By SYLVIA BORGO
SAN DIEGO – Tim Foreman of Switchfoot took the time to sit down with us and answer some questions before the band’s appearance at KAABOO in September. After that, it’s a U.S. Tour, during which time Switchfoot will be “boldly bracing the unknown.”
SB: Summertime in San Diego. Has it been a good one for you?
TF: Haha, well, we spent most of it playing stadiums with Bon Jovi throughout Europe so… yes!
SB: You released your 11th studio album, Native Tongue, earlier this year. You wrote the album during a time of deep division in the US. In the song, “Native Tongue,” you sing that “Love is the language/Love is your native language.” That song and the whole album is a hopeful one, isn’t it? Tell us about that emotion that is the connecting thread throughout the album.
TF: Hope is the belief in something that does not yet exist, it’s make-believe. Hope is borrowed from the future. But in this case, it is also drawing from the past, the knowledge that we all have, at one time, learned the common language of love. Before we learned to fear and hate, love is our native tongue.
Switchfoot – Native Tongue
SB: You are about to embark on a fall tour that will highlight both old and new songs. In a short video, you said the tour would be, “Just a handful of shows, making each one epic.” Without giving away too many secrets, what suprises do you have for fans who come to the show?
TF: Well, I can confirm that there are multiple boats and a hot air balloon involved. And yes, I’m being completely serious. But beyond the stage itself, I think we’re excited about playing a lot more music, deeper cuts and songs we haven’t played in a while. We’re doing two sets, one acoustic and one plugged in, with plenty of time for storytelling and exploring the unique moments along the way.
SB: You’ve been San Diego residents your whole lives. What are your favorite aspects of this fair city and how have you seen it change?
TF: We’re very proud to be from San Diego, and we take that with us wherever we go. Beyond the obvious things like the weather and the ocean, what I really love is the people. It’s a very open-minded and welcoming community. San Diego has obviously grown a lot since we were kids, but the spirit has remained, and I think that’s what I love the most about getting to call this place my home.
SB: Bro-Am has been a long-standing, and very successful San Diego tradition for 15 years. Talk about your commitment to this event and what it means to see it come to fruition year after year.
TF: Bro-Am is the perfect example of why I love this community. As a band, we just provided the spark. We said: “Let’s use music and surfing to provide help for kids within our community who are struggling.” And the local community has embraced the challenge and turned Bro-Am into something far better than we could have ever imagined. To see the whole community rally around these kids and this cause has been truly amazing.
SB: Speaking of festivals, you’ll be playing KAABOO in Del Mar this year. What are some of your personal perks and challenges of playing a festival?
TF: The lineup at KAABOO is always pretty amazing, and so that’s always the obvious highlight of playing a festival like KAABOO. We get to be fans and share the stage with some of our favorite artists. I think the challenge is trying to create an experience on stage that is emotionally powerful and engaging in spite of all the other available distractions. We’ve got a few surprises up our sleeves for this year.
SB: If you had could set-up your own dream 3-Day festival, who would be some bands you would book?
TF: Man, that’s tough… off the top of my head:
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
The Arcade Fire
Switchfoot and Their Fantastic Traveling Music Show – Video
SB: Okay, let’s have a little bit of light-hearted fun. Choose one of the following:
Library or bookstore?
Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?
LOTR, but it’s close
Comic book or comic strips?
Pizza or tacos?
History or science?
Switchfoot is one of the many bands playing at KAABOO on Sept. 13-15. For tickets and more information go to the KAABOO website.
Check out ‘Native Tongue’ by Switchfoot on Spotify