Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.


With the Format and the Honorary Title. Wednesday, October 27, at the Agora Theatre.

Jon Foreman has heard enough about his band's faith and Christian-rock underpinnings. The Switchfoot front man says that to really understand him as a musician, critics and fans should know that he's a devoted follower of J.C.

We're not talking Mel Gibson's Hollywood savior here. It's that other troublesome demagogue: Johnny Cash.

"In an interview once, Cash responded to a question about what kind of music he played: Was it Christian, country, or rock and roll? He said, 'I'm just writing songs. You call it what you want,'" says Foreman. "It's kind of absurd, really, when people decide you must only be able to do one thing -- it's like when the label 'emo' came along. I mean, who is to say that other types of music are less emotional?"

Foreman's band not only broke out of San Diego with the late 2003 release of its fourth CD, The Beautiful Letdown, and its monstrous modern-rock single "Meant to Live," but it also clawed its way out of the Christian-music ghetto, where the band had dwelt since forming in 1996.

Foreman hardly dismisses his religious music background. After all, who would dare dismiss such rich rewards as a 2001 Grammy nomination in the Best Rock Gospel category, three 2004 Dove Awards, and a gold-selling soundtrack for Mandy Moore's teen flick A Walk to Remember? But the music Switchfoot creates is not church-driven. Instead, he says, it's more faith-based, along the lines of Creed, Live, and Joshua Tree-vintage U2.

"The way my music comes from me is that it's scattered all over the place," he says. "The songs [on Letdown] were written over a couple of years, more like a diary. And we've been very open about how we believe in our faith from the very beginning. So it's a shame to see so many close-minded people put you in some kind of box."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Greg Barr

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays