Monday, July 14, 2008

Chad Butler weighs in on David Cook, and Switchfoot playing at Rock-Fest

Leader-Telegram put out a sweet story on the upcoming Rock-Fest goin' down in Cadott, Wisconsin. The show will feature big-time acts like Goo Goo Dolls, Plain White T's, Three Days Grace, Stone Temple Pilots, Matchbox Twenty, The Wallflowers, and more!

I've posted the full story hear (Thanks leader-telegram):

Switchfoot to play Cadott Rock Fest

By Chris Vetter
Chippewa Falls News Bureau

Members of rock band Switchfoot had no idea David Cook was going to sing their hit "Dare You to Move" in one of the final elimination rounds on this season's "American Idol" on May 13. Cook nailed the song, and he went on to win "American Idol" the following week.

"It was a total surprise," said Switchfoot drummer Chad Butler. "We were really excited. We had just performed on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.' We got the call just as we got off the stage that David Cook had performed our song. It was a great day for Switchfoot."

Butler said the group is excited about performing Saturday at Rock Fest near Cadott, noting that the band members are big fans of the other acts on stage that day such as Goo Goo Dolls and Stone Temple Pilots.

"That's some rock legends," Butler said. "It's a great opportunity to sit side-stage and watch a great rock show. I'm honored to be on the bill with that great rock music."

San Diego-based Switchfoot formed in 1996. "Switchfoot" is a surfing term, and Butler said bandmates are all avid surfers.

The group gained attention when four of its songs were used on the soundtrack for the 2002 movie "A Walk to Remember." Additionally, singer-actress Mandy Moore covered Switchfoot's song "Only Hope" during the movie.

"She did a good job of it," Butler said of Moore's rendition. "It was really a cool honor to be associated with someone else's artwork."

Switchfoot's 2003 album "The Beautiful Letdown" includes the group's most well-known hit, "Meant to Live," along with "Dare You to Move."

Switchfoot's current single, "This Is Home," is included in the movie "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," and that's the song the band performed recently on "The Tonight Show."

"It's always an honor to have a song used by another art form," Butler said. "It's a great opportunity to be a part of the C.S. Lewis story. It's meaningful to me."

Switchfoot has won numerous Dove Awards, and its music is available at Christian stores. But Butler doesn't want the group to be considered a Christian band, he said.

"I don't cringe when people ask about my faith," he said. "But I don't feel that genre exists - it's something people put on you. I don't want to put up labels and walls that would make someone feel excluded."

There are no sermons between songs at Switchfoot shows. The songs do touch on spiritual matters. For instance, "The Shadow Proves the Sunshine" is about seeking redemption. "This Is Your Life" is about self-improvement and searching for more. "Happy Is a Yuppie Word" and "American Dream" are about social injustice. "Yesterdays" is about moving on after a loved one has died.

"The strongest, most honest songs are asking questions and not throwing out answers," Butler said.

Lead singer Jon Foreman and his brother, Tim Foreman, wrote "Yesterdays," which is on the group's latest disc, "Oh! Gravity." Butler said the brothers routinely are asked about the song anywhere they go in the world.

"They wrote it together, but it means different things to each of them," Butler said. "A lyric can be interpreted in so many different ways."

Don't expect to hear too many ballads when Switchfoot performs at Rock Fest, however. Butler said the band likes to play loud.

"We keep it pretty upbeat," Butler said. "It's about bringing the rock. I have some great memories about sweaty rock shows in Wisconsin."

Switchfoot also is known for its work with Habitat For Humanity. The band contributes money from every ticket to the organization, which builds homes for the poor. The tour that kicks off in August is dubbed "The Music Builds Tour," which will include a stop in Minneapolis in October.

"That was really exciting for us to be doing that for Habitat For Humanity," Butler said. "People at the show have gotten involved, and that's what it's about - sparking interest and giving time to your community. We had such a great experience working with that organization. It's something I'm proud to be a part of."

The band has toured regularly for years. Earlier this year, it toured New Zealand, Indonesia and Singapore.

"We got to visit some incredible surfing spots," Butler said. "We're always looking forward to getting out our surfboards."

Right now the group is back at home in San Diego and working on another CD. Butler said he's looking forward to hitting the road again, and he's excited about his first trip to the Chippewa Valley.

"It's going to be an epic night of music," he said.

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