Switchfoot Pull Off Surf Tourney But Are Careful About Diving Into New LP

San Diego rockers working with U2 producer on follow-up to Nothing Is Sound.

BEVERLY HILLS, California — So how far along are Switchfoot on their next record?

"Well, we know it's a girl," singer Jon Foreman deadpanned recently.

He jokes, but Switchfoot's albums are in many ways their babies, and they're treating their next one with extra-special care. As a daycare center might say, they boast an impressive 5-to-1 ratio.

"We're all cutting [tracks] at the same time in a room, just five guys playing rock and roll," Foreman said. "We definitely have a lot more work ahead of us, but it's taking shape real nicely."

Foreman is the kind of songwriter who's always working, so the band entered its San Diego studio with some 50 ideas to navigate through for the follow-up to 2005's Nothing Is Sound (see "Switchfoot's New LP, Surf Contest Affected By Instability")

So far, Switchfoot have been working alone, but last week the band brought in producer Tim Palmer, whose credits include U2 and Pearl Jam.

"It felt like a good fit," Foreman said. "We've been a band for so long you want someone who can take it to the next level and get you across waters that you wouldn't be able to swim across yourself. We can only get it so far."

It's too early for Foreman to describe the music, but he says the band's been open to more experimenting.

"We've always tried to listen to a song with an open mind and not dive into it thinking we have to paint every song blue or green or red," Foreman explained. "We're making sure every song has its own color and feel."

Switchfoot are shooting for a late 2006 release date. In the meantime, the band is balancing its recording schedule with a few summer tour dates: June 11 (Sacramento, California); June 17 (Nashville); and June 24 (Arlington, Texas).

The group also hosted its second annual Bro-Am surf tournament on Saturday benefiting the Casa de Amparo youth shelters. The event combined celebrity surfing with a concert featuring Switchfoot, Tristan Prettyman, Years Around the Sun and surf legend Tom Curren.

(Check out photos from the 2006 Switchfoot Bro-Am)

"It's amazing to think that the community's just rallying around these kids, and we're proud of it," Foreman said.