As you know, we do a lot of exclusive interviews with various people in the Switchfoot world. We do this so you guys can get a behind-the-scenes, insider look, on what goes on, but we also do this so that those individuals who get little glory and fame, can get some recognition. Like Drew said, "It's the people that are behind the scenes, that no one will ever see on camera, no one will ever see in front of people on a stage ...they're the real show."
So that said, we have a new exclusive interiew for you guys. This time, we interviewed Kiptyn Locke, co-director for the Bro-Am event. After our own Bro-Am party and live updates, I started thinking about how tired I was, and how much planning Nicole and I had put into that event for you guys... then I started thinking about how much planning Kiptyn and Mia (the other director) have to put into the Bro-Am. It had to be a ton. So why not sit down with Kiptyn and give him a chance to talk about his work on the event and everything that goes into it? It'd be interesting for the fans AND a chance to give Kiptyn and Mia credit for all they do. So here it is, the LOBH Exclusive Interview with Kiptyn Locke!
Land of Broken Hearts (LOBH): Thanks so much for doing this with us Kiptyn. First, I wanted to ask how long have you known Switchfoot? I heard you went to high school with Jon...
Kiptyn Locke: Over a decade. Jon and I were good friends in high school. Jon, Tim and I were all on the high school surf team together.
LOBH: So you guys go a long way back. How did you get involved with directing the Bro-Am?
Kiptyn: I got an email from my friend Mia Stefanko, who was working for Switchfoot's management at the time, announcing the idea for the event and inviting me to get a team together to surf in the first ever Switchfoot Bro-Am. I loved the idea behind the event and told everyone I'd be more interested in helping with the event than surfing in it. I volunteered the first year and then the second year the Switchfoot guys asked me Mia and I to direct the event. The "meeting" was held in usual Switchfoot fashion over Filiberto's burritos with Jon and I sporting wet boardshorts and sandy feet.
LOBH: What all does your job entail?
Kiptyn: Really, the whole event is the vision of the Switchfoot guys. We stay in touch and talk about ideas. My job is really just to find a way and make sure these visions turn into reality. It's a group effort where Mia, the Switchfoot guys and myself keep in touch and then brainstorm ways to give the most to everyone involved with, participating in, and benefiting from the event. The guys actually do a ton of the work. After that it's just event planning which involves a lot of emails, calls, and most of all support from friends and the community. My job is made easy because we are very fortunate to have amazing supporters.
LOBH: Well that's a good lead in for my next question... Do you and Mia do the majority of the work or do you have a team of people working with you?
Kiptyn: Other than the Switchfoot guys, Mia and I do the majority of the remaining work. However, this year we've had a lot of supprt from friends, Christy Carlson, Paul Myers of 540 Entertainment, Scott Hancock of the Glue Network and many others. A number of people have stepped-up and they are a huge part of the success of this event.
LOBH: How long does it take to plan the event? When do you start planning for the next years Bro-Am?
Kiptyn: We generally start planning about 6-8 months in advance. We lock in the upcoming year's event date almost a full year in advance but the planning doesn't really pick-up speed until 4-6 months out. We'll submit the initial event application to the City of Encinitas some time in the next couple months. We'll probably start the majority of the early planning in September.
LOBH: Do you contact surf teams/bands or do they contact you? Is it a little bit of both?
Kiptyn: A little bit of both. For years one and two we generally contacted the teams and bands. However, since the event has grown and grown we now are being contacted by the teams and bands before we can even get a chance to contact them. The support of the event blows my mind.
LOBH: Who designs the Bro-Am posters/logo/design for each year?
Kiptyn: Over the years there have been a few different designers involved. This year the logo, poster, flyer, and t-shirt design were all done by Brendan Raasch (Brendan Raasch Design
). Brendan has been a friend of mine since Jr. High days. He was on the highschool surf team with Jon, Tim and I and we've all been friends since. Brendan is an incredible designer and is very well known in the industry for creating some of the best quality work. We were really stoked to work with him this year.
LOBH: Yeah, I was really impressed with the poster design this year. What is something about the Bro-Am planning that might suprise people?
Kiptyn: I think people would be surprised to know just how involved the Switchfoot guys are. Here is a band that has had incredible success. They didn't have to create this event and they certainly aren't personally making any money from this event that they spend so much time on. It's just their nature and it is truly something they are very passionate about. People would be blown away by how much the Switchfoot guys put into the event and how hard they work to make this event a success for the community but most importantly the children at the benefitting charity. It's refreshing to see that. When you're around the Switchfoot guys you just want to do something more, be better.
LOBH: What are some of the difficulties of directing the Bro-Am?
Kiptyn: With any event the planning starts long before the event actually happens. So much of what makes the event so amazing is the contributions from everyone sponsoring, donating, and giving to the event. The most difficult part of the directing the Bro-Am is getting all these details locked in so far in advance. In the end you have to be flexible and be ready to move on things when the other party is ready as well.
LOBH: What's your favorite thing about directing the Bro-Am?
Kiptyn: No question about it, it's watching the whole thing come together and then play out. For me personally this event has become a reminder of the good nature and power of our community. Every year I am shocked by how much everyone is willing to give to this event and ask for nothing in return. The clincher though is the calls and emails from the charity directors telling us what a difference this event has made in the lives of the kids who really needed it.
LOBH: Do you ever get to really enjoy the day or are you busy rushing around taking care of last minute details?
Kiptyn: It's funny that you ask that. Every year I tell myself just to sit back and enjoy the event when the day comes. But, somehow I always end up rushing around. You work so hard planning everything months in advance so when the day comes you really want things to come together. I'm ok with that though. The most important thing to all of us involved with the event is to create an amazing day for the community and give something back.
LOBH: What are some of your best memories from the Bro-Am?
Kiptyn: There's too many to recount in one interview. Last year I saw Tim hand a skateboard to one of the kids from the benefiting charity. The little boy was so happy he started crying and thanking and hugging Tim. That was pretty cool.
LOBH: I remember that. That was so inspiring to see. (By the way fans, there is a video of that moment HERE. Cue it to 8:30) Okay, lastly we have 3 questions that we ask to every one we interview:
01. What is one questions you've never been asked and the answer?
Kiptyn: "One place in the world that you've never been that you would love to go to?" Answer = Tavarua!
LOBH: 02. What is one song you wish you had written?
Kiptyn: Good question. That's a tough one. There are a lot of really good songs out there. Maybe that Umbrella song by Rihanna and Jay Z. That Umbrella-ella-ella part is genius. Didn't see that one coming, did you?
LOBH: Not quite! 03. What is the best advice you've ever been given/heard?
Kiptyn: "Keep your eye on the ball." I'm pretty sure my Grandfather was referring to baseball, literally, but I kind of held onto that one for the bigger picture. I must have mixed it up with keep your eye on the prize. Either way, I've learned that you have to set your goals and then go for it. There will always be distractions or reasons why you can't do it. You have to find the reasons why you can do it.
LOBH: Kiptyn, thanks so much for your time and all you do for the Bro-Am! It's definitely appreciated!
Kiptyn: Thanks Jeanna! Keep up the good work!