On September 27th, Credential Recordings/lowercase people and Atlantic Records will release Vice Verses, the eighth studio record from multi-platinum rock band SWITCHFOOT. Working with producer Neal Avron (Weezer, Linkin Park), the band recorded most of the album in their San Diego, CA home studio. Mike Elizondo (Eminem, Regina Spektor) who produced SWITCHFOOT’s GRAMMY-winning album, Hello Hurricane, served as executive producer. Released in 2009, Hello Hurricane entered The Billboard 200 at No. 13 and contained the Modern Rock hits “The Sound (John M. Perkins’ Blues)” and “Mess of Me.”
“Vice Verses is a record of tension and release. It’s an attempt to describe the polarity of the human experience. The sunlight and shadow. The highs and lows, laughter and pain, hope and fear, doubts and belief,” says lead singer/guitarist Jon Foreman. In the title track, he writes, “‘Every blessing comes with a set of curses. I got my vices. I got my vice verses.’ So we live in the tension – pulled and stretched thin. Vice Verses is soul music – attempting to get to the heart of the human experience: Living in the tension and turning it into song.”
Vice Verses is the work of a band that is so restless, they devote an entire song (“Restless”) to the condition. It’s that very uneasiness – an unwillingness to choose the treadmill over the triathlon – that fuels the band’s forays into new musical territory and Jon Foreman’s unflinchingly honest lyrics. You can hear the tension build along with the first chords of album opener “Afterlife,” leading into a bold statement of intent: “I’ve tasted fire I’m ready to come alive/I can’t just shut it up and fake that I’m alright/I’m ready now/I’m not waiting for the afterlife….I believe we start forever now.”
Songs like “Afterlife” and “The War Inside” take the harder-edged approach of Hello Hurricane a step further, creating what Billboard has called “powerful, anthemic rockers…like an amalgamation of U2’s ‘Achtung Baby,’ Linkin Park.” Overall, Vice Verses is a more eclectic collection than its predecessor with quiet gems like “Souvenirs” and the title track next to the infectious “The Original,” reminiscent of Foo Fighters, and the biting, largely spoken-word “Selling the News.” The latter is a poetry slam Beck-meets-Beastie Boys style examination of a media-mad nation: “America listens the story is told/the hard sell, all caps, all bold…begging the question mongering fears/stroking the eye and tickling ears/the truth ain’t just what it appears/we’re selling the news.”
But SWITCHFOOT isn’t content to merely detail the gaping contradictions they find within themselves or the surrounding culture. As the rousing lead single “Dark Horses” makes abundantly clear, we were designed to transcend, to stand up against the darkness. It’s a theme echoed in Foreman’s latest Huffington Post piece (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-foreman/meaning-of-life_b_874934.html), excerpted here:
“The art comes from the awkward ache. The knot in my stomach usually teaches me more than comfort ever could. The sculptor’s chisel carves away at the block to bring something new into being. In the same way, we hammer away at the world we're given to bring something new into being. We re-appropriate the past and present to create the future – breath by breath.”
SWITCHFOOT – comprising Jon Foreman (vocals/guitar), Tim Foreman (bass), Chad Butler (drums), Jerome Fontamillas (keys/guitar) and Drew Shirley (guitar) – will launch a world tour in conjunction with the release of Vice Verses. (See summer tour itinerary below.) This weekend the band is hosting what is, to them, one of the most meaningful concerts of the year: the Switchfoot Bro-Am Presented By Hurley (http://www.switchfoot.com/c/bro-am). The Howls, The Romany Rye, The Silent Comedy and Jon Foreman & Friends will perform at the concert/surf contest, to be held Saturday, June 18th, at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, CA. An Auction Night Soiree (set for June 16th at a private La Jolla Farms residence) and a post-concert after-party at the nearby Belly Up Tavern featuring performances by Johnny Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls), Fiction Family and Little Hurricane round out the weekend’s activities. Now in its seventh year, this year’s Bro-Am will benefit the San Diego and Oceanside chapters of StandUp For Kids (www.standupforkids.org), a national nonprofit volunteer outreach organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of at-risk, homeless and street kids. Since its inception in 2005, the Bro-Am has raised almost $500,000 for San Diego-based children’s charities.
The track listing for Vice Verses is as follows:
2. The Original
3. The War Inside
5. Blinding Light
6. Selling the News
8. Dark Horses
10. Rise Above It
11. Vice Verses
12. Where I Belong
SWITCHFOOT Summer Tour Itinerary:
Stone Mountain, GA
Del Mar, CA USA
Del Mar Fairgrounds
Bro Am 2011 - Moonlight Beach
Mineral City, OH
Atwood Lake Park
KLTY Celebrate Freedom
Kings Dominion - Kings Fest
Willmar Civic Center Grounds
Enumclaw, WA USA
Enumclaw Expo Center
Ignite Festival 2011 - Fielders Stadium
Rock the Desert Festival Field
Gilford, NH USA
Gunstock Mountain Resort - Soulfest
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