the surf to the stage
By ANNA BEATY KERR The Daily
Friday, March 26, 2004
Four surfers from San Diego
have put down their boards to make a big splash in the music industry.
They will make waves tonight with a sold-out appearance at Mesa Theater
“We are definitely looking forward to coming there,” Switchfoot
drummer Chad Butler said via his cell phone. “It’s going
to be a good, sweaty rock show.”
Butler talked to The Daily Sentinel while waiting to complete a sound
check for “The Tonight Show” in Los Angeles The show aired
“This is kind of surreal, I am standing in front of Jay Leno’s
parking spot,” Butler said. “There’s a red Triumph
convertible in it.”
It’s hard to ignore the recent buzz about Switchfoot, with live
performances including “The Tonight Show,” “On Air
With Ryan Seacrest” and mentions on MTV’s “Total Request
Live” within the last month.
The band’s recent success is largely due to its fourth and fasting-selling
album, “Beautiful Letdown.” The band’s new DVD, “Live
in San Diego,” was released this week.
The album, released more than a year ago, is ranked in the Billboard
top 100 albums. The single “Meant to Live” is on Billboard’s
Top 40 Modern Rock Tracks.
All 11 tracks of “Beautiful Letdown” were recorded in a
small studio in two weeks. The band’s new label, Columbia/RED
Ink, didn’t pick it up until after the album was finished. The
album’s success is its raw sound that is free of label influence,
“We didn’t spend too much time polishing it up so it didn’t
lose its energy,” he said.
Switchfoot is: The Foreman brothers, Jon on guitar and vocals and Tim
on bass; Butler on drums; and Jerome Fontamillas on keyboards. The Foremans
and Butler grew up together catching waves and gigs wherever they could
in their hometown of San Diego. Fontamillas joined the band in September
“We are still the same guys that we were in college, playing for
20 people in the coffee shop,” Butler said. “We have learned
a lot and had the opportunity to pay our dues. The passion for our music
has kept us together.”
This closeness also resonates in their music, consisting of tight transitions
between hard-edge guitar solos, inspirational lyrics and psychedelic
keyboards. The seemingly effortless transitions take a lot of work,
“We are pour everything we have into our music — blood,
sweat and tears,” he said.
“We’ve been through thick and thin,” he said. “We’ve
slept on the floor of hotels in Europe and then looked for waves the
next day. I don’t think that we are any different today. The challenges
we face are the same, we just don’t spend as much time at the
beach as we used to.”
Butler said he and his band mates might try to get in a day of snowboarding
at one of Colorado’s resorts during their tour. They have two
more stops in Colorado; at the Ogden Theatre in Denver on Saturday,
March 27, and the University Center Ballroom in Greeley on Sunday the
Doors open at 8 p.m. Special guests The Jealous Sound and Copeland will
open the concert. Tickets are $15, this is an all-ages show.
For more information on Switchfoot, visit www.switchfoot.com.