Interview with Underoath: Trekking On

UnderoathWhen you think of Christian rockers, Underoath, the word mainstream doesn’t exactly spring to mind; especially when the band’s latest album, Lost In The Sound Of Separation, harkens back to Underoath’s early career when their music was heaviest. Yet, the album peaked at #8 on the Billboard Charts upon its release this past September. As the fan base of the band grows wider and more diversified, mainstream is the only direction Underoath can move towards as they continue to follow the path of becoming one of the most popular metalcore bands in the country. So what is the reasoning behind the cult popularity of a band that isn’t media scrutinized like Fall Out Boy or scandal plagued like Escape The Fate? Almost 10 years of continuous touring, musical reinvention, and an unequivocal passion for their trade is responsible.

The band’s latest effort continued to prove their sustainability and longevity with the increased hype that surrounded the release. Unlike most bands nowadays who jump at the chance to release a major label record, Underoath stuck with its trusty label, Tooth & Nail, for the album’s release once again. Two years after creating, Define The Great Line, the band was long overdue for a release to satisfy fans’ voracious appetites. Combining the beautiful unpredicted melodies with frenzied spastic undertones, the album shows Underoath moving in a more metal direction than it has in the past, but it still retains the mass appeal that the band embodies.

“We have challenged ourselves more than we ever have on this record. If you are a musician you can tell that we experimented with more ideas like varying time signatures, ways of writing, and other musical ideas that deviated from our usual patterns. It’s way heavier and darker then in previous ones. This is also more of an album than what we have usually done in the past. We wanted it to feel like a journey, a complete thought, rather than just a bunch of songs,” says Spencer Chamberlain, lead vocalist of Underoath.

What truly brings the album to life is the lyrics that pour out from Chamberlain’s mouth as he wrenches out his emotions from deep within. Throughout the record, you can relate to Spencer as he bears his soul and connects with the music in such a way that it is impossible to not fall hypnotized by the music.

“It was just easier this time. I feel that with every record you make you should get better, and I always try to let myself get personal with the music. So this is the product of me in the past couple years,” says Chamberlain.

In the past two years, Chamberlain has certainly had a lot of experiences to draw from for this record. At one point, the band was in such a terrible place personally that they had to make the decision to either break-up or take a hiatus just to save their sanity. At the end of their Warped Tour trek two years ago, the band took the latter route and made a point to regroup after each member took care of their own family, personal, and musical issues. Rumors spread like wildfire about the band as messageboards flooded with speculation over everything that had been remarked about the band including Chamberlain’s possible drug usage to religious belief differences. Fans also began to analyze the formation and impending success of drummer Aaron Gillespie’s side project, The Almost, as an omen for his departure of Underoath.