Switchfoot’s Jerome Fontamillas Goes Inside ‘Vice Verses’ [Interview]


Story by Anne Erickson

Switchfoot’s new album, Vice Verses, drops this week

One of the most stunning moments on Switchfoot’s latest album, Vice Verses (out Sept. 27), comes at the chorus of “Dark Horses,” when lead singer Jon Foreman euphorically croons, “Hey, you can’t count us out / We’ve been running up against the crowd / Yeah, we are the dark horses,” backed by catchy hooks and buoyant pop-rock rhythms. The uplifting words are an anthem for anyone who has felt like a “dark horse” in life.

Guitarist and keyboard player Jerome Fontamillas says Switchfoot wrote “Dark Horses” for StandUp for Kids, a charity that provides backpacks for children in need. “We wanted to write a theme song for the organization, and this song is the one that came out of it,” he said. “It’s definitely a song about StandUp.”

Switchfoot recently kicked off a cross-country tour with Anberlin, and Fontamillas checked in with Audio Ink Radio to talk about the tour, their work with Standup and the band’s latest labor of pop-rock love: Vice Verses. Pre-order the album on the band’s official website.

Switchfoot just kicked off a major tour with Anberlin. What are you most looking forward to on the trek?

Playing new songs, because it’s always fun to play something new in front of an audience, and the new album is coming out the same time as this tour. Also, I’m excited to hang out with Anberlin. We’ve been wanting to tour for a while, and we’re excited it’s finally happening.

You’re involved with the charity StandUp for Kids on this tour, and you’re asking fans to bring backpacks to any of the shows.

Yeah, every place we go, we’re going to collect backpacks and give them to area kids who need them. A lot of the kids from StandUp are homeless or on the streets, and a lot of them really need a backpack to hold stuff, so that’s why we’re doing it.

Vice Verses is your eighth studio album. Can you believe Switchfoot have come so far?

You know, when you’re in a band, you know you may not be playing music the next week or next day, so to be able to be doing this for eight albums and to still be touring is really a blessing for us. We’re very fortunate to be able to do music and something we love to do, and to keep playing for people.

What’s the meaning behind, Vice Verses?

The idea of Vice Verses is the polarity of life and that you get the good and the bad; the highs and the lows. In this album, the theme is in that vein. It’s about the polarities.

You just released the video for, “Dark Horses,” and it’s a killer live video. Why did you go with a live approach for the song?

The thing about “Dark Horses” is it feels like a live song to us. We felt like that when we wrote it, and while we were writing it, we were thinking about playing the song in front of people, in a live setting. So, when we recorded it, we wanted to make it feel like you were listening to a live song. When we did the music video, it just made sense to make it a live video.

How important is being a Christian to Switchfoot’s music?

It’s big. It’s who we are. It’s what shapes our beliefs, and it shows in the songs. We’re not one of those bands who plays music that sounds like you’re going to church, but it’s about being a human being and writing songs about life and what you believe in. That’s how the songs come for us, and that’s what we believe.

What’s next for Switchfoot, after the tour with Anberlin wraps?

We’re going to Europe in November to play Vice Verses, and we’re hoping to come back to the U.S. and do an actual Vice Verses tour, so we can play more songs off the album. We’re planning on lots of touring next year.

Listen to Audio Ink Radio’s Chat with Jerome from Switchfoot:
[audio:https://audioinkradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Switchfoot-Interview.mp3|titles=Interview with Switchfoot guitarist Jerome Fontamillas ]


Check out Switchfoot’s Video for ‘Dark Horses’:

Anne Erickson

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