One of the more under-the-radar events at this year's SXSW was a Paste-sponsored screening of the upcoming film titled Call + Response: A Concert To End Slavery. Filmmaker/musician Justin Dillon uses music as a jumping-off point to explore the issue of human trafficking, calling attention to the millions of people living in some kind of bondage—more than existed at the height of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in the 1800s. One of the artists in the film, Switchfoot's Jon Foreman, stopped by The Dell Lounge presented by Paste and Stereogum.
Paste: Last night a bunch of the Paste folks got to see a rough cut of Call + Response. Jon, how did you get involved in that?
Foreman: Well, I met Justin [Dillon] a little while back and basically we were a part of a lot of things going on. We've done a few concerts around the world that have been associated with human trafficking and have been trying to alert the public to what's going on—not only in Manila, but also here in the States—because I think that's the thing that shocks me. Of course you expect this sort of thing to happen in the darker, less-controlled areas of the world, but it's happening here in the States. In my hometown, San Diego, there was just a big bust. It's the type of thing where I think there should be a public outrage, that we should all be very, very alarmed that this is happening in this day and age.
Paste: We will share a lot more about that in the coming months, but you're here this week with your band Switchfoot. You've been doing the solo thing for a little while. How is it to have the band back together and going out there on the road and playing?
Foreman: It's fun, man. For me, music is just an incredible outlet where I have the opportunity to express myself, whether it's with a full band or just in my bedroom with an acoustic guitar.
Paste: I saw you for the first time—just solo Jon Foreman—last year, and the songs came to the forefront. Do you think there will be another solo album?
Foreman: Well, I have to finish out the seasons. Fall and Winter are done, so I've gotta do Spring and Summer. So Spring is done, I think it comes out in a few weeks, and then Summer comes out after that. Appropriately, when summer comes around, right [laughs]?
Paste: So you're running around, seeing different bands this week; anybody that you're particularly excited about that you want to go see?
Foreman: Delta Spirit. Actually, they're playing right now, they're amazing. It's kinda like that reunion/wedding-type feel, where you see all these people you haven't seen in ages. The problem is that there's too much good music.
Paste: You're always missing something this week. We brought 13 people here and that's what I said to them: "You just have to accept the fact that at every moment of the day, there's somebody great that you're missing. And if you're OK with that, then you're gonna have a good time this week."
Foreman: Yeah, I just missed The Stills; what can you do?