Maybe it's because they're based in San Diego. Or maybe it's because we've been following them since they were still teenagers. Switchfoot always seems to surprise us with their sound and their content. Their latest album is proof that this band keeps growing and thinking. Read on to catch a glimpse of their heart behind the music.
With its play on words, Vice Verses, the title of Switchfoot's new album, coherently suggests the album's theme: everything has two sides. “Every blessing comes with a set of curses,” singer guitarist Jon Foreman sings on the title track, all the while wondering if “there's a meaning to it all.” That theme runs through the album's songs and is even reflected in the album's black and white cover.Download our character-based Discussion Starters for songs from Switchfoot's album "Vice Verses"
“The whole thing is about polarity,” says Foreman. “We wanted to write about the polarity of being human, the lights and darks. I'm intrigued by the tension that exists between life and death. When making Hello Hurricane, there was a graveyard right by the hotel we were staying at while we were mixing it. I spent time there each morning walking through and sorting it out-really, Vice Verses started there. This record is as much about loss as it is about what we still have while we're living.”
One example of that quest for meaning includes the Foo Fighters-like “Afterlife,” in which Foreman contemplates mortality. In the ballad “Thrive,” he muses, “Am I myself, or am I dreaming?” Foreman starts “Dark Horses” by admitting, “I've made my mistakes.” And in “Souvenirs,” he sings, “Nothing lasts forever.” But the one track that will really throw fans for a loop is “Selling the News,” a Becklike song with a hip-hop beat that finds Foreman performing spoken word.Forward this link to your favorite church youth leader or youth worker. They'll be glad you did!
“I think the song is inspired by a lot of different things,” Foreman says of “Selling the News.” “We are bombarded by a lot of talking heads and salespersons in terms of billboards and television. I began to ponder the idea that these enormous media machines are fed by advertisers, and they are happy when there's something sensational going on in the world. This is a new paradigm that we haven't seen before. There's this onslaught of information - the idea that we are raising generations that are completely accustomed to watching wars on TV is a little frightening to me.”
The album's title track was actually one of the last songs the band wrote for Hello Hurricane. But it wasn't quite right for Hello Hurricane, so it was left on the cutting room floor.Watch youth leader and interlinc writer Paul Turner talk about his character studies for the songs on "Vice Verses"
“I was reluctant to put it on Hello Hurricane because it didn't really fit with the other material,” Foreman says of the song. “So we shelved it and saved it for another record. We decided then that it would be the title for the next record, whatever it would look like. Long before Hello Hurricane came out, Vice Verses was well under way.”
Vice Verses expands the band's sonic palette by experimenting with a variety of sounds. There's a great rhythm to songs such as the groove-oriented “The Original” and “Blinding Light,” which benefit from a hip-hop beat. “The War Inside” really puts the rhythm section up front, and the snappy “Rise Above It” features a punk-funk vibe.Click here to sign up for our need2know emails and get more Bible studies delivered to your inbox
“It's funny because for us, we're usually holding back,” Foreman says. “On this record we let a little bit more out.” “We grew up listening to soul music and Motown,” says Butler. “We took that influence and made sure a song like 'Restless' has an emotional element to it.”