Local-boys-made-good Switchfoot (their website header reads “Diego Rock USA”) earned double-platinum sales with 2003’s The Beautiful Letdown. The album landed two singles in the top-five Billboard charts (“Meant to Live” and “Dare You to Move”), as the band scored gigs on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Tonight Show.
“The Tonight Show was extremely cold,” recalls singer/guitarist Jon Foreman. “Other than that and meeting the guest snakes, nothing really happened. However, Conan is a bit of a guitar buff and tried on my Firebird for size. He’s not a bad player, either.”
Switchfoot is in the CD rack right there between Matthew Sweet and System of a Down, and their Live in San Diego DVD has been certified RIAA gold in sales (no small feat for a music DVD).
In October 2008, Foreman released a solo record, Limbs and Branches, on EMI Records and on Switchfoot's original Christian label, Sparrow Records. A prolific songwriter, he’s also written for Mandy Moore, Meat Loaf, Echosmith, Amy Grant, and American Idol winner, Kris Allen.
Foreman also has a side band with Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek called Fiction Family. 2009’s self-titled debut was almost entirely self-created by the two musician/songwriters working in their own home studios. A 2013 followup, Fiction Family Reunion, found the duo joined by touring bassist Tyler Chester and drummer Aaron Redfield, both now full-fledged Family members.
Fiction Family Reunion was recorded at Switchfoot’s Spot X Studio in Carlsbad over a series of sessions spanning 2010 to early 2012, the lengthy process necessitated by Foreman's and Watkins’ busy schedules. A family in more than just name only, the band was joined on a number of tracks by Nickel Creek fiddle player Sara Watkins and multi-instrumentalist John Mark Painter.
May 2015 saw the release of Jon Foreman's The Wonderlands: Sunlight, the first in a four-EP series featuring 24 songs in total, one for each hour of the day. In total, 24 co-producers contributed to The Wonderlands series, including Paramore's Taylor York, Grouplove's Andrew Wessen, Mutemath's Darren King, Jeff Coffin from Dave Matthews Band, Cubbie Fink of Foster The People, Noah Gundersen, Ryan O'Neal from Sleeping At Last and Eric Owyoung from Future of Forestry plus Neal Avron (Fall Out Boy, Sara Bareilles) and Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars, Brett Dennen), who helmed several early Switchfoot albums and co-produced Foreman's collection of four seasonal EPs.
Subsequent EPs in The Wonderlands series were Shadows (released July 17, 2015), Darkness (September 4), and Dawn (October 23).
His October 2017 feat of playing 25 local shows in 24 hours wias chronicled in the film 25 In 24, released in March 2018.
His 2021 solo album Departures, which dropped February 12, features guest vocalist Lauren Daigle and fellow SoCal singer-songwriter Madison Cunningham. The album was recorded at local Melody League Studios and produced by Foreman, with additional production from Keith Tutt II (Shawn Mendes, Solange), and Aaron Redfield (Elton John, Sia). Three tracks were released in advance of the album, “Red and Gold,” “Jesus, I Have My Doubts,” and “Education,” with a music video produced for the latter song.
“For me, 2020 has been a year of departures. And I’m not alone in this, For many of us, this has been a season of death. Of decay. Of fear and doubt and uncertainty. For Americans. For humans. For friends and relatives around the world. I fought hard against this year. And the year has won...but the journey that brought me here was not completely in vain. In fact, I would not trade it even if I could.”
“During the lowest moments, I turned to meditation, prayer, and songs, attempting to find a vehicle to sing into this new storm of doubt and despair. That’s where this album was born. Departures is not a record of bold proclamations, but instead of whispered confessions. Attempting to come to terms with who I am and who I am not. This is the soundtrack for the uncertain questions. These are odes to the open door. Songs of wander and wonder. Songs of loss and lament. An album that attempts to embrace the moment we’re in.”