A multifaceted singer/songwriter best known as the lead singer, guitarist, and co-founder of Grammy Award-winning alternative rock group Switchfoot, Jon Foreman is also an accomplished solo artist. Switchfoot went nuclear in 2003 with the release of their double-platinum fourth studio LP The Beautiful Letdown, and spent the remainder of the decade at the fore of the modern rock charts. Foreman launched a solo career in 2007 and has gone on to issue a string of acclaimed EPs, including the ambitious four-part Wonderlands (2015) and the moving Departures (2021).
Although born in San Diego, California on October 22, 1976, Foreman moved with his family to both Massachusetts and Virginia Beach during his childhood years. He was back living in California by junior high school, eventually graduating from San Dieguito High school in Encinitas and briefly attending UC San Diego. With help from his brother Tim Foreman on bass and Chad Butler on drums, he formed the band Chin Up in 1996; the trio soon changed their name to Switchfoot (a surfing term).
The band recorded a debut LP, 1997′s The Legend of Chin, for Charlie Peacock’s Re:Think imprint. The follow-up, 1999′s New Way to Be Human, was a huge commercial success in Christian markets, with the title track garnering a 1999 Dove Award for Song of the Year. Released in 2000, Learning to Breathe found Switchfoot moving more toward mainstream modern rock, and its success, along with the band’s inclusion on the soundtrack to the 2002 Mandy Moore film A Walk to Remember, brought Switchfoot a major-label run. The Beautiful Letdown, their first release for Columbia/RED, appeared in 2003. Thanks to the radio hits “Dare You to Move” and “Meant to Live,” the album went double platinum and hit number one on Billboard’s Christian Albums chart.
Switchfoot’s fifth album, Nothing Is Sound, appeared in 2005 and almost immediately went gold. The LP’s radio hit, “Stars,” included the work of additional guitarist Andrew Shirley, formerly of the CCM group All Together Separate. A sixth album, Oh! Gravity, appeared in 2006. That year saw Foreman branch out a bit as he formed an acoustic duo called Fiction Family with Nickel Creek member Sean Watkins as a side project. Since some of his new songs didn’t fit well within the Switchfoot formula, Foreman also began working on solo material, releasing a series of four linked EPs of six songs each called Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer in 2008. The first two were then packaged together for a release entitled Fall and Winter that same year, and 2009 saw Fiction Family issuing an eponymous full-length album.
In early 2014, Foreman announced the impending arrival of an ambitious new project titled The Wonderlands. Consisting of four EPs culminating in 24 tracks (one for each hour of the day), the first installment, Sunlight, arrived in May 2015, followed by Shadows (July), Darkness (September), and Dawn (October). Later that year, he celebrated the achievement with an equally aspiring performance that saw him play 25 shows in 24 hours, which was later released as a feature documentary titled 25 in 24.
Looking to wrench some much-needed light from the overwhelming darkness of the prior year, Foreman released the emotional full-length studio effort Departures in early 2021. Rooted in the past and the present, the inward-looking set, which Foreman calls “a soundtrack for the uncertain questions,” featured guest appearances by Grammy Award-winning Americana artist Madison Cunningham and CCM star Lauren Daigle. ~ Steve Leggett & James Christopher Monger