Interview: Jon Foreman of Switchfoot
Mon, 10 Aug 2015 13:19:52
Four, count 'em four, EPs that are each sure to surprise.
Switchfoot mainman Jon Foreman has embraced quite the musical undertaking this year. He'll release a series of four EPs as part of The Wonderlands project. The first two—The Wonderlands: Sunlight and The Wonderlands: Shadows—are out now [and available on one CD] with The Wonderlands: Darkness dropping September 4 and The Wonderlands: Dawn available October 23. It's 24 poetic, powerful, and poignant alternative rock songs that instantly engage. Each EP also continues to surprise around every turn, making for an impressive and incredible body of work. In this exclusive interview, Jon talks The Wonderlands and so much more.
The format of multiple EP's allows you to do different things under one creative project. What threads everything together with The Wonderlands?
I am so glad to hear you say that. Last night at 2am when I was working on this, I thought to myself, "Am I crazy?" [Laughs] I really wanted to make it a pure pursuit. There is an endgame to sell records. However, I want to create a place called "The Wonderlands" and have it be somewhere that music is representative of me over the years. That's been the affect for me, whether it's Rage Against the Machine or James Taylor. I want to examine my own life and, from the vantage point of a song, maybe you can understand the chaos of your life much better. My goal with "The Wonderlands" is to create that project for someone else.
It feels like a personal vignette into your world.
I found over the years that the most honest songs are the ones people resonate with the most. When it is done right, great songwriting is like archaeology—you don't leave your fingerprints on it. It's like maybe you discovered a song rather than wrote it.
In that way, the song has always been there and is waiting for you to unlock it.
Yeah and sometimes the irony is that I have found that people rarely listen to the lyrics in that way. If you are singing in a way that is metaphorical, you can actually be incredibly personal and no one will know. I have gotten to the point where I trust that, and my goal as a songwriter is to tell the truth.
Watch the video for "Caroline" from Jon Foreman's 'The Wonderlands: Sunlight' EP: