Happy first day of spring yallz! (the season, not the ep... hehe)
Here's some more Spring previews! These are longer… making the wait even harder to bear… haah
Next, our dear friend Jeanna from Land of Broken Hearts found this amazing interview with Jon right conducted right before the Biola Centennial celebration. It’s chock full of insight. Here’s my favorite section:
How does Spring & Summer compare with Fall & Winter?
Spring I just finished. The masters were turned into iTunes on Friday.
Yeah, I saw the track listing you posted online.
Oh, yeah. I wanted it to be cohesive with the other two but I wanted it to also turn a corner with the thematic element. As far as the musical element, I wanted to add different flavors that would be symbolic of flowers popping up, new colors, new life. That was the trickiest part, to draw that into the frame of the “Learning How To Die” kind of somber tones of Fall & Winter.
I’ve noticed with the EPs and stuff you’ve been blogging a lot. How important is it to keep up that interaction with fans?
Well, it’s something I’ve always done. Even back in ’97, we were doing stuff with the P.O. Box. “Send us a dollar in a self-addressed stamped envelope and we’ll send you a sticker,” you know? People would write letters and I’d handwrite a letter back. That was the way it was. So now it’s just a matter with blogging, you can do that in a way that a lot of people get to read the letter, which is kind of nice.
In addition to that, you have the side project with Sean of Nickel Creek entitled The Real SeanJon. What’s the latest on that?
We’re coming close on picking a name that won’t get us a lawsuit. We’re doing the final song right now, and there’s a rumor that there’s a large company that produces caffeinated beverages that might put it out in a few months. So, we’ll see.
So that’s maybe like a summer release then or something?
Yeah, and that record is surprising because we put very little into it and it turned out really good. Sometimes it’s the opposite, where you put a lot into it and you’re not really that thrilled with the results, but this was the exact opposite. We didn’t really do that much and it just kind of fell together.
Stylistically how does it compare with Switchfoot and Nickel Creek?
It’s closer to the solo stuff. Maybe Nickel Creek’s last record. It’s got a little bit of that in there maybe. I didn’t play any electric guitar; Sean played all the electric guitar. We came up with these cowboy rules and wrote them all down. That was our code for the record that we had to live by.
Last year, you parted ways with Columbia and started Lowercase People Records. How did that whole situation happen? Was that kind of a joint thing or your decision?
Yeah, I mean neither party has any hard feelings. I think for us, the reason why we signed with Columbia was because of the people that were there. So it’s very understandable when all those people are gone, you don’t hold any real bad feelings or good feelings towards a company name. I think that’s part of the problem with the corporate entity as a whole is that there’s no true responsibility.
I think for us as a band, we just see it as there’s a time and a season for everything, and right now it was the right season for us to begin doing things on our own again with the solo EPs and with the SeanJon thing. You know touring is even affected by what label you’re on. We had disagreements about the way things should be run, so we parted on amicable terms and it was a mutual thing. I think it’s the best thing that could have happened for us; to be able to kind of turn over a new leaf.
With the way the music industry is right now, do you see more bands going a similar route?
I absolutely do. Like I said, there’s a time and a season. A couple years ago, I don’t think it would have been the right move for us at all, but to be in a place where we are now, we don’t have to play that game anymore. We’re able to think like, “Let’s do a tour in the South Pacific. Let’s do a tour in Europe. Let’s do a tour in the States.” It becomes very simple. We want to put out a record. That’s great. OK, put it out. There’s no over thinking. There’s not 500 cooks in the kitchen, you know? I feel like we are at a place now where we understand more than ever what we want to do with our music, and it feels like the right place to be.
How is that new record coming along?
It’s good. Tim and I have just been writing. You know, it’s one of those things where you get to a point where you kind of want to shock yourself again. The reason why you started playing music in the first place is because it’s shocking, and it felt like you were somehow defying gravity or something like that. So you kind of want to find that place again. You can’t go to the same well. That’s all dry; you got to find a new place.
You guys are building your own studio too, right? Is that almost done?
Yeah, it’s pretty much done except for a few final tweaks. You know, little last minute red tape type issues.
So the most successful record you guys have had was The Beautiful Letdown back in ‘03. Has there ever been or is there still any pressure to achieve that huge status again?
On the one hand, you never set out to achieve it, but on the other hand, you’re not trying for failure either. I think for us, our goals have always been a little bit more inline with things that can be measured outside of numerical success. So I think certainly in the back of your head, that record has helped put food on the table and certainly helped get all the rest of the songs we’ve written a bigger platform. I think to try and go back and duplicate that feels like… I don’t know. Like I said before, you can’t go to the same well twice. You have to come to new places.
Read the rest here
Here’s another one, back in 2004, conducted with drummer extraordinaire, Chad Butler:
If you weren't in Switchfoot, what would you be doing?
Probably, teaching surfing. That is what I was doing when we started the band back in San Diego.
Who are your musical influences?
