Jon Foreman is a man I admire not only because of his honest music, but also his dedication to various non-profits including Stand Up For Kids. To date Switchfoot has put out 7 full length records with the 8th (Vice Verses) set to release September 27th of this year. I recently had a chance to chat with Jon Foreman about the new record Vice Verses, Bro-Am, his recent article in the Huffington Post, and the new Switchfoot single “Dark Horses.” To date there has been so much info published about the new record Vice Verses, I didn’t want that to be the focus of the interview. Instead I felt I could catch up readers with info already published and then tread new territory with Jon. To see all the details and track listing about the new record read this previous blog I wrote.
Adrian Hummel: Jon, what’s up man! What are you doing?
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: Dude, Nothing! I am just munching on a fruit tray right now.
Adrian Hummel: I want to thank you for taking some time because I know you are super busy and it is an honor to talk to you.
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: Yeah man, thanks for your time.
Adrian Hummel: You’re in Dallas right now, eating some fruit, life is good.
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: It’s hot, life is good, but it’s very warm here in Dallas.
Adrian Hummel: If we had some Southern California weather in Texas I would never have a reason to leave.
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: All you need is some southern California weather and some waves
Adrian Hummel: Well man, there is so much going on with Switchfoot, you guys are constantly busy and I suppose that is a good thing with the way music is now. You guys got a new record coming out, you just had another successful Bro-Am, we can talk about that or your article you just wrote for the Huffington Post.
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: Bro-Am was last week, but it doesn’t feel like it. You gear up for it all year and it’s an amazing feeling to be on the other side. This year I think we rose close to 130k for Stand up For Kids. For me those kids are amazing, they are fighting for it, and if there is anything we can do to help them out in their struggle, it is a good thing.
Adrian Hummel: I agree, that was the 7th Annual Bro-Am and even though you and Tim didn’t win the surfing competition you still went out and played some great music.
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: You know the whole music thing is a cover up for my professional surfing career which has not taken off like I thought it would and until it shapes up I am just going to keep playing rock ‘n roll.
Adrian Hummel: I heard a rumor that you guys plan tours around surf spots?
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: I wish we did that more often than we do, we really need to make that rumor a reality, because that sounds like a good thing to do.
Adrian Hummel: You also recently wrote an article for Huffington Post, and I like the way you re-defined the word “making a living.”
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: Yeah, I’m always trying to understand the world we live in and make sense of it because there is a lot of crazy stuff going on. I’m also making sure I am living it (life) right because I only got one chance at it.
Adrian Hummel: So, I am just going to ask you, when you are going to write a book?
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: I’m not sure man I don’t know if anyone wants to read a book from me. Three-minute pop songs are what I am best at, so we are just going to keep playing the rock ‘n roll. I think maybe some day, maybe when I am too old to jump off of drums, I’ll write a book.
Adrian Hummel: Ok, because I know you do stuff for Huffington Post and I see some of the inspiration behind your songs, and I was thinking he needs to just write a book. You guys just also announced some UK dates, how often are you flying? Are you on the airplane every other day?
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: These days we are on the airplanes a lot, and lets just say we got some frequent flyers and, some mileage racking up. We just did an Australia/South Pacific tour, a run across Canada and now we are back in the home sweet home USA. It’s great man and I love it. This fall we are going out with Anberlin for a US tour, that’s going to be a blast we love those guys. It’s fun, I love San Diego but I love what we do and I love to be on the road. Tonight we are going to hang out with some friends that are on Warped Tour. Passing through you get to see all sorts of friends you don’t get to see that often. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Adrian Hummel: Anberlin, is a band that has taken off the last two years so it’s good to see you team up with them.
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: Yeah man I love those guys, we have been friends with them for a long time and actually half way through that tour we are going to release a new record like you said Vice Verses so we are going to have some new songs to play, I can’t wait.
Adrian Hummel: I heard Dark Horses is going to be the new single off the new record, and that it should be out sometime in August?
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: Yes, that’s right. I heard August 2nd is the day that is going to drop, that’s the rumor and word on the street and that actually ties into Bro-Am and the Huffington Post. I wrote a piece awhile back on the Huffington Post about Dark Horses and underdogs and I started thinking about it and for me the true underdogs are the people who didn’t chose their situation, but are rising above it. For me that song the Dark Horses is all about the homeless kids back in San Diego, specifically the ones who are being helped out by Stand Up For Kids. It’s always nice when you have a song you are passionate about singing night after night that has a deeper meaning than simply another verse and another chorus.
Adrian Hummel: I’m looking at the lyrics now and when you mention the homeless kids in San Diego it helps put the lyrics in perspective.
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: Yeah man, and I love it when it feels like there is a full army of people singing it every night so I can’t wait for folks to learn that one.
Adrian Hummel: I can’t wait to hear Vice Verses and the one song that has a lot of buzz about it is Selling The News and that is because you have a spoken word part.
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: Yeah man, you know I love Bob Dylan and Talib Kweli and maybe this falls somewhere in the middle.
Adrian Hummel: What are some books you are reading, or some books you have read in the past that have really helped shape some of the songs you have written for Switchfoot?
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: Oh, man. Victor Frinkle a holocaust survivor wrote Man’s Search For Meaning. Another book that directly tied into that song we had out on Hello Hurricane, The Sound was written about John M Perkins. He was a civil rights leader here in the states and it was uh, just his memoirs. It’s amazing for me that I can now call him a friend. He has some amazing books out, that are definitely more challenging.
Adrian Hummel: The new album Vice Verses will come out Septemeber 27th and you guys are going to be super active until then and I can’t wait to see you guys tonight. Jon, thank you so much for your time and I’ll see you guys tonight at the show.
Jon Foreman of Switchfoot: Alright, I’ll see you there Adrian.
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Adrian Hummel is an Afternoon Drive rock radio dj & Music Director from Dallas Texas currently at 89.7 Power FM (kvrk) Read his full bio to learn more about him. Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest interviews and music news!