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Sonic Success

SwitchfootWhen the singles "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move" exploded, propelling sales of 2003's "The Beautiful Letdown" past the 2 million mark, Switchfoot looked like rock music's latest overnight success story. In truth, the San Diego-based band had long paid its dues, releasing three previous studio albums and touring relentlessly. The Columbia group hopes to continue that momentum with the release this week of "Nothing Is Sound."

While lead singer Jon Foreman calls the band's success an "amazing gift," he admits that in some ways, "the last few years have been some of the most depressing moments of my life."

"It's kind of a strange world where you're up onstage and 3,000 people are singing along, and it's really an intimate moment," he continues. "Then you say 'good night' and you're in the middle of a city where you know no one and you are completely alone. It's a strange, manic-depressive reality that I feel like has brought me to some new conclusions in my own life, and I guess for me, this album is simply writing about all these things as I'm learning them."

Along the same lines, few rock bands enjoy the instant success Trapt experienced with its 2002 Warner Bros. self-titled debut. Crossover first single "Headstrong" was the Billboard No. 1 Hot Modern Rock Track for 2003, propelling the album to sales of 1.5 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Since being strongwilled seemingly helped Trapt get this far, it is only fitting that its sophomore effort (produced by the group and Don Gilmore) is called "Someone in Control." Lyrically, the album explores control issues people experience in everyday relationships.

"You can have control over your life, and you can balance that in a way that still allows you to be happy and still allows you to be vulnerable," singer/guitarist Chris Brown observes. Lead single "Stand Up," which is about not putting up with insulting behavior, is already a hit. In its eighth week it is No. 8 and No. 17 on the Mainstream Rock and Modern Rock charts, respectively.