The Police for sure, Stevie Wonder and it a little known fact that he played drums on his records, and The Beatles, U2. Currently there are just so many bands in San Diego that motivate us. We try to go to as many shows as we can when we are home.
What cd is in your cd player right now?
Death Cab for Cutie, I like the Postal Service too but as far as the live drumming goes, I vote for Death Cab.
What other cds have you been listening to?
Cursive (Ugly Organ), Noise Ratchett (their new EP)
Do you enjoy touring?
Love it; well like I said it's like a family, I'd never be another band. I think that if I weren't in Switchfoot, I wouldn't be touring at all. It sounds hard to imagine not being with this group of guys. We have such a great time on and off stage. Our families are all real close too. Even when we aren't on the road, we are all hangin out back home.
Go here for the full interview! Be a surf teacher... how predictable... =D
And, time for probably one of the best Jon Fall & Winter Ep’s ever. Thanks to Phil from switchfeed for finding this! It’s so right one, I felt like posting the entire thing right here:
Jon Foreman is best known as the sensitive rock-prophet front man of San Diego band Switchfoot. The band’s anthemic cries against rampant materialism and purposeless existence somehow struck a chord with just the sort of folks their songs depicted. MTV (a bastion, we would add, of rampant materialism and purposeless existence) even placed hopeful (if angsty) tunes like “Meant to Live” in their rotation.
Switchfoot, perhaps, has faded from mainstream consciousness. Nevermind. In the intervening years, the quintet has worked hard to establish themselves as indie-rock mainstays, not mere MTV darlings. Recent work may not receive the attention of previous releases, but I like to think of their subtle exodus as a sort of monastic retreat ala Rivers Cuomo. They’re honing their craft, these five. They will emerge pensive, melancholic. In other words: a bit more indie (whatever that means).
Maybe. Maybe not. It would seem that Foreman, however, listens to this sort of artist (the pensive; the melancholic; the indie). Listen. You’ll hear it in Fall/Winter—half of a seasonally themed project. (Bet you can’t guess the title of the next installment.)
We should note, by the way, that Foreman, like every other relevant independent artist, has caught on to the future of music marketing—or should we say the present? “Fall” and “Winter” were previously available as separately released download-only e.p.’s. On January 15th he released the physical counterpart “Fall/Winter,” which combines the two short albums. Kudos to Foreman for keeping his ear to the ground.
But what of the music itself? Fall is a restrained lamentation of human existence—though not without hope of redemption. The opener, “The Cure for Pain,” explores the necessity of pain in one’s spiritual journey. “Southbound Train” opens with a subdued harmonica train, blown over the tired tracks of a thumping guitar. (Think: Johnny Cash’s “Orange Blossom Special” as performed by Iron and Wine.) The song paints the picture of a lonely rider on a train seeing someone he left behind in every fleeting detail. “Lord, Save Me From Myself” explores similar lyrical content to many Switchfoot songs, but is wrapped in inventive folk-instrumentation. This simple, repetitious tune is carried by the stellar production and solid instrument choice. Though lyrically at times it seems to condemn society, perhaps it is really about the evil we see in ourselves, though exponentially present in the world as a whole. Ultimately the cry is “Ah, Lord, save me from myself.” “Equally Skilled” once again explores the corrupt nature of man in a way that would make John Calvin proud. Rasped so gently from Mr. Foreman, such a pronouncement of judgment has never sounded so sweet. Perhaps this could be considered the title track, the season of fall being symbolic of the Biblical fall of Man. However, don’t lose sight of redemption. Foreman never does. He declares, “For though I fall, though I fall, I will rise again.” This song, like the e.p. as a whole, admits personal evil while expressing hope in the mercy of God.
Whereas it’s easy to find themes of fall in “Fall,” there is a lack of cohesiveness within “Winter.” It feels like an extension of ideas found in the first e.p. Musically, no tracks stand out. Listen to “Fall” and “Winter” back to back and try to spot the transition from one e.p. to the other. They flow into one another, breaking down toward the beginning of Winter. It’s not long until things are getting tedious. (Good gravy! Wail man! Scream! Do something!) This is not to say the subdued rasping of Foreman’s thoughtful lyrics goes unappreciated. His music demands your attention. Play it quietly in the background and it provides texture. But. Shut your eyes. Give yourself to the hushed lamentation of “White as Snow”; sense the hope of lines like “build me a home/inside your scars;” enter into the beauty of acceptance, despite the fall. Something beyond texture envelops you. Music should do more than color your world, more than inform, more than entertain. Music should transport you to a level of awareness and appreciation. Music is mystic. “Fall/Winter” may not transport you to the seventh heaven, but somewhere in the sparse production you may hear a chorus of angels.
by t clair for intothehill.com
Artist: Jon Foreman
Release Date: January 15, 2008
Our Rating: 7/10
thanks t clair for understanding the band!
Well, that’s about it, for this extra long post.
Update! Podcast 32 is up!
Woot Andy Barron! Thank you sir!