The members of San Diego band Switchfoot are stars in the contemporary gospel field, with countless awards and a loyal fan base. Now, they're making an impact on the mainstream pop charts with their latest album, The Beautiful Letdown.
Switchfoot take their name from a term in surfing, their favorite sport and pastime. They're considered part of the new wave of contemporary gospel artists who are crossing over to the rock and pop mainstream, along with MercyMe and Stacie Orrico. Proving that they haven't left their original audience behind, Switchfoot recently scored several of the Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards for Rock Song of the Year, Rock/Contemporary Song and Rock/Contemporary Album for The Beautiful Letdown. The album title refers to modern life with its technology and pop culture, which can also be lacking in substance and meaning.
Even if that subtle message has been lost with some listeners, Switchfoot's music has caught on. Their album has just hit the million mark in sales, and they've scored with the hit single, "Meant To Live." Singer and guitarist Jon Foreman comments, "It's a song that says, when I look at the magazine pages or a TV screen, I know that there's nothing they can sell me that will satisfy me. And when I look at the sunset or the stars, I am reminded that there's something inside of me that's meant to live for more than what pop culture often sells us."
Switchfoot's latest album The Beautiful Letdown reads like a diary, reflecting on real-life situations with themes of hope and humility. They also borrow some musical influences from contemporaries such as Foo Fighters, Third Eye Blind and Sugar Ray. One critic has described Switchfoot as "surfers, musicians and modern-day philosophers who are providing an antidote to all the negativity being peddled by so many post-grunge and nu-metal bands today."
Member Jon Foreman adds, "For me, all the songs are coming from a spiritual place. Sometimes it's the type of song where you think it's only your experience, or something that's too personal to talk about with anyone else. And then you play it for somebody else, and they know exactly what you're talking about. They're songs that are very personal but universal at the same time. And I think that hope is always relevant."
A new, limited edition of The Beautiful Letdown has just been released, and includes a bonus DVD featuring live performances and behind-the-scenes footage.