Jon Foreman never imagined his lyrics would have such an effect on people.
"Two friends of mine have quit their jobs because of that song," the Switchfoot singer said of the band's latest single, "Dare You to Move." "They're like, 'I quit my job the other week because I heard that song. Just decided it was time to move on.' So I guess that's good."
"Or it could be bad," chimed in keyboardist Jerome Fontamillas, hanging with his bandmates while giving fans surf lessons last week in Switchfoot's hometown of San Diego.
"I dare you to move," Foreman sings on the track. "I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor/ ... The tension is here/ Between who you are and who you could be/ Between how it is and how it should be."
"Forget about the paychecks, just move, man," Foreman joked. "Yeah, it was inspired by 'Office Space.' "
"No need to write them a resignation letter, just bring in our CD," drummer Chad Butler added with a smile.
Switchfoot are clearly comfortable smiling these days, as "Dare You to Move" and previous single "Meant to Live" have propelled their fourth album, The Beautiful Letdown, to platinum status (see [article id="1484844"]"Switchfoot Evicted By Radiohead, Embraced By Rock Radio"[/article]). (The album is currently #16 on Billboard's albums chart a year and a half after it was released.) And the reality is it makes sense that "Dare You to Move" would inspire fans to quit their jobs.
"It's me talking to myself and I think a lot of times I feel stagnant and stuck in the same place," Foreman said. "And 'Dare You to Move' is kind of a song for myself to get me up and get me moving and tackling a new part of life."
"Dare You to Move" has been a staple of rock radio most of the summer and shows no signs of slowing down. Switchfoot just shot a second, more narrative video for the song in Seal Beach with director Marc Webb (No Doubt).
"The video experience is always a different one, because you write this song at 3 o'clock in the morning and you're not really thinking about a visual interpretation, so it's tricky to try and capture the feeling in that form," said Foreman, whose brother, Tim, is the band's bassist. "The goal for this video was to try and have a storyline that went along with the song. It's kind of capturing a guy's life in different moments. It's at the beach, and I don't think he's conscious at the time. He's fighting for life and he's flashing back through all these sequences and kind of reliving these last moments."
"If we can talk people into letting us hang out at the beach all day, it's always a good thing," Butler said.
Switchfoot's beach time has been limited since The Beautiful Letdown hit shelves, as the rockers have done four nationwide tours. A fifth, a two-month trek mostly headlining theaters kicks off October 7 in Anaheim, California.
"It's actually one of my favorite parts about what we do," Foreman said. "I guess just the idea that you can connect with people through music. And one of the things we try and do is after shows we'll try and hang out. I think it's a part of the idea that for us, it's not a one-sided conversation. People are talking back, and if they call out a song, it may not say it on the set list, but actually they might be right. That should be the next song we should play.
"It's the type of thing where we try and break down the barrier between the stage and the crowd, because we're just normal guys," he continued. "When you step back from the mic and there's like 500 people singing along, it's kind of irrelevant whether you're singing up there or not."
Switchfoot tour dates, according to the band's spokesperson: