Do you have any desire to go back to doing more industrial music?
You know, that’s funny. Right before I flew out to Michigan I looked in my garage and there are two-inch tapes of Mortal and I was looking at it going man, you know, I should remix some of these songs. Music has always been changing and for me I always want to do music that’s challenging and pushing me further as a musician. So whether it’s maybe doing an industrial album in the future who knows. But I’m totally open to it.
I want to hear the industrial Switchfoot album.
Oh I know! Well, I think there’s an album that I did with Mortal. It’s like a greatest hits album where I had Jon sing. So if you could find it somewhere, it’s there. It’s an industrial song and I had Jon come in and sing it. It was pretty neat.
I didn’t hear quite as much of that in the new album. What kind of led to that or is that just kind of in the moment?
Because the songs were pretty straightforward. When you start adding all these different elements, a lot of times you got to be careful that it doesn’t take away from the song itself. So I was very careful in choosing variants and for a lot of these songs I wanted a lot of space, and with that idea you have to hold back a little bit. There’s a song called “Thrive” where there’s a lot of electronics on there. That one, that’s a great song too. It’s a good song to vibe to.
What is your favorite old school Switchfoot song to perform with the band?
Well, okay, I’ve been in the band for a little over 10 years. I joined them right after Learning to Breathe came out. I didn’t record on that album. I love the song “Learning to Breathe” itself. That’s a fantastic song to play live.
How much of the older stuff do you all get to play now?
Oh man, it’s hard because now there’s getting to be more and more new songs, you know, you have to take out a few here and take out a few there just to even fit in the timeframe. We’re really excited playing the new songs so we try to sneak those in. So it’s harder to play the older songs when you’re trying to sneak in all these new songs to play. But we still try to, maybe one or two of the older, older songs like “Company Car.” We always will try to sneak it in maybe in between a new song or two.
How has the reaction been to this album so far on the road?
We are playing like a couple of the songs in there and so far it has been really good. It’s always weird when the album is not out yet to play your songs to people who have never really heard it but when we play it, people really get excited about it. It’s hard to tell because they’re listening. They’re not just singing out to you. They’re listening to it because they want to hear it and so you’re thinking oh man they might not like it but really they’re like just really listening to the song.
So who do you listen to?
Well, I listen to a lot. A band that I just heard on my iPod, shuffle was Sigur Ros from Iceland. Another one that just shuffled in my iPod recently was the latest Radiohead which was really interesting to me.
What did you think about that album?
It’s just like wow. That’s out there. But I like it. I mean I love music where it’s musically it really like pushes you, you know. Wow. Awesome. But then you always go back. I have Sergeant Peppers on vinyl. I always would like put it on my record player at least once a month. The Beatles, it’s just awesome.
Is there anyone new that you’ve enjoyed listening to?
Let’s see, what just came out? Oh, a band called Foster the People, their music just started hitting radio and I really like that. I really like what’s happening there. I’m not sure other than that.
How do you feel like the band has changed since you joined?
Well they didn’t have a keyboard player before. (laughs)
When I joined them, they liked me bringing in the keyboard element, you know, whether it’s electronica or adding strings, just pushing the song. It’s really cool that you have that range, that openness with the band where they’re like “yeah, do whatever you need to do. Add keyboards here.”
Has there been anything that has changed spiritually in the band or is it the same way Switchfoot has always been?
Well, I mean, you know, there’s always a growth pattern, especially lyrically when you’ve been with a band for so long. You’re always striving, searching spiritually and that always translates in music as well. The common element that I feel like we’ve always had is that element of just hope, of longing for better, if not here, then beyond. We’ve always had that element in our music of just giving, pushing for hope, pushing for something that may not be here but in our next life.