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Switchfoot Do "Nothing"

California rockers readying new album, hosting benefit

Switchfoot will release their fifth studio album, Nothing Is Sound, in July. The platinum-selling Christian rockers penned the songs during downtime on their recent headlining tour of North America.

"We brought a practice rig with us on the road -- guitar amps the size of your head and this really tiny fake drum set," says frontman Jon Foreman. "We were backstage banging out new songs all day while we were waiting for sound check."

Switchfoot wrote and recorded the basic tracks on computers and then sent them through cyberspace to producer John Fields, before putting the finishing touches on them in Foreman's garage back home in San Diego. The band debuted many of the new tunes live across America to gauge the response from fans. "It's kinda like what Cream and Led Zeppelin would do," Foreman says, "try out songs live and then they'd have their whole record done."

According to Foreman, the album reflects the intensity of touring and the mindset of a band away from home for months at a time. "It's a rock record," he says. "My favorite rock records have been honest, where you feel them way deeper than your ears."

The album's title comes from a line in the song "Happy Is a Yuppie Word," inspired by a Johnny Cash interview. "The interviewer asked Johnny Cash if he was happy in his life," Foreman says. "And he replied, 'Happy is a yuppie word.' Johnny Cash . . . what more can you say?"

In the midst of both touring and recording, Switchfoot found the time to organize a benefit around their favorite pastime: surfing. On May 14th, the band will host -- and take part in -- the first-annual Bro-Am competition, held on Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, California. Proceeds will benefit Care House, a non-profit organization that aids homeless children and young mothers in the San Diego community. "There are gonna be pros and not-so-pros," Foreman says, "but our slogan is 'more bro than pro.'"

On that night, Switchfoot will play a show at La Paloma Theater, where Foreman spent many nights as a youth viewing surf films and attending shows, and where Switchfoot played their first-ever CD release party. "This is where I saw all the punk bands I grew up listening to," he says. "It's a really special place for us."

KERRY L. SMITH
(Posted May 05, 2005)