By now, whether you are Christian or not, you have heard at least one hit song from the beloved rock band Switchfoot.
While all the band members are Christian, they prefer to be known as just a rock band because they say their music contains broad themes that everyone can enjoy, whether it is "Meant to Live," "Dare You to Move" or their newest hit single, "Awakening."
The San Diego-based group now has a new original song out called, "This is Home," which plays in "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" – the latest "Narnia" film which this past weekend seized the box-office crown, with $55 million in ticket sales.
The Switchfoot song is featured during the end credits of the film, and appears on the Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack CD, which released May 13.
The Christian Post caught up with Jerome Fontamillas, who is often found jamming on the guitar or keyboard for the band, to discuss the new "Narnia" song and to get the 411 on Switchfoot's latest projects.
The following are excerpts taken from the interview:
CP: Tell me a little bit about "This is Home" – Switchfoot's new song, recorded for the movie "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." How does the song tell the journey of these four kids?
Fontamillas: Well, the whole idea of the song – if you read the Chronicles the series from beginning to end – it's this idea that the place you live now is not the place you are really meant to be. You feel this is just a passing by and there is something bigger for you beyond this place. This song has a longing to go to that place. "This is Home" is about longing to be in the place where you belong and destined to be.
CP: What do you think is the destiny of these four kids?
Fontamillas: Well, I'm sure for the four kids, Narnia is their place to be. But you know, you can relate it to you. "This is not my place. I belong in a place bigger than this."
CP: Now, have you read the books?
Fontamillas: Yes, I have … when I was a kid.
CP: Was it surreal to work on a story you read when you were younger?
Fontamillas: Yeah. It was surreal to be a part of a work like this. Reading C.S. Lewis all my life, it's an honor and a privilege to work on something like this. So when they called us up and said, "Hey can you work on a song for the movie?" we were like pretty floored. We were like, "Really? For Chronicles of Narnia? That's amazing."
CP: A lot of your songs are known to contain messages that Christians can relate to. Do you see any such messages in this song?
Fontamillas: Oh, yeah. I mean a lot of our songs have Christian themes because C.S. Lewis is a big part of us. We read a lot of it at work, so a lot of the themes he had put in his book, you can see them in a lot of our songs.
We have a song called, "Meant to Live." The idea is that we are meant to live for something more, something bigger than where we are at.
We have a song called "This is your life," where you are talking about "Is this all there is or is there something big you could be living for?" And a lot of C.S. Lewis themes are in that area.
CP: How about for this song?
Fontamillas: "This is Home," like I said before … this song has a longing to be in a place where you are destined to be at.
CP: For Christians, would that be heaven?
Fontamillas: Yeah! For Christians, that would be heaven. But it kind of can start here too, where you are longing for something bigger than where your life is right now.
CP: Switchfoot has been known as alternative rock band or a rock band and also as a "Christian rock band." How do you feel about being known as a Christian rock band? And if you were to describe yourself, how would you describe Switchfoot?
Fontamillas: I would describe us as a regular rock band. But you know, we are all Christians and it's an honor to be associated with the name of Christ. You're like, "Hey, it's a privilege to be regarded in the Christian community. Wow they are Christ followers." But I also feel like our music is bigger than that. Our music is … not just Christians but everyone can relate to it in some form or another. Because of the honesty and the things we have, it's music for a broader perspective. Music for thinking people.
CP: You must travel so often, especially with the new song for the movie. Where do you feel most at home or where do you call home for you?
Fontamillas: We're from Southern California. You know what's really funny? Sometimes on stage you're like: "This is where I belong. This is where I'm destined to be." But this is home everywhere. When I go home with my wife and my family, that's home. Or when I'm with the guys, the band mates - They're like brothers to me; We're like family – that's another kind of home we're in. And performing in front of fans and friends – that's a different kind of home we get to be in. It's amazing.
CP: Well, I heard you all just moved into your new home – the new studios?
Fontamillas: Yeah! In fact, we just moved in a couple of days ago, our gear and getting ready to record the new album.
CP: What's on your plate next?
Fontamillas: We are going on tour at the end of August again. Just like we did with Relient K, we are partnering up again with Habitat for Humanity and it will be another tour benefiting Habitat for Humanity.
CP: Yeah, you are all involved in a lot of humanitarian projects – from Habitat for Humanity to To Write Love On Her Arms. Which one has left the deepest impression on you?
Fontamillas: Well, all of them have left big impressions on me. But I'm excited about the Habitat for Humanity one because you do get your hands dirty and do go out to the build site to build homes for low-income families. I mean, it's one thing to say "I support this charity and here's money." But it's another when you go out there and actually build a home. And that has a lasting impact on you.
CP: Did your previous work with Habitat for Humanity influence the song "This is Home?"
Fontamillas: We actually wrote another song called "Rebuild." That was one of the songs for Habitat for Humanity.
CP: With Relient K, right?
Fontamillas: Yeah. But you know, it always comes back to those themes – about home, where you belong and things like that. Those are great.
CP: And I have to ask. Did you hear David Cook sing "Dare You to Move" on American Idol?
Fontamillas: Yeah! (chuckles) I honestly thought he did a great job. You know, it's a hard song to play. I myself find it a hard song to play so I commend him just for trying it. It's awesome.
It's weird seeing it on TV. It's like, "I should be up there playing that song."
CP: Well, Jerome, any last thoughts are comments?
Fontamillas: Yeah. I just want to thank everyone for even coming out to our shows and really supporting us. We're in a great, amazing place to be up in all of it. It's because of the fans. We're really thankful and grateful.