Switchfoot rock with soul
The Grammy-nominated band from California will play at 8 tonight at Oklahoma City's Fritzi's Music Hall.

Christopher Jurrens - Daily Staff Writer
March 31, 2004

To many, Tim Foreman is the bassist in the Grammy-nominated band Switchfoot, but to his peers growing up, he was a regular at many of the surfing competitions around his hometown of San Diego, Calif.

Playing music throughout their adolescence, he and his brother Jon Foreman (vocals/guitar) also became a regular part of the surfing community, where they met their friend and future band mate Chad Butler (drums).

Four years later, Jerome Fontamillas (keyboards/guitar) joined the band to complete the sound.

After seven years as a band, three independent albums and more than a handful of awards, they are currently on tour to promote their platinum-selling album, “The Beautiful Letdown,” out now on Columbia Records.

Tim Foreman took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few our questions.

The Daily: “Tell [us] about your most recent album, ‘The Beautiful Letdown.’”

Foreman: “The title of the album actually comes from the concept of, I guess, really wanting to write an honest record, and to do that, we felt that you have to speak about the painful aspects of the world around us.

Some people have called it kind of a dark album, but ultimately it’s an attempt to make an album of hope, but in order to write about hope, you really need to put it in the context of pain.

Hopefully, [our music] has matured with us as we learned more about life … this album might be the world as it looks like through the eyes of a 25- or 26-year-old rather than a 20-year-old when we started out.”

The Daily: “Tell [us] about the current tour you are on.”

Foreman: “We just started in Anaheim on a two-month tour. We’re excited about the bands coming with us. The Jealous Sound is a band from [Los Angeles], and Copeland is another band from Florida. We’re just excited to get back on the road. It’s an amazing feeling to have played this long and feel so fresh about playing.”

The Daily: “What is the life of the band—the records or the road?”

Foreman: “I think [during] the first half of our band’s career, I would definitely have said recording, and I think within the last several albums, we’ve started to really enjoy the live element and realize that neither element can really live without the other.

I think without playing live music, you lose that passion and community that you experience when you are on stage. It’s like a conversation where only half of the conversation is what’s happening on stage, and you got the audience dishing it right back, and that’s the other half of the conversation. And I think if you spend too much in the studio you lose sight of that.”

The Daily: “[We] heard you guys were in the studio for two weeks for the last record.”

Foreman: “It’s probably the shortest time we have ever spent on an album, and I loved it.

I think the one thing we’ve learned is that you can definitely over-think rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s not a good thing.

You listen to the early Beatles albums, and most of their best early albums were the ones where they recorded in a, you know, day or a week.”

The Daily: “You guys have been quoted by saying that you are Christian by faith, not by genre. But how do you think religion has influenced your music?”

Foreman: “Well, we’ve always been very honest about what we believe, and I think the music we’ve always appreciated growing up has always been music that touches us on a deeper level.

For myself, whether it’s Bob Dylan or Bob Marley, it’s music that does something to me, that takes me somewhere. I think music at its core is definitely something not lacking in spirituality.

The Daily: “Being that you have had a lot of time touring, what is your most memorable road story?”

Foreman: “We actually drove to Canada on accident once. It was a total dumb-and-dumber thing where we left when it was still dark and missed our turn and then the sun started to come up, and we realized it was on the wrong side of the car, and just at that moment, we saw that we missed the exit before the last exit before Canada. And we were racing to catch a flight already, so we had to drive, well, I’m not gonna tell you how fast … to catch our flight. We were driving from Montana to Spokane, Washington … I don’t know how we made, but we still somehow made our flight. It was amazing.”

The Daily: “What has allowed you guys to have the staying power where other bands have come and gone?”

Foreman: “Well, I think you know for one thing that the relationship we have with our listeners is like a family … We’ve kind of grown up together … It’s an amazing bond with the people that come to our shows … It’s really hard to describe … and it’s just an amazing feeling to be on the other side of the world and to step back from the mic and have the audience the singing along louder than we are.”

The Daily: “Who are your influences?”

Foreman: “Gosh, well, the bands that have influenced me growing up were the Police, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

But lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Cursive, the ugly organ album, which is an amazing record, Death Cab for Cutie.

There are some great San Diego bands like Reeve Oliver, Pinback—yeah, one of the guys Rob Crowe is kind of a San Diego hero well along with the bass player from Three Mile Pilot … both those guys. Rob Crowe was in several bands that growing up were really influential in our music like Heavy Vegetable and Thingy.”