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Switchfoot switches gears this year

Guitarist Drew Shirley talks up a cause, the new album, and a record-release at sea

Drew Shirley’s (center) guilty pleasure? “Nachos. Late-night nachos. So much nachos.”
Drew Shirley’s (center) guilty pleasure? “Nachos. Late-night nachos. So much nachos.”

It’s easy to forget that multi-platinum alt-gospel rock act Switchfoot was an indie band from its recorded debut in 1997 all the way through 2003. The glory days came with their major-label releases such as 2003’s The Beautiful Letdown and 2009’s Grammy Award–winning Hello Hurricane. This year “marks the band’s return to the indie world,” according to the press release touting Switchfoot’s tenth studio full-length, Where the Light Shines Through, which drops July 8 via Vanguard Records. Produced in collaboration with John Fields, who also helmed their breakthrough The Beautiful Letdown, two new songs are already streaming at the band’s website, “Float” and “Live It Well.”

The release party for Where the Light Shines Through happens July 5 on the Embarcadero with a bay cruise, and new music will also take centerstage when Switchfoot plays their 12th annual Bro-Am on July 9 at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. “The Bro-Am is a surf contest and free concert on the beach to support at-risk and homeless youth in San Diego,” explains guitarist Drew Shirley, who was elected by the band to answer our queries. “It’s a great day to see San Diego rally around music for a cause. It’s going to be the best event we’ve done yet! The bands are stellar, lots of great people-watching, and you can be a part of doing something good for the community.”

Video:

Where the Light Shines Through

...album trailer for Switchfoot's upcoming album

...album trailer for Switchfoot's upcoming album

The Bro-Am also features a Team Surf Contest, the Rob Machado Bro Junior Surf Contest, the Junior Seau Foundation Adaptive Surf Program presented by CAF, and numerous vendor booths.

WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

  1. The War on Drugs, Lost in the Dream. “This album has nothing to prove, is so chill, and sonically well-balanced, but still has teeth.”
  2. Børns, Dopamine. “So many good songs on this one, I just let it play...I think Børns is my spirit animal.”
  3. Mutemath, Odd Soul. “Probably one of the best live bands that we’ve ever toured with.”

BIGGEST REGRET?

“I had a classic 1982 Volkswagen van that my dad bought new and handed down to me. I drove it for years and then sold it on Craigslist. Years later, the guy who bought it lived in Texas and asked me if I wanted to buy it back. I hesitated, so he sold it to someone else.”

GUILTY PLEASURE?

“Nachos. Late-night nachos. So much nachos.”

IDEAL NICKNAME?

“‘Handsome.’ I would feel so good being called that all the time, wouldn’t you?”

BIGGEST POLITICAL CONCERN?

“That the future president might look at another world leader and say, ‘You’re fired.’”

MOST VISITED WEBSITES?

  1. Dropbox.com. “I keep so much stuff there, it’s awesome.”
  2. BBC.com. “I tend to look for news about things from outside the U.S.”
  3. Craigslist.org. “Always keeping an eye out for vintage gear at home and as I travel.”
  4. Reverb.com. “The best music gear site out right now.”

ANY LOCAL CRIME STORIES?

“My car was totaled in an accident in high school near Carmel Valley, before it was all built up. The guy who hit me said he would take me to a phone, and then took me to an empty field, which is now a Trader Joe’s, and proceeded to throw rocks at me until I ran away. Crazy. Never found the guy.”

FEARS OR PHOBIAS?

“I have a fear of snakes, ever since we found three rattlesnakes in my front yard.”

Past Event

Switchfoot Record Release

  • Tuesday, July 5, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
  • Hornblower Cruises, 970 North Harbor Drive, San Diego
  • $89 - $119
Past Event

12th Annual Switchfoot Bro-Am

  • Saturday, July 9, 2016, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Moonlight Beach, 200 B Street, Encinitas

HOW ABOUT RECURRING DREAMS?

“I have this dream where I’m supposed to play a song onstage, and either I can’t remember it or I’m not ready. I think my subconscious is preparing for the worst.”

WHO SHOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE?

“Jim Carrey.”

READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

“Yes, The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. I read it to my kids, but I think a lot of adults could benefit from the message.”

IDEAL SUPERPOWER?

“Teleport. We do a ton of traveling to get somewhere to play an hour-and-a-half set of music. With this superpower, I could get to shows and back home instantly.”

BIGGEST QUESTION YOU WANT THE ANSWER TO?

“Who let the dogs out?”

UGLIEST THING IN YOUR CLOSET?

“I keep a bunch of ’60s and ’70s shirts for parties. I have one that’s pink and red flowers.”

FIRST JOKE YOU REMEMBER?

“Knock-knock? Who’s there? Lettuce. Lettuce who? Let us in, it’s cold outside.”

