.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Switchfoot

This from their new site: www.switchfoot.com

In 1991, when Rolling Stone interviewed Dylan on the occasion of his 50th birthday, he gave a curious response when the interviewer asked him if he was happy. He fell silent for a few moments and stared at his hands. 'You know,' he said, 'these are yuppie words, happiness and unhappiness. It's not happiness or unhappiness, it's either blessed or unblessed.'

This record was written somewhere between the blessed and the unblessed, between the godly and the ungodly by a few young urban professionals from San Diego. These songs are dreams and questions, bleeding together, breathing in and out- always somewhere between life and death. And I feel this tension, this distance now more than ever, like a numbing ache... deep inside. The distance between the way things are and the way they could be, the distance between the shadow and the sun. And this is where we exist: within the paradox. Living out our lives: oxygen and carbon and hydrogen and so on... This record was the attempt to make something beautiful in filthy backstage dressing rooms everywhere, trying to sing something true with a broken heart. This record was written about things that I don't understand.

And yes, there's more than a wink of irony in all of this: making music from our most intimate thoughts and selling these songs online for a dollar a pop. Singing an anthem every night about how "we were meant to live for so much more" and many times feeling like a failure; singing "I dare you to move"and feeling trapped. Both loving and hating all the fuss that the music has brought. Knowing that even Rock and Roll, perhaps the best job in the world will not make me happy (in the yuppie sense of the word).

And yes, this American life is absurd! a strange paradox indeed... Perhaps no amount of money, sex, or power has ever satisfied us before, but maybe today will be different! Maybe this new purchase will make me happy! And the sun rises and sets once more- another day, another dollar. A carbonated beverage will help to chase your insecurities away. This new product will help to fill the meaningless void I feel inside. And so I drink the beverage, wear the clothes, and watch the war on TV. meaningless. meaning less.

Do we hunt our ridiculous suburban dreams like the neighborhood cat? Have we quietly fallen in line with the advertisement? Are we driven by ego uncontrolled, our lives simply vain pursuits of meaningless ends? Do we attempt to validate our existence by materiel means, relational acquisitions, sexual conquests, fiscal achievement, and cultural prowess? It was another jewish man who said something like this a while back.

"All is meaningless,"
Declares the teacher.
"Meaningless, meaningless,
Everything is meaningless"

For me, there is a terrible, wonderful freedom in coming to terms with these un-happy, un-yuppie words.
It's a strange consolation in our dizzy and breathless race for happiness to find that you will never outrun the horizon. It's an avalanche you can't escape. It's a fatal wound that you cannot heal. If you fall on this rock you will be broken, if it falls on you you will be crushed. You see, this album started with a blow between the eyes that I am still recovering from, that's really all I've got to offer these days.

So in the half-light glow of radio shows, music videos, and greedy billboard charts I am aware of a darkness that is beyond me, I am coming to terms with my unbelief. No, I don't believe in rock and roll. No, I don't believe in the success that we've achieved. And no, I don't believe in me. In a free market world of the bought and sold I feel caught in between. I believe I've heard about a man who was exploited to sell everything from indulgences to the wars of men. And yet he offered only one bitter pill that was not easily marketed. Maybe that's what this record hopes to be: a simple bitter pill of truth that steps outside of our hamster wheel and looks up at the stars and beyond.

Maybe Dylan was right when he said Rock and Roll isn't Rock and Roll anymore. I've met so many lonely, desperate, beautiful people over the past few years. Yeah, I've got a bitter pill to swallow, but it just might be true. Maybe our lives drift quietly by and we can't stop the current. Maybe this modern river leads to the sea of death, where no medicine can cure these ills. Perhaps our restless wanting is satisfied only outside of ourselves.

It was another jewish man who said something like this, "If you seek to gain your soul you will lose it." I am on a journey that will one day come to final terms with these words.

Comments:
wow, that was awesome. thanx for sharing that. . Bob Dylan was the very top quote, right? in italics? who wrote the rest of that? i'm just curious - one of the guys from Switchfoot? you? or was it all Bob Dylan? very well said.
 
I'm thinking Jon Foreman. I took it from Switchfoot's site.
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home