"I've probably got a hundred T-shirts from camps and retreats where we play," says drummer Brandon Thompson, who finally gets into the conversation. (Brandon, who's on the shy side, says, "I want to be careful when I speak. I don't want to be misunderstood.")
"People are so generous and nice," continues Brandon. "I can't bear to get rid of any of those shirts!"
"For me," says Todd, "some of my favorite things are the pictures, letters and notes people have sent us. I especially appreciate the pictures. Just today some fans showed us pictures they took at a festival we played a few weeks ago. Remembering that time almost brought tears to my eyes."
Before Todd gets too misty-eyed, Clark offers a not-so-serious story: "I remember once when we'd cut down on eating sugar and some people brought us these great-smelling brownies. We just couldn't say we didn't want them, so we took them. And we couldn't just toss them out when we got a few miles down the road. That wouldn't be right. So we put them in the van and smelled them for hundreds of miles. We were all drooling!"
As we near the end of our conversation, I ask the guys to say something to their fans—offer a little encouragement, a bit of advice.
"You must not forget that God loves you, longs to be with you," says Clark. "As I read the Scriptures, I discover many, many passages where he really wants to be with us, where he longs for our company."
"I'd like to tell people that when they fall in their spiritual walk, they need to get right back up," says Brandon. "I'm speaking from my own personal experience here. It's all too easy for me to let my past shortcomings and my past sins keep me down. But I must fight that. I must confess my sin and get beyond it. I want to encourage everyone reading this to do the same."
"I would like to say, 'Don't think more highly of yourself than you ought to,'" says Brad. "Just realize that as Christians we're all in the same boat together. We all serve the same God together."
"God gives grace to the humble," adds Todd. "Maybe you're a star athlete, a popular cheerleader. Or maybe you're a member of a rock band. Those things don't impress the Lord. Now, it's OK to be any of those things, but don't let them go to your head. What impresses God is a humble heart. That's what moves God. That's what he's passionate about."
These three brand-new acts are Rockin' the New Year
Hey, what are friends for?
Let's say you have these three buddies who are really good musicians. And these three buddies land a recording contract and name their first album after you.
That's exactly what happened to Willis Chin—a friend of the three California surfers who make up the band Switchfoot.
"We called our album Legend of Chin out of respect for our friend back in San Diego," says drummer Chad Butler. "He's such a great guy. A real smiler, too. The kind of guy who always has his chin up!" (Pun intended.)
"Willis is definitely one of our heroes," says guitarist-songwriter Jon Foreman. "He's so real and so consistent in living out his faith. He's no fake. And that's what we hope our album is all about—about being real, no matter what the situation or circumstance."