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Interviews |  30 Mar 2015 17:18 |  By Aashay Dalvi

Switchfoot's Jon Foreman "would really love" collaborations with Indian musicians

MUMBAI: Grammy Award winning American rock band Switchfoot recently concluded its maiden Indian tour as part of Vh1 Rock Rules. The band gained mainstream recognition in 2002 after four of its songs were included in the soundtrack of the film ‘A Walk to Remember’. Since then, Switchfoot has gone on to receive multiple awards including a Grammy Award in 2011 for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album for the album ‘Hello Hurricane’. In 2006, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) awarded lead vocalist- Jon Foreman with the Impact Award, which celebrates the success and influence of songs in mainstream rock music.

A year and a half ago, Switchfoot created a film called ‘Fading West’, documenting the band’s experience during the 2012 world tour. Last September, the band released its latest EP ‘The Edge of the Earth’, which they are currently touring for. Radioandmusic.com spoke to Foreman about the band’s recent tour and what comes after.

Excerpts:

Switchfoot has been around for almost two decades. How does it feel? What has been the best memory for you?

It feels great, to be still doing what I love for a living. I would not have it any other way. There have been so many good memories. This band has been our lives; in a large portion. However, India, so far, has been an incredible memory for us, that we will take home with us.

Any instance in Switchfoot’s history that you would want to go back and change?

That is a complex question to ask, I do not know that I would have any specifics that I can point to. But, there are so many things that I would love to go back and change. But, at the same time, hopefully, you have learnt from your mistakes. If you change those things that you regret, you might not have learnt those lessons.

In hindsight, what advice would you give to Switchfoot members when they were just starting out?

Two things – ‘Life is short, live it well’; and ‘Do not take yourself too seriously’!

How did you find out that you are performing in India?

We have been trying to get here for years. We were really excited when it finally worked out. Especially because, every time, we tried to make this happen, something would always come up. It is almost a ‘dream come true’ situation for me, because I have wanting to come here for a long time.

Have you heard any Indian musicians? Do you like any of them?

Yes. I grew up listening to the Beatles, so Pandit Ravi Shankar was the first Indian musician that I had heard of. And, on my previous trip to India, I had the privilege of going to New Delhi and Lucknow and listening to some musicians up there. I love the ‘ragas’ and the traditional Indian instrumentation.

‘Fading West’ was a very insightful and personal look into Switchfoot’s tour. How has been the response so far?

It has been great. The goal of ‘Fading West’ was to bring people into the music beyond a three and a half minute rock and roll song. It has been great to share a part of our journey with the people.

After ‘The Edge of the Earth’, is Switchfoot working on something new? What do you plan to do after you finish your tour?

We are working on new music all the time. We might just get a few traditional instruments from here and implement in our new record!

Are you writing new music while touring? Can you tell us more on that?

Yes. I wrote a song; I am always writing songs. I love music, and music is my response to the actions of the world around me. Maybe the next record will be written all in India!

Switchfoot was first signed by Universal, then by Sony and you are now signed under Atlantic Records. Did any of these labels, in any way, affect how you made the music for Switchfoot?

For me, ‘music labels’ are just words. But, the people that are at the label, those are very important. But, they did not change the method through which we play our music. We have made many friends over the years, and these friendships have absolutely provided the backdrop for our careers and I am really grateful for that.

If the opportunity of Switchfoot collaborating with Indian musicians arises, would you be open to it?

Actually, we are trying to dream up ways of doing that more often. I love collaborations and I love the intersection of western music and eastern music. I would really love to see that happen.