The Source for Youth Ministry

Cool Conversations/Interviews

Interview With Switchfoot
January 3, 2001

I had the privilege of hanging out with Tim from Switchfoot before one of their concerts. We had a fun time joking around and he told me some interesting stories (like the time that Chad, their drummer, really had to go to the bathroom during a concert). They were fun guys and I got to see their heart for ministry. I was really impressed with the humility of the guys - so after the concert I pulled the band together for an interview.

JONATHAN: Alright, you guys are known as "Switch foot" - let's start with your names.

JF: I'm Jonathan

JONATHAN: Cool name! How do you spell it?

JF: J - O - N - A - T - H - A - N

JONATHAN: YEAH BOY!!!! You spell it the right way. What's your last name Jonathan?

JF: Foreman, Same last name as Tim here.

JONATHAN: That makes sense . . . SINCE YOU ARE BROTHERS!

TF: Good point.

JONATHAN: So we've got Jonathan and Tim Foreman. . . now Jonathan, do you go by Jonathan or Jon?

JF: Most people just call me Jon.

JONATHAN: I used to go by Jon, but I got sick of turning around in the hallway every time someone yelled "John, Don, or Ron." Too many John's in this world.

JF: There's way too many John's ... I wish more people called me Jonathan.

JONATHAN: Well you know I'll call you Jonathan. And let's not forget the drummer.

CB: I'm Chad Butler

JONATHAN: How Old are you guys?

JF: 23

TF: 22

CB: 26

JONATHAN: Now Chad I heard you say that you're married. Tell me about the little lady.

CB: She's awesome! Her name is Tina and she's at home right now. I get to see her tomorrow morning.

JONATHAN: Is touring hard for marriage.

CB: Yeah. It's definitely hard. It's a challenge. I don't recommend it for everyone. I think that it's something you have to pray a whole lot about before you decide to do it.

JONATHAN: What do you do to stay true to your wife, be there for her and not get TOO into music?

CB: Well, my cell phone bill is pretty big. (laughter) It's a lot about communication. We're learning, and I'm not the authority on this, but I think we're really enjoying the time that we do have together during the week a lot more. Like if I'm away for a couple of days, when I come home, we savor every moment and try to make the most of it. And it's a different way of living. If we were together 7 days a week, coming home for dinner every night, I might not appreciate the time we spend together as much. But I'm away for a few days, then home, then away again.

JONATHAN: So you're more like a fireman.

CB: Something like that.

TF: He can put out a fire too.

JONATHAN: I don't know if I want to hear that story. Tim, you're engaged?

TF: Yeah

JONATHAN: And Jonathan, you've got a little lady?

JF: I have an amazing girlfriend, yeah.

JONATHAN: Now have you guys taken notes from this guy (pointing to Chad). Is he teaching you what you need to know?

TF: I've learned a lot from Chad. Yeah, definitely. It's been cool to watch he and his wife Tina through their whole dating process and through their marriage. Chad is the first friend I've had that got married. We're kind of at the age where our friends are starting to get married, but Chad was the first.

CB: I'm the guinea pig.

TF: Yeah, and we're all rooting for him ...

JONATHAN: So you're hoping it goes well . . . Chad- you've got a lot of responsibility here . . . you screw up and these guys are going to be devastated.

TF: Seriously, it's a heavy thing to watch one of your best friends go into marriage and so we're all watching and learning from that because there's a lot to learn from someone so close.

JONATHAN: That's cool. Now tell us how long you've been doing the "Switchfoot" thing together?

TF: About 4 1/2 years

JONATHAN: 4 1/2 years . . . and you've been touring?

JF: 3 years.

JONATHAN: Now earlier we were talking about when you first got signed. Was this a dream come true?

JF: It was cool man, but the thing was - it wasn't our ENTIRE life. You know, it's kind of interesting because a lot of bands, you know, this is their whole thing. This is what they spend all their time doing. And all three of us were in school, Tim was in high school at the time. Chad and I were in college pursuing degrees.

JONATHAN: What school?

