We're the Dark Horses - An Interview with Switchfoot
Beliefnet discusses music and belief with members of the Grammy winning rock band.
BY: Stephen Russ
Have you seen anything that has kind of changed with the band from the earlier records to now?
That’s a big question. I’ve got a lot of things that come to mind. The band has honed in an authentic sound. I think we’ve kind of grown out of the quirky type songs like “Chem 6A” and “Company Car” which I still love. We’ve gone into more of these speaking to the masses, big questions, important songs that feel important and honest. I think we’ve found a very quizzical approach in a lot of our music that has been a part of our calling and that has been a part of our voice in society.
I also think we have been one of the bands that has crossed lines drawn by Christian music and secular music critics. I think that when we started there was a lot of separation and now there’s been a lot more bridges built across this river that was separating these things and a lot of bands have been carried across over our backs so to speak and done great things which is I think is awesome. The band hasn’t changed in our security of who we are. How do I say it, you get to a place where you realize that the great artists are ones who don’t care what people think as much but just stick to what they know they’re supposed to do and I think that’s been one of the changes. I think we’ve decided that we’ll let the critics critique and we’ll just do what we know we’re supposed to do and continue pushing ahead in that.
That’s awesome. I think that’s a great message to younger bands too who are just getting going.
So tell me a bit about your religious background.
Grew up in a Baptist church. My dad was a chaplain for the Navy so I moved around a lot. He was a Southern Baptist pastor chaplain so we went to Southern Baptist churches quite a bit. Grew up singing hymns, singing in the choir, doing youth choir shows like “Music Machine” and “Down by the Boondocks” or whatever it is currently. I went to college at a school that was also a Baptist school because my youth pastor went there and I thought it would be cool because he was cool. I had to find out things for myself there so I went through a couple of years of finding myself and then had a revelation, I would call it almost a revolution, in my life during college and I’ve been a slave to that ever since and in a good way.
You know, I think it’s a journey that I’m still on in a lot of ways because I look back over my life and I see times of happiness and sorrow. I see times of joy and sorrow. I mean for prolonged periods of time I think I would go through a season of a dark night of the soul, if that makes any sense. There’s a book that I read about that calledThe Dark Night of the Soul
. Then times of just new life and rebirth and grace. So I think my journey right now is at a place of where I feel like I’m in my prime as a person more than I have ever felt before I guess and I’m wanting to be moving and shaking and alive and kicking right now.
That’s great. I get that feeling from this record actually. That’s really neat.
Yeah, I mean if I can reference the song “Dark Horses,” I think that’s us. We wrote it about these homeless kids and it definitely captures that but it’s also us. I feel like we are the dark horses. We are the ones who are running in sub currents of culture and spreading a good infection, if you know what I mean.