Two years ago, a song titled “Meant to Live” hit secular radio stations across the United States. Christian music fans smiled knowingly while the rest of the freshly-motivated population raced to stores to pick up the “new” album by Switchfoot. Discovered Christopher Columbus style by the mainstream music world, the band’s message managed to be both universally appealing and spiritually meaningful.

And so Switchfoot concerts transitioned from packed churches to sold-out club shows and overflowing major market venues. “Meant to Live” kept playing, indiscriminately inspiring hundreds of thousands of eager listeners. Now, though often-applauded (and of course sometimes criticized) for their influential crossover status, Switchfoot is poised to release their breathlessly-awaited new album, Nothing Is Sound.

Describing the new record as a “journey,” guitarist and lead singer Jon Foreman reflects that much of the album’s songwriting stems from his attempts to reconcile the great ideas and events of life on this earth.

“A lot of my inspiration comes from reading the Psalms and people like David, who weren’t afraid to ask big questions of a big God,” he explains.

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Two of the album’s tracks, “Hit the Lights, Look at the Stars” and “Shadow Proves the Sunshine,” especially reflect those principles. The former contrasts the apparently peaceful, ordered and generally predictable celestial activity with life’s often discordant chaos. The latter chronicles Foreman’s wrestling with contradictions and was premiered in an African village the band was visiting as part of their ongoing dedication to social activism and comprehensive outreach.

Though Switchfoot hopes to continue to have both a global and nondenominational impact, Christian music fans needn’t worry the band will abandon them.

“We have always tried to make music that resonates with the church and the mainstream,” Foreman says. “That is what Switchfoot is about.”

Nothing Is Sound hits stores in August. Copyright © 2004 Christian Music Planet, used with permission. Read more at!