I still remember riding in a friend’s car and him saying to me, “you’ve gotta hear this guitar riff.”
The song was Stars. And as I recall, I was just blown away. At first by the tone, then the riff. Alternative rock roots untangled in me a voice that said, “Yeah! This is Rock ‘n Roll!” This was more than 10 years ago. And when I was lucky enough to see the band that brought this riff to me perform Stars on a boat in the San Diego Bay last summer while actually under the stars, it all came full circle for me.
What has happened in that time?
Ten plus years has brought a few careers, few moves, a house, a marriage, a family. And in that time as I watched my family grow, we were exposed to more and more music. Switchfoot became heavily played in our home. Initially, not so much for their liking of it, but mine. However, it didn’t take long for it to be requested more and more. It wasn’t until this time that I started to understand more of what this group of guys was all about. What they stood for. What drove them to write, record and perform.
I come from a recording engineering background. I’m an audio nerd and listening to music is a tone-first, music second experience for me. As much as I appreciate well-written words, lyrics often take a back seat. But as I slowly absorbed the lyrics I was comforted with their consistency in writing positive messages. The marketing side of my brain would say that they’re never gonna last. They’re not speaking messages that the masses crave. But that was the key. They weren’t satisfying the masses. They were satisfying the voices within themselves. And expressing those thoughts and beliefs in song. How liberating for the artists. How liberating for the listeners.
So why this letter?
Often, when I look for peace and balance, it’s rooted in things simple. Being outside. Getting away from daily routines and stresses. Getting lost in the music. The balance that Switchfoot has brought to my life in the quality of their sound, the high level of their music production, the lengths they’ve traveled to be able to write these insightful songs. These things bring me a perspective that there is more to life than the moment you’re in — always.
Now when it comes to saying ‘thank you’, I find it hard to switch from me writing my thoughts on this band to want to address each and everyone in the band personally. That desire to want to say thank you for writing from the heart. Thank you for fighting through the challenges that bring you to a place of honesty. Thank you for listening to the voice inside that pushes beyond the ordinary daily routine. Thank you for asking the questions that are hard to ask.
I don’t consider myself a religious person. But on a spiritual level, finding reasons to believe in something greater than yourself is a daily dose of humble pie.