Fact or Fiction?
The frontmen for Switchfoot and Nickel Creek have joined forces as amount of money," Sean Watkins told me when we met late last year. Sean Watkins and Jon Foreman of Fiction Family However, a couple writers have said that you met in high school. Do you guys really go that. Jon Foreman told Christianity Today how the two singer/songwriters had met up: "Nickel Creek and Switchfoot were on the same bill at a street.
I think Jon Foreman's is "Publishing Schmublishing. I've been really busy, but I get in the water when I can. Speaking of your free time, I heard a rumor that you love video games.
It seems like you might have quite an advantage being a world-renowned guitar picker and all. I've never really been that much into video games, but I do play Wurdle and Scrabble all the time on my iPhone. Have you ever played Guitar Hero?
I've dabbled—I've played it a couple times. The thing about Guitar Hero is that it's nothing like playing guitar. Actual musicians often have a hard time playing it because it's so counterintuitive to what you know as a musician. What's your favorite part about the new Largo? Well, when comparing it to the old one, it's apples and oranges, but I just think it's better all around.
I love the fact that now it's like a creative compound. It's a great place to hang out after a show, too. Plus the theater just makes so much more possible, and the history of that place is amazing. Have you played the Little Room already? The big room show is more of a variety-ish show—sort of like a small West Coast version of the Grand Ole Opry or a radio show.
When did you first start playing at Largo? It must have been back in or I'd just met Glen and he was doing a solo show. He asked if I wanted to open with a solo acoustic set. Chris Thile was in town staying with us and so I said, "Why don't we do just a little band show? Then we met Jon Brion and he's often invited us to play with him. It's always so much fun. Your sister Sara makes an appearance on Fiction Family's debut record, and I know her solo album will be coming out very soon.
Do you make an appearance on it? Yeah, I played on most of the tracks on her record. Her record is SO good. Since you do spend so much time in Los Angeles, what are your favorite restaurants and other places to hang out in LA? Restaurant wise—I know everyone probably loves it—but I love Mozza. It's sort of my default place to go.
Fiction Family: Switchfoot's Jon Foreman and Nickel Creek's Sean Watkins make music
I also love Hungry Catan oyster bar near my house. It's really laid back and my friends and I sometimes go there to play darts. It was such an amazing thing to discover those two places. I had been a fan of Intelligentsia when they were only in Chicago and I'd stop there every time we toured in that area. So to find out there was one a few miles from my house was mind-blowing. It's really cool—it's a little outdoor cafe right next to where a bunch of the trails start.
It's very un-LA out in the trees and it's great. I sort of split my time, yeah. I rent a place with a bunch of my friends—my sister included—in Hollywood, so I'm there half the time.
And I go down to San Diego a lot because I have friends and family down there, and it's just nice to get away. Well all that's true, thought I was running from You, turns out I was running from me. The song itself is musically in the tradition of Jon Foreman classic "Resurrect Me," although "Running From Me" features more unapologetically on-edge lyrics. The song asks some of the harder questions of a faith journey, balanced between doubt and desperate belief.
Instantly memorable, this is a melody that sticks despite only being heard through rough live recordings. On my pilgrimage, I'm traveling light and heavy, light and heavy, light and heavy.
Interview: Sean Watkins of Fiction Family: LAist
This is my torch to carry The name of the event itself was inspired in part by a piece of art in Jon Foreman's home that TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski noticed while visiting, making the song a fitting full circle moment. The thoughtful, lonely-leaning tune was written in memory of a personal friend of Jon Foreman's. It captures the tension between the light and dark moments in life and a soul's search for home.
The song focuses on autumnal imagery to explore the death of our past as we move into healing, employing some of the most vivid, poetic language we have ever heard from Jon.
I had a melody and a thought, and I gave it to Sean. The next day he finished the song, and that was the first taste of the fun to come. After that, we started writing more, then after a couple of songs, we thought an EP would be kind of cool to have. We literally went from three to five songs making up a cool EP, to adding a few more and thinking we could make this a real record. Given your busy schedules, how did you hunker down in your studios to finalize these songs?
There was no hunkering!Jon Foreman - "Before Our Time" [feat. Sara Watkins] (Official Audio)
It was whenever we felt like it or had the time. There wasn't a moment when I was like "oh man, I gotta do that song for Sean. Especially for us, it was the only way we could've done it. We weren't in a position to record in a real studio and spend money on the clock. We didn't really know what we were doing at all and that's why we had to do it at home.
It became kind of a musical vacation to work on between this busy season of touring with our bands. There was a lot of corresponding, sending MP3s and ideas back and forth pretty consistently throughout the last few years. Did you set out with any specific musical goals in mind?
I wanted to dive into a different world.
As a musician, I still feel like there are areas of music I'm still lacking and want to improve in, that I want to explore. This is the vehicle to get there, both in the studio and live. How different is the dynamic of recording as a duo versus your respective solo stuff? When you're by yourself, there's not a sparring partner. Sean would take the songs to places I wouldn't. It's allowed both people to be very artistic and free, but while keeping each other in check too. We know how to balance.
Both of us have both of those sides, and we can switch.