit nicely into a specific genre. He believes their music perfectly showcases the diversity of the band both in terms of life experience and musical inspiration.
For Switchfoot, Writing Songs is Like Catching a Wave
The band all agree that Native Tongue is a blend of kid-like enthusiasm, being available to the moment, and employing their years of experience. For them, writing songs is like catching a wave. Sometimes you can train all year round and when the moment comes to catch a wave, the wave might simply not come. On the other hand though, if the wave comes and you are unprepared for it, you lose out on what could be the most incredible moment of your life.
When it came to writing Native Tongue, it felt like the perfect mix of training and perfect conditions. This allowed the band to take risks that were fun and exciting in that no one knew where the choices they made would take them or their sound.
Switchfoot Are Drawing People Closer in Love
Upon reflection, Jon feels like he has discovered what the band was always striving to be. With this latest album, he describes it as “an attempt to be a loving embrace of all the human souls who have been weighed down by the times.” It focuses on the things which bring us together and not which tear us apart.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I think the world could use a whole lot more of those kinds of messages. Let’s hope there is plenty left in the tank for this amazing Christian Rock band, as we wait eagerly for what’s coming next.