Switchfoot Start Their Australia Tour Tonight!
Multi-Platinum, Grammy Award Winning alt-rockers SWITCHFOOT finally return to perform Fan Favourites and Greatest Hits from their entire career including Meant to Live, Dare You to Move and many more!
Formed in San Diego in 1996, Switchfoot is Jon Foreman (vocals, guitar), Tim Foreman (bass), Jerome Fontamillas (keys, guitar) and Chad Butler (drums). Since their start, the band has sold over six million copies of their studio albums and performed sold-out world tours with over four million concert tickets sold worldwide. Through their unique blend of emotionally intelligent and uplifting brand of alternative rock, SWITCHFOOT has earned a devoted and loyal global fan base. Their Australian tour starts tonight and Hi Fi Way speaks to Chad Butler about being back in the country for another tour.
Staring the touring off in Australia for Switchfoot must make it a good start to the year?
Yeah, we can’t wait. It’s been, far too long since we’ve been down in Australia and after 2020 and everything, it feels like quite a privilege to be coming back.
Have you noticed a lot of difference with touring now that most places have opened up?
This will be interesting for us because it’s our first international tour post 2020. We’re really excited to get back there. Here in the States, we’re noticing things kind of getting back to normal, it’s kind of like equal parts, feels very exotic and a privilege to be able to do it again and also feels very normal and deeply human to be doing this again. It’s definitely, I think, a big part of what it means to be human, to be able to gather together and sing the same song, it feels like a gift.
Have you noticed much difference in your own shows? Has there been more energy and excitement after it had been taken away for so long? Did you miss it a lot more than what you thought?
Yeah, for sure. That’s definitely one of the silver linings, right? It’s something that we all took for granted, now feels pretty special. I think you definitely feel that in the room every night, which I’m very thankful for.
On the Australian tour are you focusing on a particular album?
I think we are planing on diving into all of our albums. We have, at this point thirteen albums and we have a lot of catching up to do with Australia. We are also excited to revisit some of the songs that we’ve sung together in the past. I think one of the things I really enjoy about the Switchfoot live show is that we do a different set every night and we rarely follow our set list because we feel like who’s in the crowd and what the audience is doing is more important than who’s on stage. When we hear people shouting out song requests and stuff we just feed off of that lively energy. Australia’s definitely known for that. We have a very warm memory of years of touring in Australia and just how lively the crowds are, and we expect nothing less.
Do you have a favourite city in Australia?
They’re very distinct, right? I do really love the differences from place to place. Throughout the band, I know Melbourne has a, a very soft spot in our hearts, kind of reminds me of Northern California, which is another one of my favourite places. It’s kind of moody and gets all the seasons a little bit more. We have fond memories in all the different areas. I think Western Australia is certainly one of the ones I’m most excited about because we haven’t been to that part a whole bunch, and it feels so vast and unexplored, you know, I’m really looking forward to having a day off there to explore some of the empty beaches there.
Did you find that during the Covid years it was easier or harder to write new songs?
It’s always been easier for us to write songs when we’re confused or trying to work through something. I think when life’s good, we just go surfing and when life’s hard or difficult, it seems like that’s when we write the most of our songs. It’s been a season of a lot of song writing. Music was just this like, beautiful gift, to return to, even though in many ways it was taken away from us. We couldn’t do music in the form that we were used to, but we were all stuck at home doing nothing but music and finding a lot of refuge in it, even if just for ourselves. Then we started doing live streams and finding a way to still connect through music, which took on a life of its own. We started doing these concerts where instead of playing for people in that city we’re connecting with fans in Australia, Europe and Brazil, people tuning in all over the world. That was an unexpected gift in the midst of challenging season.
Is there much new material that’s almost ready to go on a new album?
It’s hard to say. We’re always working on new stuff because we love writing and we love music, but we’re not formally working on any new material for Switchfoot album at the moment, which isn’t that uncommon for us. A lot of times we just like to write and we call it throwing paint at the wall. We like to do that for a season and then see if there’s something there to start building around.
Sonically do you know where you would like to take the album?
As far as looking ahead, probably too early to know where we’d like to go next, we were really happy with where we ended up with Interrobang. That felt like the most we had learned about music in a really long time. It’s like a new season of growth where we were really being challenged and challenging each other and just learning a ton. That’s always exciting when you’ve been doing something for a long time, then to feel suddenly like a novice and a beginner at it again where there’s all this new opportunity to explore, that was a really fun season for us.
What were initial thoughts once you finished Interrobang?
As far as within our discography, in some ways reminds me of some of our earliest music, the raw feeling of a band in a room. You really can hear that it’s all of us in one room playing together, there’s a rawness there that I really love. There’s also a new kind of a exploration of cordal structure and melodic structure that I think was a really fun place to go and felt like some of never been before
The Christmas album was a nice touch to finish off 2022?
We talked about doing the Christmas album for years and I think the catalyst for doing it now came Christmas of 2020. One of the obsessions that my brother and I got into was making the perfect Christmas playlist. Coming upon the realisation that maybe the Christmas album that I wanted didn’t exist yet. That’s not to say there haven’t been a lot of amazing Christmas songs over the years, but it felt like we have a unique voice that wasn’t represented yet within that space, that that’s what excited us. We split the project into two halves, five originals, five classics and set about bringing our own Californian West Coast flair to the Christmas space, which in my mind is not too dissimilar from Australia. We don’t have the snowy Christmases out in San Diego. It’s more of a warm Christmas on the beach. That was a fun space to write from.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Switchfoot on the following dates, tickets from Destroy All Lines…