THREE THINGS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

  1. “I have a brother with Down syndrome and care deeply for anyone with a handicap.”
  2. “I can never fall asleep to music, it keeps my mind awake.”
  3. “I’m married to a Canadian and have all daughters.”
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Drew Shirley’s (center) guilty pleasure? “Nachos. Late-night nachos. So much nachos.”
Drew Shirley’s (center) guilty pleasure? “Nachos. Late-night nachos. So much nachos.”

It’s easy to forget that multi-platinum alt-gospel rock act Switchfoot was an indie band from its recorded debut in 1997 all the way through 2003. The glory days came with their major-label releases such as 2003’s The Beautiful Letdown and 2009’s Grammy Award–winning Hello Hurricane. This year “marks the band’s return to the indie world,” according to the press release touting Switchfoot’s tenth studio full-length, Where the Light Shines Through, which drops July 8 via Vanguard Records. Produced in collaboration with John Fields, who also helmed their breakthrough The Beautiful Letdown, two new songs are already streaming at the band’s website, “Float” and “Live It Well.”

The release party for Where the Light Shines Through happens July 5 on the Embarcadero with a bay cruise, and new music will also take centerstage when Switchfoot plays their 12th annual Bro-Am on July 9 at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. “The Bro-Am is a surf contest and free concert on the beach to support at-risk and homeless youth in San Diego,” explains guitarist Drew Shirley, who was elected by the band to answer our queries. “It’s a great day to see San Diego rally around music for a cause. It’s going to be the best event we’ve done yet! The bands are stellar, lots of great people-watching, and you can be a part of doing something good for the community.”

Video:

Where the Light Shines Through

...album trailer for Switchfoot's upcoming album

...album trailer for Switchfoot's upcoming album

The Bro-Am also features a Team Surf Contest, the Rob Machado Bro Junior Surf Contest, the Junior Seau Foundation Adaptive Surf Program presented by CAF, and numerous vendor booths.

WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

  1. The War on Drugs, Lost in the Dream. “This album has nothing to prove, is so chill, and sonically well-balanced, but still has teeth.”
  2. Børns, Dopamine. “So many good songs on this one, I just let it play...I think Børns is my spirit animal.”
  3. Mutemath, Odd Soul. “Probably one of the best live bands that we’ve ever toured with.”

BIGGEST REGRET?

“I had a classic 1982 Volkswagen van that my dad bought new and handed down to me. I drove it for years and then sold it on Craigslist. Years later, the guy who bought it lived in Texas and asked me if I wanted to buy it back. I hesitated, so he sold it to someone else.”

GUILTY PLEASURE?

“Nachos. Late-night nachos. So much nachos.”

IDEAL NICKNAME?

“‘Handsome.’ I would feel so good being called that all the time, wouldn’t you?”

BIGGEST POLITICAL CONCERN?

“That the future president might look at another world leader and say, ‘You’re fired.’”

MOST VISITED WEBSITES?

  1. Dropbox.com. “I keep so much stuff there, it’s awesome.”
  2. BBC.com. “I tend to look for news about things from outside the U.S.”
  3. Craigslist.org. “Always keeping an eye out for vintage gear at home and as I travel.”
  4. Reverb.com. “The best music gear site out right now.”

ANY LOCAL CRIME STORIES?

“My car was totaled in an accident in high school near Carmel Valley, before it was all built up. The guy who hit me said he would take me to a phone, and then took me to an empty field, which is now a Trader Joe’s, and proceeded to throw rocks at me until I ran away. Crazy. Never found the guy.”

FEARS OR PHOBIAS?

“I have a fear of snakes, ever since we found three rattlesnakes in my front yard.”

Past Event

Switchfoot Record Release

  • Tuesday, July 5, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
  • Hornblower Cruises, 970 North Harbor Drive, San Diego
  • $89 - $119
Past Event

12th Annual Switchfoot Bro-Am

  • Saturday, July 9, 2016, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Moonlight Beach, 200 B Street, Encinitas

HOW ABOUT RECURRING DREAMS?

“I have this dream where I’m supposed to play a song onstage, and either I can’t remember it or I’m not ready. I think my subconscious is preparing for the worst.”

WHO SHOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE?

“Jim Carrey.”

READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

“Yes, The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. I read it to my kids, but I think a lot of adults could benefit from the message.”

IDEAL SUPERPOWER?

“Teleport. We do a ton of traveling to get somewhere to play an hour-and-a-half set of music. With this superpower, I could get to shows and back home instantly.”

BIGGEST QUESTION YOU WANT THE ANSWER TO?

“Who let the dogs out?”

UGLIEST THING IN YOUR CLOSET?

“I keep a bunch of ’60s and ’70s shirts for parties. I have one that’s pink and red flowers.”

FIRST JOKE YOU REMEMBER?

“Knock-knock? Who’s there? Lettuce. Lettuce who? Let us in, it’s cold outside.”

THREE THINGS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

  1. “I have a brother with Down syndrome and care deeply for anyone with a handicap.”
  2. “I can never fall asleep to music, it keeps my mind awake.”
  3. “I’m married to a Canadian and have all daughters.”
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