Switchfoot to release Nothing Is Sound
Columbia Records is set to release Nothing Is Sound, the fifth studio album from the multi-platinum San Diego-based rock band Switchfoot, on September 13. "Stars," the first single from Nothing Is Sound, is this week's #1 Most Added record at Modern Rock radio.
Nothing Is Sound will be available as both a traditional CD and as a DualDisc featuring the entire album in 5.1 Surround Sound plus exclusive behind-the-scenes footageof the band on-the road and in the studio.
Title: Nothing Is Sound
Release date: 09/13/05
Label: Columbia Records
Buy at: Amazon
The new Switchfoot album arrives two years after the release of the group's major label debut, the RIAA double-platinum The Beautiful Letdown, which yielded two Top 5 hit singles: "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move."
Since the release of The Beautiful Letdown, Switchfoot, whose transcendent live performances are legendary among the group's intensely loyal fan base, has sold more than one million concert tickets worldwide while the group's two long-form videos, "Live in San Diego" and "Switchfootage," have each been certified RIAA platinum.
"This record was written in back alleys and hotel rooms far from home," says frontman and primary songwriter Jon Foreman, explaining the difference between Nothing Is Sound and its predecessor. "It's more eclectic, less settled, with more dissonance. We've tried to capture the emotional ride that happens on stage and put it into the studio. Playing that hard every night really stretches you, and all these diverse experiences have played a key role in shaping this record."
Touring nonstop behind The Beautiful Letdown, Switchfoot had no choice but to write and record the bulk of the follow-up album on the road. "We wanted to release a record this summer, and we were trying to figure out when in the world we would have time to record it," Foreman admits. "So we took out a second set of gear,tiny drums and amps, and set up in the dressing room every day and got songs ready. While the opening bands were playing, we were in some tiny room trying to make a record."
While this on-the-fly approach was predicated on necessity, it did have one major benefit--enabling the band to road-test a new song in front of a highly vocal crowd immediately after it was finished. "A lot of times you know a song is good but not how it's going to translate live," Foreman points out. "Something might be good in the studio, but you have to change a lot of things to make it work live. These songs were developed for the live show. I've heard that's how bands used to do it back in the day."
Thus, Switchfoot fans may already be familiar with such new songs as "Stars," the first single, "Politicians," "Easier Than Love," "Lonely Nation," "The Shadow Proves the Sunshine," "We Are One Tonight" and "Happy Is a Yuppie Word," whose title was taken from a Bob Dylan quote Foreman happened upon, while the album title was drawn from his resulting lyric.
The band wound up recording parts of the album in unfamiliar locales as far away as South Africa, and other parts as close to home as one can get--Foreman's San Diego bedroom. John Fields, who produced The Beautiful Letdown, oversaw the sessions and put them all together for Nothing Is Sound. "If you can combine the more-professional-sounding elements with the honesty of doing it yourself, those are the best records," Foreman asserts. "They're honest and pure but listenable."
Foreman's writing was inevitably influenced by what must've felt like a never-ending tour, but Nothing Is Sound is far deeper and more complex than its origins might lead one to believe. "For me, the past few years have been an emotional and chaotic time--so many changes, so many strange memories, like a dream that unfolds in the waking hours," Foreman explains. "And all of these new songs have been a diary of this strange part of our journey, about the search for truth and beauty in uncertain times and places.
"The world is at a very volatile stage, with the war and how fast things are changing," he continues. "But deeper than that, the idea that there is an instability within myself and humanity as a whole--that's where these songs are coming from."
According to Foreman, Nothing Is Sound marks a sort of culmination for Switchfoot, which formed in 1997. "I almost feel like everything we've been through as a band up till now has been like a warm-up, as though we've been preparing this record for eight years," he says. "The Letdown put us through the fire on many levels, and we've come out the other side more united than we've ever been. There's this urgency and immediacy in the camp, like this record might be the most important thing we've ever done together."
Speaking of doing important things together, the band recently hosted its inaugural Switchfoot Bro-Am surf competition, a benefit for the nonprofit organization Care House, which aids homeless children and young mothers in San Diego County.
"Nothing Is Sound" by Switchfoot - release date: 09/13/05..