Underoath are back and stronger than ever

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Underoath are back and stronger than ever


Underoath were never ones to push a spiritual message, and yet the expectations of the Christian community played a large role in why they broke up in the first place. Having reformed and with a new album, Erase Me, out now, frontman Spencer Chamberlain reflects on the darkness and the light.

“When you grow up on the road, you don’t have the opportunity to be alone,” says Chamberlain. “Everyone else is hanging out, so if you try and do something on your own other people are like, ‘What the fuck is wrong with that guy?’ You just don’t have that opportunity to dive into yourself. When Underoath broke up, I had a bit of an identity crisis. It’s weird. It sounds petty I guess – ‘Oh, cry me a river, your band broke up’. To the outside world, you’re Spencer from Underoath. And all of a sudden you’re not. You’re just that guy who used to be in a band. People treated me different, in the industry and out. You start to see things for what they are, and for me, I just needed to not be somewhere super familiar. I wanted to make myself a little uncomfortable, and living in a city like that, I threw myself out there and just did it. Would I do it again? Probably not. Would I take it back? Hell no.”

The city in question is New York, where Chamberlain moved after Underoath parted ways in 2015. It was a place so busy he could at last be alone and, in the parlance of our times, get his shit together. It gave him time to gather his thoughts, and identify what had caused the band to drift apart in the first place. It ultimately led to the best writing and recording Underoath have experienced.

“We worked harder on this album than we ever have before in our entire career. That’s because we had the time to do so, and we’re smarter than we were. We’ve grown up, we know how to work together and communicate. We never did that before. We fought through every record. Making a record was the fucking worst before. [Now] we all compromise and play off each others best, and try and push each other in the right directions as opposed to putting each other down in our own ways.”

A fundamental aspect of their evolution and struggle has been dealing with their respective personal demons, but also grappling with faith and the religious community. Having come through the other side, Chamberlain has found the peace of mind he always craved.

“I try not to really care. But yeah, the Christian community has hated me I feel since 2006, when I got kicked out of the band for drug use the first time. That’s not really a market I was ever concerned with. I wanted to spread love and honesty to people who were just like me, who felt a little lost or wronged or depressed, dealing with addiction. Those were the people that I was speaking to. Songs are for everyone, but I never worried what the Christian community was going to think. I never felt like I was a part of it.

Not to say I didn’t think of myself as a believer at a certain point, I just didn’t feel comfortable in it. I didn’t feel like I belonged. Those people never really showed me much acceptance and made me feel like an outsider. So, I always wrote and sang for the outsiders. That was what I felt, and still feel a lot of times. I still write for people that need music the way that I do. I don’t really care what the Christian community really has to say about us. It doesn’t effect me. I’m a selfish songwriter. I want to write about things that make my ears perk up, I want to play it back in the studio and think, ‘That’s what I want to fucking listen to in my car. That’s the song. I don’t care about anything else.”