The band that surfs together, stays together.

The band that surfs together, stays together.

You may know the San Diego-based quintet Switchfoot takes its name from a surfing technique. You may know that it sponsors a benefit event for San Diego-based national nonprofit StandUp for Kids called the Switchfoot Bro-Am, which includes a surf contest.

That stuff all grows organically from the members' shared love of surfing.

"We surf together every day we're home before we go to the studio," drummer Chad Butler told The Beat, a shared activity made even easier, he said, since the band built its own studio.

"It's a dream come true," Butler said. "These last two records (2009's Hello Hurricane and the new Vice Verses) were done completely at our home studio. To be able to record songs that people hear around the world "

Building a home-base studio may be the result of plenty of dreaming and planning, but the band's career wasn't, at least in its infancy. Butler met brothers Jon (singer-guitarist and Switchfoot's primary songwriter) and Tim (bass) Foreman while the trio was in high school.

"We were just surfing and going to school and playing music for the love of it. We never thought of it as a career.

"We still play music for the love of it," he added. "I'm grateful to be able to travel the world with my best friends."

Along the way, the trio added two members to the Switchfoot family - keyboardist Jerome Fontamillas and guitarist Drew Shirley - released eight albums and found success straddling Christian and mainstream music.

Vice Verses was released earlier this week, a record that Butler called "our most soulful record, both lyrically and musically.

"We started with bass and drums instead of guitar for a lot of the songs, which lends itself to making the songs almost danceable. Some have a hip-hop sensibility to them. It's a different side of Switchfoot."

A different side but not totally out of character. Butler said the band grew up with Prince and Michael Jackson and Motown, adding, "We listened to Beastie Boys as much as U2."

Which could explain Jon Foreman's rap performance on Selling the News from Vice Verses, about which Butler offered simply, "That's Jon for you."

The band hasn't eschewed anthemic rockers, though - witness first single Dark Horses, album opener Afterlife and the emotional Restless.

"These are fun songs to play, dynamic and emotional," Butler said. "I'm looking forward to seeing people react to the songs."

Read more from The Beat's interview with Switchfoot drummer Chad Butler at www.Facebook.com/TWTheBeat.