Sep 19, 2021
Let’s start here: Jon Foreman is not a brand of elegant men’s watches. Far from it, in fact. He’s the frontman of the popular rock band Switchfoot, which reached its peak of commercial chart success in the early 2000s with a pair of mammoth hits.
But this not some has-been rock-and-roll outfit looking to hang on. Switchfoot has continued to produce a string of strong records, while Foreman has led some notable side projects, since the band debuted under the name “Chin Up” in 1996. Switchfoot’s most recent album, “Interrobang” – released in late-summer 2021 – is no exception to the band’s string of strong work.
Foreman and Switchfoot first gained mainstream recognition in 2002, when four of its songs were used in the film “A Walk to Remember.” This led to the band’s major label debut – 2003’s “The Beautiful Letdown” – which ultimately sold 2.6 million copies and produced megahits “Meant to Live” and “Dare You to Move.”
The sad reality, however, is that American music consumers often tire of hitmakers receiving frequent airplay. The Counting Crows, Goo Goo Dolls and Hootie & The Blowfish come to mind, and certainly Switchfoot could fall into that pocket of peers. But the band also wrestled with a conflict of brand – much like NeedtoBreathe, which will tour with Switchfoot this Fall.
The band’s initial success in the late 1990s first came in the Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) scene. And despite later bringing its sound to more secular audiences in the early 2000s, Switchfoot is frequently referred to as a “Christian rock band.” In fact, at one juncture, the group’s management purposely steered the band away from religious festivals and media. But here’s the thing: Forman and his brother Tim – Switchfoot’s bassist – grew up in a deeply religious home with a father who leads a San Diego-area megachurch. So yes, Foreman is a Christian. Get over it. Does that fully color the band’s art? Not at all.
Ultimately, Switchfoot perseveres and continues to thrive. From early hits to the “Hello Hurricane” album (which received a Grammy award in 2011) and beyond. The band continues to rack up notable accomplishments.
In our conversation, Foreman comes across as a kind, introspective artist, hiding from, nor behind, any of the challenges or successes the band has faced over the past quarter-century. Switchfoot merely endures – rather well, indeed – continuing to delight the band’s remarkably dedicated fanbase and producing quality music.
So enjoy the latest episode of The Load Out Music Podcast with Switchfoot founder and frontman Jon Foreman.