“Hello Hurricane acknowledges the storms that tear through our lives,” states Switchfoot singer and songwriter Jon Foreman. “This album is an attempt to respond to those storms with an element of hope, trying to understand what it means to be hopeful in a world that keeps on spinning.”
With Hello Hurricane, Switchfoot is set to thrive in 2009 with a newfound independence: a new home studio HQ, a new mainstream label, and a return-to-roots creativity and sense of purpose. After ten non-stop years of working as the world’s most humble multi-million selling rock band, the hard-charging San Diego-based quintet saw recording sessions for their aptly-titled seventh full-length album as a unique chance to reassess, reflect and rededicate.
Hello Hurricane was recorded by the band and produced by renowned hip hop bassist and producer Mike Elizondo, known for his work with the likes of Eminem, 50 Cent, Pink, Maroon 5 and Fiona Apple. “I first met Mike through Sean Watkins (of Nickel Creek) and we had a jam session together in LA,” remembers Foreman. “We felt like old friends right away.” The result is Hello Hurricane, which follows the band’s 2006 studio album Oh! Gravity and last year’s era-ending compilation, The Best Yet.
The album’s driving and urgent “Mess of Me” – with its personal declaration of independence, as Foreman passionately announces to the world that “I wanna spend the rest of my life alive!” – powerfully demonstrates the edge behind the new tones. Not content to settle into a single groove, the band moves from the high flying album opener, “Needle and Haystack Life,” to songs like the stirring “Always” and the sweetly soaring “Your Love is a Song,” which – by its very nature – cries out for many waving hands illuminated by a blue cell phone glow.
The anthemic, riff fueled “This is the Sound,” with its utterly timely generational themes, finds Foreman spitting, “This is the sound from the discontented mouths of a haunted nation!” The “Hello Hurricane” title track is even more poignant when it comes to the band’s perspective on themselves and the world around them. “I’m not talking about ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane,’” says Foreman with a wink before turning reflective. “There is a real despair that I see when we travel around the country… and it’s music that people turn to in a time like this. I wanted to reach out to those people with song.”
As for Hello Hurricane, the members of Switchfoot could not be more motivated to bring the new music to their grass roots grown fanbase. “I think it is a landmark record for us,” says Butler, turning serious. “It’s a new chapter in so many aspects of our lives, personally and professionally. I think we’re in the best possible place we’ve been in as a band.”