JF: UCSB (University of California Santa Barbara) And we all were involved with the surf team and are churches. And it was cool, I mean, it was a blessing. It was definitely a dream of ours. But is was so weird because we weren't pursuing it. We weren't going after it. It sort of just plopped itself on our doorstep.

JONATHAN: So tell me the story. How'd you get signed? Did you just happened to be doing some gigs and more and more people kept booking you and then someone big heard you?

JF: No. We had only played like less than 20 shows.

TF: Yeah and we had made a demo tape just to give to our friends and sell at our shows for a $1.00

JONATHAN: For a buck?

TF: Well . . I don't remember - it was probably more than that. But one of those tapes ended up, through the friend of a friend, in the hands of Charlie Peacock out of Nashville.

JONATHAN: He used to be in Sacramento.

TF: That's right.

JONATHAN: He's the man! I used to see him all the time as a kid.

TF: Isn't he awesome? So he gave us a call. He left a message on our answering machine that he really liked our stuff and he flew out right after that and we met with him. Everything from there moved quickly.

JONATHAN: And you guys were a bunch of kids!

TF: Still are!

JONATHAN: My goodness. That's cool. And you knew Charlie's name and reputation?

TF: Yeah, mainly through our parents. Once we got to know him and familiarized ourselves with his music, we realized what a giant he was as a thinker and a musician. We really respect him a lot.

JONATHAN: Good stuff. Now allow me to switch gears hear- or switch feet, if you will. Tell me when you are fulfilled. When do you feel like "this is where I want to be!"

JF: Various times. I think . . . like today I had a really good time of prayer out back here. For me that was a very refreshing time. We have a Bible study together too. And those are times that you are refreshed and reminded of who God is and reminded of what your living for.

There are those moments . . . and the moments when your out surfing and the sun goes down and a group of dolphins swims by. Or when you're practicing in a 98 degree room and . . .

TF: ... and the song just comes together.

JF: ... and the song just comes together. And when we hang together with this awesome group of friends we have back in San Diego that like to have fun. We don't always all get together any more because we all do different stuff, but, those are the moments for me.

JONATHAN: That sounds like a song right there.

JF: I'll write it and send it to you.

JONATHAN: Alright, sounds good. Now when you were growing up ... what CD's did you listen to. I mean, did you ever own an M.C. Hammer CD? What did you listen to?

JF: Joshua Tree- by U2

TF: Beatles, Police, Keith Green

CB: Stevie Wonder

JONATHAN: Wow- a little variety here: "Beatles, Keith Green, Stevie Wonder!" I bet it was a great day for you when you heard "Ebony and Ivory," when the Beatles and Stevie Wonder came together!

TF: (laughter) That wasn't one of the finer moments in music history.

JF: I think we went away from seeing that going "Huh?"

JONATHAN: You know it's bad when you like the Eddie Murphy/Joe Piscipo version better.

Any of guys reading any books right now?

JF: I'm reading a book on hero's right now that I can't think of the title. But the book I recommend is by Dallas Willard, it's called "The Divine Conspiracy." It's pretty good. It's a pretty deep book but it's really good and then another one called "The Celebration of Discipline" by Richard Foster. Two very good books.

TF: For purely recreational reading I'm reading a book called the Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. He's a Christian writer that writes a lot of fantasy novels ...

JONATHAN: J.R.R. Tolkien, like THE J.R.R. Tolkien who wrote the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings ...

TF: Yeah. It's great.

CB: For me, anything by C.S. Lewis.

JONATHAN: Good choice. Now what are your favorite movies?

JF: I got to see The Matrix last night in the hotel room. I don't know if it's my favorite movie or not- but the Matrix, if it wasn't for all the shooting, that was a powerful, powerful movie.

CB: Star Wars.

TF: I like "As Good As It Gets," that's a good movie.

JONATHAN: With Jack Nicholson, Cuba, and Helen Hunt? That is a great movie.

One last question before you go. How can I pray for you guys.

JF: Pray that we're always growing spiritually.

TF: And health is a big one too. Pray that we can stay healthy.

JONATHAN: I'll keep you guys in prayer. Thanks so much for your time.

TF: Thank you Jonathan

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