“This is the record that, since we joined this band, we knew was possible, but we didn’t know how to get there, how to do it,” adds McTague. “Now, we finally did. This is the record that Underoath was made to make.”

The growth isn’t just musical. Vocally, also, front man Spencer Chamberlain has come into his own. In 2003, he replaced Underoath’s founding vocalist Dallas Taylor (who has since formed the increasingly popular band Maylene and the Sons of Disaster) amidst doubts that he’d be able to fill Taylor’s shoes. Chamberlain passed the test satisfactorily, but he still wasn’t what he is now. Whereas "Safety" found him content screaming in monotone while Gillespie sang the melodic lines, for "Great Line" he clutches the microphone like never before – screaming, growling, yelling, bellowing and, yes, singing as well.

But beyond any sonic evolution the band members may have experienced, they want their faith to remain front and center in everything they do. Unlike other bands in its scene, Underoath voluntarily excludes itself from all the wild partying and debauchery typically associated with the genre. And those they come in contact with know better than to invite these guys to things that would belie their beliefs.

“I tend to think that we’re extremely honest with people,” says Gillespie. “God gave me my very life and breath, so why wouldn’t I be honest? That’s the way I kinda view it. Jesus is the reason that I walk this earth every day. He’s the reason that I wake up every morning, the breath in my lungs, my beating heart. Why wouldn’t I give back in that sense?”

Underoath isn’t trying to proselytize. Though outspoken, they’re more interested in impacting people in their everyday interactions than with their words from stage.

“We’re not here to hype kids up and have a big ol’ Jesus [rally],” says McTague. “We want to be real with kids. We want kids to see us for who we are, to see that we’re not perfect and that we’re just dudes that play music that have found something greater.”

“I’m a really messed up person sometimes,” adds Gillespie. “I do stupid stuff; and I say stupid stuff; and I fall on my face every day, a hundred times a day. But I want kids to know that Jesus is the reason that I’m able to do anything.”

   
© 2006 CCM Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.   Click here to subscribe.