The band's members are Jon Foreman (lead vocals, guitar), Tim Foreman(bass guitar, backing vocals), Chad Butler (drums, percussion), Jerome Fontamillas (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), and Drew Shirley (guitar, backing vocals). After early successes in the Christian rock scene, Switchfoot first gained mainstream recognition with the inclusion of four of their songs in the 2002 movie A Walk to Remember. This recognition led to their major label debut, The Beautiful Letdown, which was released in 2003 and featured the hits Meant to Live and Dare You to Move. It went on to sell over 2.6 million copies.
Switchfoot is often referred to as a Christian rock band; even after having been signed to the mainstream Columbia Records and currently, Atlantic Records. The band has always philosophically disagreed with this label: "We're Christian by faith, not genre," Tim Foreman explained to Rolling Stone magazine in 2003. Says Jon Foreman, "We've always been very open and honest about where the songs are coming from. For us, these songs are for everyone. Calling us 'Christian rock' tends to be a box that closes some people out and excludes them, and that's not what we're trying to do. Music has always opened my mind—and that's what we want"
According to Jon Foreman, the name "Switchfoot" comes from a surfing term. "We all love to surf and have been surfing all our lives so to us, the name made sense. To switch your feet means to take a new stance facing the opposite direction. It's about change and movement, a different way of approaching life and music."
Switchfoot has been involved in a number of humanitarian causes, including DATA, the ONE Campaign, the Keep A Breast Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Invisible Children, and To Write Love on Her Arms.
In addition to supporting those causes, they founded the Switchfoot Bro-Am Surf Contest, an annual benefit contest and concert to raise money for various organizations serving homeless kids in the band's hometown of San Diego. Also, before recording Nothing Is Sound, the band made a trip to several South African villages in January 2005, which inspired the album's song "The Shadow Proves the Sunshine". Seeing an orphanage filled with infants who all lost their parents to AIDS, befriending orphans in the streets, and getting involved with a children's choir called the "Kuyasa Kids" moved them to start an organization called lowercase people. The organization originally published a quarterly online magazine for music, arts and social justice. They have also produced a CD by the Kuyasa Kids to help raise money for the children's communities.
*portions above excerpted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switchfoot