INTERVIEW: Chad Butler of Switchfoot

Chad_ButlerFrom surf documentaries to surfing accidents, the guys from Switchfoot have been through a lot in just the past couple of months with the release of their latest album and documentary, both conveniently named “Fading West”. Lucky for us we got the chance to talk with drummer Chad Butler from the band about what happened during the surf accident involving lead singer, Jon Foreman, what we can expect from the documentary, and what type of food he can’t live without.

So what have you guys been up?

So we had a hometown release show planned and our lead singer Jon got in a surfing accident. So we had to postpone that show a couple of weeks ago but we actually just got to play that show in San Diego the other night, it was great. Jon is much better, he’s healing up and able to sing again. And yeah, it is crazy though how ironic it is that we traveled around the world surfing these dangerous waves and he got hurt right in our own backyard.

What exactly happened?

Well he got in a fight with his surfboard and the surfboard won. The surfboard just mouthed him and hit him in the face while he was riding a wave, just a freak accident, ya know?

And you guys actually just got done filming a surf documentary, correct?

Yeah, the documentary actually just came out in December and the album just came out two weeks ago with the same name, both are called “Fading West” and the project goes hand in hand together, you know the making of the record and the journey around the world chasing songs and chasing waves and that’s all in the movie and the movie is filled with new songs from the new record Fading West.

Are there any famous surfers in the film we can expect to see?

Yeah, yeah we got to bring out a couple of our heroes Rob Machado and Tom Curren three time world champion. Both of those guys are just legends in the surf world. We’re really honored to have them in the film.Yeah, we (the band) grew up surfing together in San Diego and that’s a big part of our friendship on stage. You know I think it’s a connection that’s kept us together for a long time and it’s something that’s a big part of how we find inspiration In life and in music and the movie reflects the sort of the integration of the music and surfing and how it affects our lives.

A lot of people when they think of surfing they think of bands like the Beach Boys and Dick Dale, what music do you think of when surfing?

Well that is what I think of as well, you know I think it’s surf music. It’s sort of that 60’s guitar sound and the Beach Boys and Hawaiian shirts and all that. It’s definitely not something I’d equate with our sound at all but I do think that you can find inspiration while you’re out in the water. Surfing’s such a you know inherently rhythmic activity talking about the waves and tides and all of that. You’re surrounded by nothing but the ocean and I think for me while you’re out in the water and you’re looking out at the horizon it’s a reminder of how small you are in the world and it helps to sort of bring out your focus.

That’s good to have especially when you’re traveling the world , you can just let go and relax a little bit.

Yeah absolutely, you know no matter which ocean we’re in, you know, what country we’re in, whenever we can get in the water it feels like home.

What would you say is your absolute favorite food you can’t live without?

Wow, um well, being from San Diego I’d have to say Mexican food in general. You know, I can pretty much just eat some form of Mexican food for the rest of my life at every meal and I’d be happy.

Be sure to check out the trailer for”Fading West” below and you can purchase both the movie and soundtrack off of their website here.

Check out Switchfoot on tour this month:
02/20/14 Williamsport, PA Bardo Gym with Kopecky Family Band
02/21/14 Lynchburg, VA Liberty University with Kopecky Family Band
02/22/14 Charleston, SC The Music Farm
02/23/14 Central, SC Southern Wesleyan University with Kopecky Family Band
02/24/14 Thomasville, GA Thomasville Municipal Auditorium with Kopecky Family Band
02/26/14 Richmond, VA The National
02/28/14 N. Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues – South Carolina with Kopecky Family Band
03/01/14 Athens, GA Georgia Theatre with Kopecky Family Band