INTERVIEW WITH SWITCHFOOT
Saturday, August 26, 2000
Purple Door arts and music festival
Lebanon Expo Grounds
cMUSICWEB.COM: What is the gist of Learning to Breathe?
SWITCHFOOT: It's about motion - moving from one place to another. Mainly the fact that we are one thing now, but God is calling us to be, you know He is changing us, He is transforming us into something new. He is changing us from a fallen world to a redeemed world that God is bringing about on this planet. And just kind of the motion that happens there. And just the call that each of us as a Christian has for that to what God is doing all around us.
cMW: With your new album Learning to Breathe, have Switchfoot progressed musically and intellectually?
SwF: I think yes and yes. It's hard to be the judge on that one. You'd be a better judge on that one. We definitely put a lot more thought into both aspects of the album, really planning it out. Even the first song and last song of the album were kind of written to be the bookends of the album. There is that kind of thought of thinking about the flow from song to song as telling a story and the continuation of the New Way to be Human story. Not only do we have a new way of living but a new atmosphere to live in. It's the atmosphere of God's grace and we are infants within that atmosphere and we are learning to breathe, we are learning to crawl. It is entirely new and foreign to us.
cMW: Is the sound and attitude similar to your last album?
SwF: I would say so. Same attitude at least. There is probably more of a band energy on this one, I would think, than the last one. It is definitely more high energy. It definitely has a little bit more of a band feel.
cMW: Where does that come from?
SwF: In the recording. The way it was recorded. The last album was kind of fragmented. Right in the middle of it, Chad… we had planned to record it earlier and Chad's wedding was planned and then it got moved back so that the album was recorded right around the same time. So either Chad was not there a lot of times, or Tim wasn't there, this or that. Tim was taking classes at a University. So we were recording our parts at different times. On this album, even foundationally when we were writing our parts for the album we were "woodshedding" as they call it, where you just go into a room and shed wood, a lot of drumsticks, for hours and hours.
cMW: Do you do that a lot?
SwF: We did for this album. I think it is really important to get an end product that has the integrity of what Switchfoot is. It means putting in the time, the three of us, on our three instruments.
cMW: Is there a release date planned for the made-for-TV movie that Switchfoot was featured in?
SwF: Jason Priestly crashed his car. Ever since then they put it on hold. He had a big DWI incident and that was bad press so they are waiting for that to clear before they release it. It's bizarre when you are thrust into a world that is so foreign to us as Christians in a lot of ways. It is a real eye opener, but it was really neat to be involved in that and to get to share our music to people that would have never heard of us otherwise and that really have no concept of the gospel. It is certainly an honor.
cMW: How did we get involved with that?
SwF: We have been very blessed to have songs in TV shows, probably too many TV shows. The way that our record company works, there is a guy that works in LA. That is what he does. He really thinks that our songs are very applicable for TV and I guess a lot of other people who decide that type of thing think so too. So it is nothing that we have anything to do with. You never write a song for a music video or TV or anything, I guess it is just one of those things that fits somehow. It's an honor. You can't really hope for it or explain it.
cMW: What do you have planned next?
SwF: Well, the new album comes out on September 26th, and we are planning a big tour in the Spring with the Supertones and Relient K. We might get to go to Paris and play a show there. And Tim gets married. And we have been working with a group of refugees that live in San Diego. We are meeting with them tomorrow and we are hoping to produce an album for them. As Switchfoot we are trying to figure out how to best get the message of the persecution that is going on in Sudan. We have a bunch of ideas, we are going to be following up on them and try to see what that means. Every day, 700 Christians die for their faith over there. It's pretty much an eye opener. I have never been an activist for this or that. I mean I have been involved a little bit in ocean pollution and things like that but I have never been involved in things worldwide. It is just kind of opening my eyes and I guess I want to be a part of that, opening other people's eyes.
cMW: How did you get involved?
SwF: Each of our churches are heavily involved in helping with San Diego's refugees. They came over here with pretty much nothing. So we have been able to go down and spend some time with them and their pastors and they are just the neatest people. Having that interaction with them helps us to be more aware of what is happening in Sudan than a lot of people. I had never heard about the persecution in Sudan before I had been exposed to these people. It is the single most persecuted place in the world right now. I think it is not really known today, but it is true. That is what is going on out there.
cMW: Is that something that you plan to bring out at concerts, or is that just something that you are doing on your own at home?
SwF: We hope to raise awareness for them in whatever way we can and whatever way we feel God is calling us to do. Actually, we have invited a group of them to sing to open up for our CD release concert in San Diego. We are just going to see what happens. We have a bunch of dreams and ideas. We are going to just dream big and God will determine what our dreams amount to.
- Kim Flanders
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