That camaraderie is something that stands out. Since Jon and brother Tim Foreman formed the band with Chad Butler in 1996, the group has added two members - Jerome Fontamillas in 2001 and Drew Shirley in 2005.
“Our story begins and ends with the joy of playing music, and the idea that we have had the privilege of believing in the songs that we're singing,” Foreman says. “I look at some of my friends who have success with a radio song about a girl that they like. Then, maybe they break up with their girlfriend and they still have to play that song for the rest of their lives. I feel really fortunate that the songs people want to hear are still the songs that I'm passionate about singing.”
The band takes pride in the messages on Native Tongue. Foreman believes it’s a perfect time for them to be heard – even down to the album title.
“We live in a culture that has forgotten how to speak outside the languages of hatred and fear,” he says. “I want this album to remind the listener and myself that love is our native tongue. It's not hatred, it's not fear.”
That mantra also includes giving back – which is something the band does by participating in a wide array of charities, including their own Bro-Am Beach Fest, a benefit surf contest and concert held every summer in Encinitas, Calif. The event, which aids local kids organizations, has raised more than $2 million in 13 years and will take place June 29 this year.
“We believe you can't just sing about hope, you have to do something. So the Switchfoot Bro-Am has been that thing that allows us to give back to our favorite place on the planet. It's actually the thing I’m the most proud of. Some of my favorite moments have been on stage in my own hometown at the Bro-Am,” Foreman says, adding that it gives the band a chance to combine two of their strongest passions.
“We love surfing, man. I mean, any chance we get to go out and paddle out. The dream was to be pro surfers, but it didn't work out, so we're in a rock band instead.”
Foreman’s rock band will return to the road on Valentine’s Day in Asheville, N.C. after a a one-year touring hiatus, their longest break since starting the band.
“We're very excited. We've never really rehearsed this hard for any tour. Because these songs are such a big leap forward into the future, we want to get it right,” says Foreman of the two-month outing. “We’re thrilled to be playing these songs live and we want to do it justice. We're excited to be connecting with our audience again.”
Native Tongue tour dates here.