Switchfoot are an alternative rock band from San Diego, California. The band's members are Jon Foreman (lead vocals, guitar), Tim Foreman (bass guitar, backing vocals), Chad Butler (drums, percussion), Jerome Fontamillas (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, accordion, pretty much everything else, really ), and Drew Shirley (guitar, backing vocals).

Formed in 1996, the Foreman brothers, sons of a local Baptist preacher, got fellow band-mate Chad Butler together and started recording music. They were then discovered by producer Music/{{Charlie Peacock}} who signed them to his re:think indie label and produced their second and third albums. Their first three albums, ''The Legend Of Chin'' (1997), ''New Way To Be Human'' (1999), and ''Learning To Breathe'' (2000) helped the band gain some indie status, and also snagged them a few Grammy nominations for Christian music.

After re:think was bought by Sparrow Records, Switchfoot signed to Creator/ColumbiaRecords in 2002 and released their breakthrough album, ''A Beautiful Letdown'' in 2003. They gained two radio hits from it, the epic "Meant To Live" and the heartwarming "Dare You To Move" (the latter had previously appeared on ''Learning To Breathe'', but was remixed and rerecorded for the new album). Their music started massively being used in TV commercials and shows, quickly growing them more recognition.

Their next two albums, ''Nothing Is Sound'' (2005) and ''Oh! Gravity'' (2006) saw some commercial and critical success, but the reaction from longtime fans was mixed. The band slowly grew more and more tired of being pushed around by ExecutiveMeddling and left Capital in 2008 to start their own independent label known as Lowercase People.

They then recorded 4 albums worth of material. The first, ''Hello Hurricane'' was released in 2009 and was a refreshing return to their old sound. The second, ''Vice Verses'' was released in September of 2011. A remix album titled ''Vice Re-Verses'' was released soon after. Their most recent albums, ''Fading West'' and ''Where the Light Shines Through'', were released in 2014 and 2016.

They're unique for not being blatantly Christian and being able to appeal to audiences of all kinds. They have some surf rock and punk influences, but many listeners have trouble separating them from other post-grunge bands.

!! Switchfoot contain examples of the following tropes:

