Join in on your love of the rock band Switchfoot by repping their iconic “S” Logo and their font which they have been using since 2003’s “The Beautiful Letdown”.
“Switchfoot got their start in 1996 when the Foreman brothers and Butler came together around a mutual love of surfing and a passion for rock music spurred by such personal Southern California guitar heroes as Rocket from the Crypt, Drive like Jehu, Boilermaker, Three Mile Pilot and Heavy Vegetable. “Growing up in San Diego, my heroes were the bands that had sold maybe 30,000 records,” says the elder Foreman. “I’d never seen U2, so those were the bands that gave me my perspective of what a big rock show was. There was a feeling of camaraderie in San Diego that afforded us the freedom in those early days to try anything – even if it meant failing. I don’t think we’d be the band that we are today if we’d started in LA.”
“The San Diego indie rock scene really spawned a lot of inspiration for us,” adds Butler, who remembers – at age 17 – when he was so desperate to see fIREHOSE play an 18+ show at UCSD that he climbed onto a roof to watch the show through a skylight window. “As a kid I loved going to shows in San Diego. I could not get enough of rock music. The roof of the building was rattling during every song but the best moment was when Mike Watt looked up and pointed me out to the audience!”
The band released their debut album, The Legend of Chin in 1997, followed in 1999 by New Way to be Human, an album that marked the band’s debut on the Billboard “Heatseekers” chart (at #31). From the beginning, the band was a road-ready unit, building up an increasingly larger fanbase with each subsequent tour. The year 2000 saw the addition of keyboardist Jerome Fontamillas to the fold and the release of Learning to Breathe, an album that saw Switchfoot taking creative steps forward while earning eventual RIAA gold in the process.
The album spawned a Grammy nod and a spot on the RIAA platinum soundtrack to 2000’s A Walk to Remember, as Jon Foreman received the Les Paul Horizon Award for the Most Promising Up-and-Coming Guitarist. The next year found Switchfoot stepping out with their Columbia Records debut, A Beautiful Letdown, a Top 20 Billboard 200 hit that scored double-platinum success on the strength of a pair of gold certified singles, “Meant to Live” and “Dare You to Move.” “When we had success with Beautiful Letdown, it felt like we were thrust into waters we never dreamed we’d be in and we had to learn how to swim in,” says a reflective Jon Foreman, shaking his head.
As they navigated these new waters, the band outdid themselves again with the 2005 arrival of their fifth studio album, Nothing is Sound, their first with longtime touring guitarist Drew Shirley. With “Stars,” an RIAA gold certified hit single, the album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 before rolling to RIAA gold itself. Meanwhile, The Early Years: 1997-2000, a 2004 compilation of the band’s first three albums grabbed another RIAA gold award for Switchfoot.
The band’s widely celebrated sixth studio album, Oh! Gravity, arrived in 2006 with production work from acclaimed producer/mixer Tim Palmer (the Cure, Pearl Jam) and executive engineer Steve Lillywhite (U2, the Rolling Stones). Last year’s 18-song The Best Yet collection included the newly released song, “This is Home,” alongside the band’s biggest and best loved tracks. (The song was also featured in Walt Disney Studios/Walden Media’s #1 box office theatrical release, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.) The album’s special Deluxe Edition included a bonus DVD with 14 videos, among them two never-before-seen clips.
Leading up to the recording of Hello Hurricane Jon Foreman branched out and released four EPs and a side project called Fiction Family. The 26 songs on the solo EPs featured acoustic instruments along with guest musicians such as Jeff Coffin, of The Flecktones and Dave Mathews Band, and Karl Denson, of Lenny Kravitz and The Greyboy Allstars. Partnering up with Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek for Fiction Family, their self-titled debut, on the Dave Matthews co-founded ATO Records, features a dozen songs written by Foreman and Watkins and recorded by the duo at home studios around San Diego. The duo performed in dramatic fashion earlier this year at the 2009 Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee.
As for Hello Hurricane, the members of Switchfoot could not be more motivated to bring the new music to their grass roots grown fanbase. “I think it is a landmark record for us,” says Butler, turning serious. “It’s a new chapter in so many aspects of our lives, personally and professionally. I think we’re in the best possible place we’ve been in as a band.””