Skip to content

Switchfoot – Nothing is Sound

The band Switchfoot has once again proven that gems still shine in the realm of acts that sell millions of copies, putting them into what would be considered the mainstream. Even the name could easily be penned in with a hardcore act (I think it’s the whole “foot” thing) or an AP cover boy band. But alas, and gratefully, that is not the case. The name actually derives from their love of surfing; a stance that could be referenced to our snowboard position, goofyfoot.

Growing up 30 minutes from Santa Cruz I knew a number of surfers in high school, but never attempted the sport myself (a fear of the deep ocean water thing for me). The boys in the band are also surfers, with a home base of San Diego that they didn’t see much of the past few years, which forced them to basically write and record most of the album from venues, hotel rooms, or wherever they could get a spare moment. They too retain these qualities of “keeping it real” and going the extra mile to overcome any obstacles in their way, and this comes through loud and clear on Nothing is Sound.


Pre-coffee and in the early morning haze, my eyes and ears opened wide as lead singer Jon Foreman’s lucid and glorious harmonies filled the air on the first track “Lonely Nothing” off of this sophmore release. And that feeling carried through on to the last track, getting me dancing and trying to sing along to songs I didn’t know yet.

I’ve always been fascinated by the men and woman who take on mother nature in a variety of circumstances the waves deliver, adapting their skills and freeing their mind to what can be at times, life threatening challenges, in order to really feel alive. They’re a different breed; fearless and individualist to the core. Although there is nothing life threatening in Nothing is Sound, the essence of this lifestyle is evident.

Foreman’s taken the experiences from years on the road and their observations of the world around them and poured it all into this album. It’s honest and offers up other ways to look at the big and small pictures, radiating opinions that are far from mainstream (although they’re extremely popular within our communities), “I pledge allegiance to a country / without borders, without politicians / waiting for our sky to get torn apart,” off of “Politicians” (with an intro riff that’s a close cousin to Catherine Wheel’s “I Confess”), or track four, “My heart is darker than these oceans / My heart is frozen underneath / We are crooked souls trying to stay up straight / Dry eyes in the pouring rain / The shadow proves the sun shines.”

It’s no wonder why these guys have garnered such a large following. For many bands who get to this level, they often times lose their soul and the reason their fans fell in love with them at the beginning (case in point: what the hell Weezer?). This isn’t always the case, and this SD five-piece proves that music can be received my millions and still have a high level of musical credibility.

To go a few steps further, the heart of Switchfoot stretches beyond their music and platinum status with personal missions that flow into the community in various ways. Their Switchfoot Bro-Am is a surfing contest born to raise money for Care House, a non-profit that serves homeless teens and young mothers in San Diego County. They’ve also launched a new online magazine,, which features artists, people making a difference in their community, and other underground musicians. Their Lowercase People Apparel spotlights designers from around the world and each month they donate a percentage of the proceeds to their own non-profit, Lowercase People Justice Fund, a fund dedicated to serving third world communities in partnership with Geneva Global.


Sign up to our newsletter and get updates to your mailbox