Jon Foreman of Switchfoot Exclusive: Fading West – New Album & Movie!

Josh Belcher At Rocking Gods HouseGRAMMY-winning Christian music main-stayers Switchfoot have released their debut feature film Fading West on all major On Demand platforms (iTunes, Amazon, Instant Video, Cable Movies on Demand, Google Play, Xbox Video, Sony PlayStation, Cinemanow and Vudu with digital entertainment curator, FilmBuff.)

To kick it off in style, Switchfoot performed their hit single “Who We Are,” the first release of the project, on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Their ninth studio album, also entitled Fading West, will be released worldwide January 14th on Atlantic Records/Word.

Fading West the movie follows Switchfoot as they travel the globe in search of new musical inspiration and perfect waves for surfing. Most of the film was shot during their 2012 World Tour. It shows band members exploring legendary surfing spots in Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Bali. The film is credited as being part rock documentary, part surf film with a consistent spiritual undercurrent throughout. The band has also announced they will embark on another world tour in 2014; dates will be announced soon.

I caught up with vocalist Jon Foreman at the red carpet world premier of Fading West at the historic Franklin Theatre in downtown Franklin, Tennessee:

Rockin’ God’s House: How did the songs for this album come about?

Jon: For me, they come from the uncomfortable places. Awkward, painful places where I feel tested and face-to-face with the questions that don’t have easy answers. In this process, some songs arrive intact. It’s as if they write themselves, jumping off of your tongue, breathing their own life from the first note. Other songs are chased down, tackled, coaxed back to life and glued together. These songs require extra effort and are usually built around a big concept — big enough to make you want to work for it. Over the years I’ve experienced both sides of songwriting styles. Neither is better or worse, but sometimes the bigger fish put up a bigger fight. These are the creatures that won’t be tamed. Claws, fangs…dangerous and beautiful stuff. Using this metaphor, Fading West is the biggest fish we’ve ever tried to reel in.

Rockin’ God’s House:The album is getting rave reviews, and the documentary is awesome: did you expect such a welcome response?

Jon: Musically speaking, this album was the most challenging we’ve ever faced; and all of that without mentioning the challenge of creating our own indie film at the same time! Suffice it to say, we’re very proud of the final outcome. We’re thankful to be on the other side!

Rockin’ God’s House: Tell us about the first single “Who We Are”?

Jon: As a band, our identity is forged by what we’ve endured together — the highs and the lows of the past eight albums together. This is a song that we wrote looking back at our story: a band of brothers, sleeping in vans, armed only with words, melodies, and ambition, trying to conquer the world together. The inspiration for this song began in the bridge, “They said it’s complicated, they said we’d never make it this far.” These words and this melody came to me out of the blue and became the skeleton for the rest of the tune.