Chad Butler of Switchfoot checks in from the studio as the band finishes recording their next album, Vice Verses.
I woke up in a Hollywood motel room this morning with the incredible realization that I get to call rock and roll my day job. Banging on the drums with a smile on my face... I guess you could call it my job, but I'll never call it that.
As a kid growing up in San Diego music and surfing kept me out a of a lot of trouble. I never dreamed I'd ever make music for a living (but I did dream of professional surfing). The posters on my wall of Occy and Curren were as important to me as the ones of bands like U2 and The Smiths. Surfing and music were always purely for the love of it. My cutback was never going to win me any world titles and I couldn't even dream that playing drums in a band would pay the rent. Today, I still can't believe that I hit drums for a living. It makes no sense to me that we get to tour in far off places (sometimes spots with waves) and call it work.
My bandmates and I have spent the last few months together in our studio in San Diego recording new songs for our next album called Vice Verses. It's been an amazing experience so far. Many days begin with a surf check and a quick session en route to the studio. Going surfing together reminds me of the early days of our band, just kids stoked on hanging out together at the beach and going home to jam in a suburban bedroom.
For me, music is such a communal experience. The live show is about two-way communication with an audience and in the studio the best moments are about interacting with each other -- drawing inspiration from the music coming from the guy next to you, reacting on instinct. A lot of the time in the studio is repetitive. Tuning an instrument, rehearsing a song, recording a part, one more time... and repeat! It can be mundane at times, but it's all in pursuit of the magic moments... those happy accidents when the notes and beats align and God walks through the room.
These songs carry a strong heartbeat for me, a deep connection, a shared experience. Our last recording process was a lot of blood sweat and tears. This time it's more about enjoying the journey... the music has reminded me how fortunate I am to be alive. I look around the studio tonight, and can't imagine anywhere else I want to be.