* AlbumTitleDrop: ''Nothing Is Sound'' is the only album not to have a title track on a Switchfoot album. Instead it's a line repeated in "Happy Is A Yuppie Word". [[{{Anvilicious}} Seven times very loudly, if the first time didn't suffice.]]
** ''Fading West'' also lacks a title track. One was recorded, but didn't make the final cut for the album. It can be found on ''The Edge of the Earth'' EP.
* AllJustADream: "Faust, Midas, and Myself" from ''Oh! Gravity.'' Jon [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on the first line of the song. [[note]]Of course, that's before you find out that the song is about [[Film/{{Inception}} a dream within a dream within another dream.]][[/note]]
* AnimatedMusicVideo: "Oh! Gravity" is a combination of this and live action; the band was filmed against a green-screen background, and then digitally placed against a floating, animated background. It's... unusual.
* BookEnds:
** The final track on "Hello Hurricane" ends with a lyrical reprise of the opening song, "Needle and Haystack Life".
** Their next album, "Vice Verses", did the same thing, with the added bonus that this time they made sure the final chord in "Where I Belong" matched the opening chord from "Afterlife", so if you play the album on a loop the ending fades seamlessly back into the beginning.
* CallBack: Towards the start of "Ode To Chin", Jon quips that 'life's more than girls'. Towards the end of "Gone" released six years later, he says that "life is still more than girls".
* CarSong: "Company Car", though it's more about the meaning behind the car rather than the car itself.
* ChangedForTheVideo: There are two different music videos for "Dare You to Move". [[http://youtu.be/iOTcr9wKC-o The video with the surfer being resuscitated after nearly drowning]] was identical to the version from ''The Beautiful Letdown'' (other than omitting the really quiet part of the intro), but [[http://youtu.be/jE-Krlqi4fk the video with the guy running through city streets]] added a loud electric guitar hook to the intro.
* ChewingTheScenery: Jon on ''Oh! Gravity,'' which might have led to some of the lukewarm reception for the album. Just listen to the title track or "Amateur Lovers". Oh, dear sweet whoever you happen to pray to, "Amateur Lovers"...
* ChristianRock: Though not a blatant example.
** NotChristianRock: They are this if they aren't Christian Rock. Pretty much any discussion of how "Christian Rock" should be defined ''will'' eventually mention Switchfoot.
** As Jon once put it: "We're Christians by faith, not by genre."
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Nothing Is Sound'', being their first album recorded with Drew Shirley, is noticeably heavier than ''The Beautiful Letdown'' due to the extra emphasis on electric guitar. Its lyrics are also a shade darker than most of their work up to that point.
** ''The Edge of the Earth'' contains seven songs that were cut from the album ''Fading West'', but featured in the film's soundtrack. Several of them are noticeably darker than the overall tone of that album.
* DigitalPiracyIsEvil: Averted pretty soundly. In fact, when Sony placed a Copy Protection on ''Nothing Is Sound'', Tim posted a way to get around it.
* DressRehearsalVideo: This concept has been used for several of their music videos ("Dark Horses" or "The Sound" for example).
* EverythingIsAnInstrument: The guys have admitted to using just about anything that makes noise in their songs.
* FadingIntoTheNextSong: Used multiple times throughout their albums. ''Nothing Is Sound'' contains at least three instances [[note]]("Lonely Nation" fades into "Stars", "Happy is a Yuppy Word" fades into "The Shadow Proves the Sunshine", and "Easier Than Love" fades into "The Blues")[[/note]], and Vice Verses contains at least one [[note]]("Dark Horses" fades into "Souvenirs")[[/note]].
* FakeOutFadeOut: "Poparazzi".
* FollowTheLeader: Music/{{U2}} are a ''big'' influence on the band. So is Music/BobDylan.
* GriefSong: "Yesterdays".
* GodIsLoveSongs: "Only Hope", "On Fire", and oh so many more.
** Or they could be plain old love songs. Your interpretation of those songs will vary.
* GratuitousPanning: The intro to "Meant To Live". If you're listening in headphones, it's a very quick way to find out if your headphones are on backwards. [[note]]The intro guitar riff starts panned all the way to the left speaker.[[/note]] Ditto "Mess of Me".
* HiddenTrack: Their second album contains one called "Chin 105".
* LatexPerfection: Used at the very end of the "New Way To Be Human" music video.
* MeaningfulName: "Switchfoot" is a surfing term that means to change one's stance on the surfboard and face the opposite direction. Ties in nicely with the band's passion for surfing and philosophical approach to life and music.
* {{Mondegreen}}: Due to Jon's occasionally lazy enunciation, some of their lyrics can be hilariously misheard. [[note]] [[http://landofbrokenhearts.org/fan-zone/lyrical-errors/ Land Of Broken Hearts]] has a page devoted to lyrical errors.[[/note]]
* MyFriendsAndZoidberg: Jerome is jokingly treated like this during live shows, as his official position is somewhat vague compared to the other members. Jon once introduced him as Switchfoot's "keyboardist, accordionist, DJ, and life coach."
* NewSoundAlbum: ''The Beautiful Letdown'' for the change into their more pop-punk oriented sound, ''Hello Hurricane'' for their return to form, and now ''Fading West'' for their evolution into a poppier, more electronic sound. Compare [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEdslKWubPY "Company Car"]] (from their second album) with [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAFM9izOZvc "Skin and Bones"]] (from their most recent EP) to get an idea of how much their sound has evolved.
* NiceHat: Jon wears fedoras pretty often.
* NiceGuy: All of them! Seriously, you'll be hard-pressed to find another group with the same level of popularity that are as amiable and friendly as these guys. For proof, watch their interviews, or better yet, their podcasts. And if you do decide to watch the podcasts, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny prepare to laugh at almost every single one of them!]] They love to goof off, with special mention going to Drew.
* NobodyLovesTheBassist: Thoroughly averted as Tim is one of the most popular members of the band.
* NonAppearingTitle: "Ode to Chin" and "Faust, Midas and Myself"
* ThePhilosopher: A ''lot'' of Jon's lyrics are inspired by philosophy; the album ''New Way To Be Human'' name-drops both [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Hippo Augustine]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soren_Kierkegaard Kierkegaard]].
* PissTakeRap:
** Jon on "Dirty Second Hands". It's actually pretty cool.
** He does it again in "Selling the News", and it actually works quite well.
* PostGrunge: They're more this in name than in sound, though.
* ProtestSong: "The Sound" is one. Being subtitled after Civil Rights leader [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_M._Perkins John M. Perkins]], it was expected.
* RereleaseTheSong: "Dare You To Move" was originally released on ''Learning to Breathe''. The band later rerecorded it and released it again on their next album, ''The Beautiful Letdown''.
* TheRival: For some reason they are always considered rivals of the Music/{{Newsboys}} and [=DCTalk=].
** Even though they are far more successful in the mainstream, and more vague about their faith, than the two bands in question.
*** They'd probably be more likely to be rivals to Anberlin, or Music/{{POD}}.
* RockTrio: Switchfoot started like this for their first three albums, adding Jerome Fontamillas right before getting big.
* RockersSmashGuitars: During their 2007 tour, Jon deliberately destroyed his guitar on stage during the finale of 'Dirty Second Hands', and then proceeded to bang on a cymbal with what was left of the neck. According to their video podcast, he'd planned it in advance and they even filmed him saying 'goodbye' to the guitar backstage before the show.
** On another occasion, he randomly threw his guitar at Chad's drum set, breaking the guitar and denting the kick drum. This one was not planned in advance, and Jon's tongue-in-cheek explanation on his blog was that he was just doing his job.
** Subverted in the case of the guitar on the cover of ''The Beautiful Letdown'': the band originally wanted to light it on fire, then changed the plan to breaking it in half instead when told they weren't allowed to set things on fire. By then Jon had grown too attached to the guitar, so they ended up putting it intact at the bottom of a pool.
* SequelSong: "Your Love is a Song" from ''Hello Hurricane'' is said to be the third part of a song trilogy that began with "Let Your Love Be Strong" (from ''Oh! Gravity'') and also contains "Your Love is Strong" (from one of the solo [=EPs=] that Jon Foreman released between the two albums).
* SexSells: "Easier Than Love".
* ShoutOut: At the beginning of [[PunnyName "Might Have Ben Hur"]]: "This one goes out to [[Film/BenHur1959 Charlton Heston]]".
* SomethingBlues: Two examples - "The Blues" (obviously), and "The Sound (John M. Perkins Blues)".
* SongStyleShift: "Daisy" is a sweet, soft, quiet song.... until it goes full rock during the final chorus.
* StepUpToTheMicrophone: Tim Foreman sings lead for the first time on "What It Costs".
* StudioChatter: On several of their songs, notably "Gone".
* ThisIsASong: "The Loser"
--> "I wrote this song for you, To show how I'm selling out, I'll take the benefit of a doubt."
* UncommonTime: They have been known to play around with this quite a bit.
** "Happy Is A Yuppie Word" from ''Nothing Is Sound'', which is mostly in CommonTime, throws in a 6/4 bar regularly to 'lag' time between lines in the verses.
** "Circles" from ''Oh! Gravity'', goes 5/8 in the verses and 6/8 during the chorus.
** "Dirty Second Hands" from ''Oh! Gravity'' cranks this UpToEleven. It moves back and forth between 5/8 and 6/4 during the verses, throws in a hardly discernible time signature during the chorus, only to move to full-on 6/4 during the last third of the song. Long story short, the song's a musical MindScrew.
** "Back to the Beginning Again" from ''Fading West'' is mostly in CommonTime but goes 7/4 for the intro, the bridge, and briefly at the end of the last chorus refrain.
** "Slow Down My Heartbeat" from ''The Edge of the Earth'' is also in 7/4 time.
** "Float" from ''Where the Light Shines Through'' is in 7/4 as well. Didn't stop it from being one of the first singles released from the album.
* VocalEvolution: Compare Jon's voice on their first album with his voice now.
* AWildRapperAppears: Lecrae on "Looking for America".