Originally called Chin Up, the alternative pop/rock outfit Switchfoot was formed in 1996 in San Diego, CA. Singer/guitarist Jonathan Foreman, bassist Tim Foreman, and drummer Chad Butler had only played several shows before adopting the Switchfoot moniker (taken from a surfing term) and partnering themselves with Charlie Peacock, an influential label executive who sought to promote Christian music to mainstream pop markets. After signing with Peacock's own label (re:think) in 1997, Switchfoot recorded and released their debut LP, The Legend of Chin. New Way to Be Human followed two years later and found an audience amongst Christian listeners, with the title track garnering a 1999 Dove Award for Song of the Year. Keyboardist Jerome Fontamillas joined up for 2000's Learning to Breathe, which found Switchfoot taking more steps toward mainstream modern rock. Breathe would prove to be a transition album for the group, earning a Grammy nomination for "Best Rock Gospel Album" (an award that had more to do with the band's label affiliation than the album's specific sound) and selling over 500,000 copies, thus achieving gold status. Its success, coupled with the band's presence on the hit soundtrack to the 2002 film A Walk to Remember, set Switchfoot up for a healthy major-label run. [+]
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