(Thanks LOBH friends for this)
A website called Stereo Subversion just recently conducted two incredible interviews with both halves of the Fiction Family. The first half is with Sean Watkins, the other half is with Jon Foreman.
Sean talks about writing with the Jon:
"Jon is a great songwriter. He’s got very thoughtful lyrics and he’s not afraid to be honest. He’s very intuitive about what is catchy. I hate to say that word, but he knows where the song should lead. Writing with Jon is very different than writing with Sara or Chris, which is my other experience with Nickel Creek. With him, it’s more about crafting a song and less about technical arrangements. So these recordings are just our attempt to make a good demo of each song, to capture the spirit of each song. On my other endeavors, there was an equal emphasis on the
technical side of things, so this is much different.
(Read the rest here: Part 1)
In part two, Jon talks about Sean as a writer, and his unique abilities:
"His songwriting has a real depth. He knows so many different covers. He’s the type of guy who can learn a cover song every day of the week just to learn it and know it and has a deep appreciation for the history of American music and rock and roll in general and bluegrass and all these different forms. So he has a deep springboard to jump from in different places than a lot of songwriters would.
I think whenever there’s somebody who’s really talented at playing quickly, the danger is that becomes the only thing they have. You’ll have these incredible geniuses on the fretboard that play too many notes potentially and Sean definitely can play really quickly but he has an understanding of when not to play as well. With his talent and his background, it’s an elevator that allows him to reach highs and lows that others wouldn’t be able to get to."
He also talks about the new Switchfoot record, and boy, is this interview filled with juicy, juicy tidbits!
Here's the one that really caught my eye:
"But on the new Switchfoot record, I’m trying to write these immortal anthems."
(Read the rest here: Part 2) Plus, more on the new Switchfoot studio tidbits later...
Also, Fiction Family got its own feature on Billboard magazine! the guys blogged about it, and here is an excerpt below:
ATO product manager Jaclyn Bertsch credits Red Light Management's Bruce Flohr (who co-manages Fiction Family with Watkins' management Q Prime South) with bringing the music to the label's attention. "You're talking about one guy who has sold 5 million records and another guy who has sold 2 million records," she says of Foreman and Watkins respectively. "But the whole record was made in truly independent fashion. There were no label restraints. ATO wasn't involved until way after the creative process was completed. It just came from a really true place."
The label is now pushing "When She's Near" to triple A radio in advance of a North American tour that begins Jan. 13 in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Now, some charts news:
(Mediabase is currently down, or not updating properly. We'll post today's results later if that is sorted out)
Oh! Here's a video of Jon's performance last night for TWLOHA's Heavy and Light benefit show. Appropriately, it's titled "Light and Heavy":
HOLY... CRAP... that was brilliant!
And last but not least, here's some summarizing about the new Switchfoot album, according to Jon:
*About the writing for the new record: "For me, for a little while there, I was afraid of anthems. I was afraid of the big songs. Fear can be a strange thing to try and describe, but I think that the past few years, I’ve really been set free from those fears. I’ve been able to write these quirky, mellow, side project types of songs. But on the new Switchfoot record, I’m trying to write these immortal anthems."
*About taking their sweet ol' time: Well, we’ve written and recorded about 60 songs that we’re just sifting through. I went out yesterday to write a song with a few friends in New York and we’ve worked with a bunch of different producers. Basically it’s on our dime and our clock and in our studio. We feel that this next record will represent the next 10 years of who we are as a band and so we want to make the best record we’ve ever made. We want to take our time and decide what are the songs that we want to sing for the rest of our lives and put them on this record.
*About Darrell Thorp, and the "landscape" sound Switchfoot is going for: We enlisted Nigel Godrich’s main engineer who has worked on our favorite records - some Paul McCartney records, some Radiohead, some Air records, some of Beck’s stuff. He definitely took us to a place where I feel like this record has a much wider scope - the darks are darker and the lights are brighter and the lows are lower and the highs are higher. That was our goal was to create such a landscape. That’s where my head is at is figuring out how to make sure that horizon is in every song.
*About the trickiness of a release date: We’re shooting for late spring. That’s our goal, but it’s been a little tricky. For the Fiction Family tour, we’re going out in January. Then as Switchfoot, we’re heading to South America right after that. We’re out right now as a band with Three Doors Down, so trying to fit in the recording schedule between all these tours is a little tough. [Laughs] But I think we’ll be able to squeeze it out by summertime or springtime.
All of these paragraph/points have been duly updated on the New Switchfoot Album page! Check it out here