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Surf's up for Switchfoot with film, new music

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013

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With eight albums and a batch of Alternative Rock, Adult Pop and Christian chart hits, Switchfoot has certainly established itself as a potent musical act.

Now the San Diego group is looming large on the big screen.

The quintet's latest tour features both a concert and a screening of "Fading West," the new documentary about the group's history and surfing habit, filmed all over the world during 2012 by director Matt Katsolis. "Basically the concept is we're gonna have a movie for an opening act, and then play afterwards," explains Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman. And playing in older, movie-friendly theaters, he adds, "gives us a chance to play different kind of sets than we've ever done as a band, trying to bring a San Diego campfire across the nation."

Foreman says the film is also designed "to tell a little bit more about who we are. We didn't want it to be a puff piece that stays on the surface. Our songs are deep, so we wanted the film to dig in a little, too, and let people into us a little bit more than you could ever do with a three-minute pop song. And for us the chance to tell our story and let people in a little bit further felt like a really unique opportunity."

The project also spawned more music -- an EP, which is available both at shows and digitally, as well as a full "Fading West" album, although the latter, oddly, isn't coming out until January.

"There is no right or wrong way to release a movie and an album," says Foreman, 36. "It`s complex, because we own our own studio. We paid for both of these projects ourselves. We are partnered up with Atlantic (Records) and love those guys, and they're gonna be helping us release the audio portion of 'Fading West.'

"So we figured, 'Let's stagger 'em. Let's figure out a way we can give both the film and the music their own time.' So that's the thought that went into it. I don't know if it's the right way or not...Who knows; maybe we should have put them both out together, but that was the thought behind them."

Switchfoot performs on Friday, Oct. 4, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of show and $35 for Gold Circle VIP. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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