It feels like you’re very connected to the lyrics that Jon writes. Is that always the case?
Yeah. A lot of the songs that he writes are out of discussions that we have, stuff that we talk about on the road. If we’re in a car for a long time chances are there will be a song that comes out of that. If there’s an interview that we do sometimes with you guys, it will get us thinking about stuff and then we’ll continue a conversation. After that, a lot of our songs come from struggling with life at two in the morning and Jon will come the next day and be like, “Guys, you know, I got this song last night I wrote in my hotel room, what do you guys think?” And we’ll talk about it. So I mean chances are we’ve talked about every song as a band before it goes on the record. So yeah, I’m connected to the songs personally.
That’s really cool. Has it always kind of been that way or is that something that’s progressed since you joined?
Yeah, I mean we’re all friends before we we’re musicians and business guys together. So when we sit down as a band and have a meeting or something, the first question is “how are you guys all doing? What’s going on with everybody? It’s not “hey, do we need to discuss about these songs?” It’s very much a brotherhood type of band. So the songs just seem to be a part of that brotherhood. So I don’t know. I mean I owe so much to this group of guys because they really are my team, my brothers, my family on the road. These songs are the things we hang around and work on together but that’s not all there is to the band.
That definitely comes through in the music and always has to me as a listener.
Yeah, you can tell as a listener. I think you know what bands are really friends that love playing music together. I can tell when I watch bands like “man, those guys don’t even seem to really like each other at all.” At a show I saw recently I saw the lead singer turn to the drummer and shake his head and be like “only three more songs and then we’re done.” It was just like, man that sucks.
That’s really awful. So who do you like to listen to?
You know, I’m a closet pop fan. I really like Michael Jackson and I am a child of the 80s and 90s so I like INXS and I like The Police. I like all that. My main and album and vibe is Led Zeppelin. I mean I always go with Zeppelin because they are so diverse in their musical styles. They’ll do country, pop, reggae, rock and roll, metal, you know, they do everything. They’re great. They don’t stick to one thing – and then I love kind of noisy music sometimes like Chemical Brothers and I like Depeche Mode because I grew up with that era and The Cure and of course The Beatles are huge. I’ll put them on every day or so. What was I just listening to? Foster the People. That record got its hooks in me.
Jerome mentions that record too.
I told him about that record. That guy stole my line. When I see him I’m going to get you for that, Jerome! Yeah, they’re good guys. I went and saw him and hung out with the band and I got to know them a bit. I listen to their record. I love it. Our video went out with them in East London. But yeah, so much music so little time.
Yeah, definitely. What are your favorite early Switchfoot songs to perform?
Yeah, my gosh, well, my favorite Switchfoot song of all time is “Learning to Breathe.” Personally, that song will forever hold first place. I also love “Concrete Girl.” I love the vibe of that song and what it says and just like how quirky it is.
When was the last time that one was performed live?
Man, I wish we did it more. We probably haven’t done it in like two years. Maybe three.
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.