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Switchfoot has been playing a ton of radio gigs lately. Here's one where they play some music for Planet Radio's Wounded Warrior Project.
Jon Foreman and Chad Butler also stopped by Buzz 103 to do a quick interview that you can listen to here. Also, here are photos, like the one below:
Global Shift.com did an interview with Jon recently about the upcoming Bid Fire auction. Here it is in it's entirety, reproduced, below:
Switchfoot and auction site Bidfire are offering one fan the chance to record a song with the band through an auction raising money for charity. The winner of the auction will be flown to the band’s hometown of San Diego for four days switchfootto record with the band and attend their sixth annual Bro-Am charity event. Both the event and the auction will benefit Stand up for Kids, a non-profit that works to help at risk and homeless youth across the country. You can sign up for the auction here, and bidding will begin on May 28 at noon Pacific time. You can also go to Stand up for Kids’ website to learn more about the charity and how to get involved.
Global Shift talked with Switchfoot’s lead singer, Jon Foreman, about the auction, Stand up for Kids and what inspires the band’s music.
Global Shift: Can you talk about the charity auction with Bidfire? How did that get started and what are you hoping to get out of that?
Jon Foreman: With Stand up for Kids and other organizations we’ve been involved with we always try to come up with innovative ways to not only raise funds but also raise awareness for what they do. The internet can be a great place for both of those things and this felt like a unique way to accomplish that.
How did you get involved with Stand up for Kids?
Stand up is a national organization that started in San Diego. It’s our hometown and we’re always looking for people that are doing great things in our backyard. When we first heard about Stand up for Kids it felt like a perfect way to partner up. Ultimately it comes down to the people, and the people involved are really great. Especially in the chapter that this will benefit, there are really incredible people we got involved with. Kim, for example, the lady who runs it, she has a passion for these kids unlike anyone that I know, and she actually spent a portion of her life on the streets. You can hear the fire in her voice when she’s talking about her kids and that’s contagious.
You talk about Hello Hurricane being inspired by a woman who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. How do the stories of the people you meet through your charity work inspire your music?
I’m always looking for songs, you know. Songs that are bigger than myself to sing. I think where I find these things the most often is when I’m looking at people like Kim that are just basically doing ordinary things extraordinarily well with extraordinary amounts of love and patience and dedication. A lot of people put an undue amount of importance on what I do, and I find that in many ways what Kim does is much more important.
What is the importance to you of having meaning or stories behind all of the songs you write?
You have to understand that these are songs that will be playing hundreds if not thousands of times, so we came to a conclusion on this record in partcular, as we’re whittling the list down from 80 songs that we recorded to make the record, we came up with the idea that if you ain’t crying why are you singing it? If it doesn’t mean something deeply personal to you, it’s time to move onto the next song. It has to stand the test of time. For me, the songs that mean the most are songs that have a deep root in the history of nation, the history of a relationship. For example, The Sound was inspired by John M. Perkins, and meeting him the other day was just this incredible thing. I’ve read about him for years and have been reading his work for years and having the chance to meet him face to face and have a conversation with him was bringing everything full circle. With Kim and other people, they definitely are our song night after night.
You’ve been doing the Bro-Am benefit for five years now, how did that get started? How has it affected you and the band and what has it accomplished for Stand up for Kids?
Oh man, every year it’s my favorite day of the year. I am so grateful for all the hard work that everyone puts into it. For me and I know for the rest of the crew, it’s the hardest you work all year, that day, that whole week is just a blitz of press, setting up this and that, all great things, surfing, music, setting up tents at the beach. It’s not only the hardest day of the year as far as work but it’s also the most fun you have all year. To be able to see firsthand the results of a day at the beach for all of these kids is amazing. It’s the sixth year running and it means more and more to us, and as far as I’m concerned, whatever funds we raise, I mean we’re always shooting for the most funds we can, every year we try to top the year before, but in my opinion the greater honor, is we owe these kids a debt of gratitude. In my mind they’re the heroes.
What are you expecting out of the song that will be recorded with the winner of the auction?
I have no idea. We did a thing where somebody wanted a chance to play cowbell on our record, that was fun and pretty lighthearted. I really don’t know what this is going to look like, it could be a disaster, it could be amazing. That’s what music is, you really don’t know what it’s going to be until it’s finished.
What do you get out of interacting with your fans in ways like this and at events?
You know, I love interacting with people. Music is a communal experience, it’s something that we do together, even when you’re writing a song alone, you want to play it for someone and to be able to give somebody something that you’ve worked on. I grew up in a scene that was almost like a family, all these fans were very supportive of each other, we were very different and came from very different backgrounds but that didn’t matter. We all saw music as something that brought us together. So, as a band something that we’ve tried to do is diminish the difference between the stage and the crowd.
I read an interview with you in Relevant Magazine, and you also touched on this is your most recent article for the Huffington Post, where you talk about cynicism and wondering “What’s the point?” and trying to avoid that. What are some of your biggest motivations in your music and your work with charities that keep you from being cynical?
Statistics and numbers get me really cynical. Facts and figures. There’s insurmountable amounts of data that just flood the room with all this depression and fear, because there’s nothing you can do against numbers. But when I am reminded that these numbers are people, these numbers are uncles and fathers and brothers and daughters and stories, that’s when I’m a lot less cynical. I think we have this reductionist mentality in our post modern world that to try and understand something we make it smaller, but a lot of times we lose the essence of what the story is. For me, when I bring it back to the story, then I’m not as depressed. I still have moments of doubt and fear and anger, and sometimes I fight hopelessness, but I fight it, you know?
To learn more or bid on the experience, click here to visit Switchfoot’s website.
Now, for your weekly chart update. This week was a slow one for Switchfoot's singles on their respective charts.
After the first two weeks' explosion, "The Sound" comes back down to earth, falling to No. 32 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. This fall can be attributed to two juggernaut singles getting released in the last week: Muse' "Neutron Star Collision" and Avenged Sevenfold's "Nightmare." Hopefully things will start picking up again soon.
"The Sound" also falls even more this week on Christian Rock, now sitting at No. 9 on the survey.
"Your Love Is a Song" jumps one more spot on Christian Songs, from 44-43.
Reminder: Be sure to keep making your requests to your local alternative stations within your area. For a list of phone numbers and links, check out this page.