Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local News

February 22, 2014

Switchfoot surfing into Thomasville

THOMASVILLE — As the Grammy-winning alternative-rock band Switchfoot enters its 17th year as a band and having released its 9th album, it has launched a full U.S. tour that will makes its way to the Thomasville Municipal Auditorium on Monday.

On Jan. 14, Atlantic Record/Word, released Switchfoot’s new album, “Fading West.” It debuted at No. 6 during its first week.

The success has been fueled by two hit singles, “Who We Are” and “Love Alone is Worth the Fight,” and the band recently released a feature film, also titled “Fading West” that has introduced new audiences to Switchfoot.

Drew Shirley, guitarist for Switchfoot, told the Times-Enterprise, “As a band, we’ve made a lot of records and we wanted to keep things inspired and fresh. The motivation for this album was to look for new inspiration.”

To find the motivation, the band went around the globe searching for ways to create songs.

“Some of the places we went were our favorite surf spots and we wrote songs along the way, and we put them in an album and made a movie about it,” said Shirley.

Directed by Matt Katolis and filmed during Switchfoot’s 2012 World Tour, “Fading West” charts the creation of the San Deigo-based five-member band’s 9th album in its earliest and most unpredictable stages.

During the travels to surf breaks in Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Bali, the brothers Jon and Tim Foreman breathed new life into their songwriting and sound by capturing their surroundings and discovering new emotional depths.

Part rock documentary, part surf film and part travelogue, “Fading West” offers rare glimpses of the longtime surfers on their boards and in the waves, capturing the energy of their live shows and portraying an epic and intimate journey.

Shirley, along with the rest of the band, is still feeling the excitement surrounding the releases of the album and film.

He said, “We felt great about it. It’s something you work on for a long time. Songs are kind of like your kids. You raise them, work on recording them to see where they want to go and, finally, some of them graduate to become an album.”

Shirley has been with Switchfoot for 11 years and still feels blessed to be able to tour with the band and loves playing live music for people.

“Being able to play music for a living is an awesome thing. To be able to make nine albums and still be a band is pretty honorable. We’re just really blessed, so we really don’t take it for granted. We just look forward to every album.

“As a band it’s what we do. We live and breathe music, and live music is especially a huge part of that. We look forward to the live shows. The energy is something our band is known for and our fans are great. We like to hand deliver our songs to them.”

Along with its successful music career, Switchfoot has found a way to give back to some of its less fortunate fans. This year marks the 10th year of the band’s charitable festival Bro Am Foundation — a day-long event held in San Diego that includes a surf contest, live concert on the beach, charity auction and an after-party.

The Bro Am Foundation has raised more than $715,000 to benefit the local children’s charities that aid at-risk, homeless and street kids in San Diego. The band considers this year a milestone for the event.

Shirley said, “We love it. It’s one of the biggest events of the year. Our families and friends are there and it’s for the kids. We are expecting this one to be the biggest one ever— about 10,000 people. It really is something that brings the community together— and the band together as well.”

Never having toured to somewhere like Thomasville before, Shirley is excited to visit and hopes to make it unforgettable while enjoying the history of the town.

“We love to play music for people. Sometimes those shows in cities that you’ve never heard of are the best shows because many bands may not come through. The audiences tend to surprise us,” he said.  “We are hoping Thomasville is excited for us to stop through,  and I love history. That will be something else interesting when I get there.”

Shirley wants to remind Thomasville the band will be playing old favorites and new songs from “Fading West.” There will be something for all ages.

He said, “Live shows are so much fun. We put together a show that has lights, rock ‘n roll, along with sing-a-long moments. It’s just a really fun moment.”

The band will kick the show off at 8 p.m. The dors will open at 7 p.m. 

The event was brought to Thomasville by Next Level Productions.

For ticket information, visit 

Reporter Susanne Reynolds can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1826.


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