During its yearlong hiatus, Switchfoot wrote a song for the movie “Unbroken: A Path to Redemption.”

After a year of mostly laying low, San Diego alternative rockers Switchfoot are making their big return to the stage for the Oro Valley Music Festival.

We caught up with Switchfoot bassist Tim Foreman to chat about his pent up energy to perform again and his love for Tucson crowds.

“It’s amazing to go away from something that you’ve done for so long and to really see it with a new and fresh perspective. What a gift it is to get to play music that we love for people that we love,” he said.

Over its 20-year-plus run, Switchfoot has been to Tucson a bunch of times and Foreman said the city has a uniqueness that he really digs.

“Tucson’s vibey,” he said. “It’s definitely got a distinctly Arizona thing but it’s not like anywhere else in Arizona. The food’s different, downtown is very walkable and it has a really good energy.”

As far as the set list goes for their Oct. 14 performance, Foreman said his Christian rock band will craft it before and during the show. If the crowd starts yelling out requests, the band may just change direction, he said.

“We get a feel for the crowd and then we usually change it once we get up on stage,” Foreman said. “A good show should only be half what’s happening onstage and half what’s happening offstage. It has to be a handshake.”

So what has the band been up to during this year-long hiatus?

Foreman said they were asked to write a song for the recently released Christian film “Unbroken: A Path to Redemption,”and it was just too good to pass up.

The movie tells the story of Louis Zamperini, a war veteran struggling to adjust to civilian life. It is the second film based on the bestselling book “Unbroken: Path to Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand.

“I mentioned being on hiatus this year but we just couldn’t turn it down because it’s such a great story,” said Foreman, who praised the first film, directed by Angelina Jolie. “It’s just an amazing life that this guy led that it took two movies to do it justice.”

Switchfoot has worked on multiple movie scores in the past and Foreman said it makes their songwriting better to the tell the stories of the heroes in these films.

“We’ve mostly written our own stories into our music for the last 20 years, which we love. It makes the songs so personal to us, but it’s also very liberating to step outside of that and to write someone else’s story,” he said.

“It’s really a great thing when you can shine a spotlight on someone else that is doing something powerful in their own life. I love stepping into a different space for writing.”

The band’s story, he said, is deeply rooted in their Christian faith.

But “our faith is much bigger than a genre,” he explained. “We make music for everybody and our faith is a huge part of that. Our songs are more about the human condition, so faith, doubt, hope, love. These things aren’t exclusive to people who believe the same thing that I do.”

Alexa Agostinelli is a University of Arizona journalism student apprenticing with the Star.