Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Underoath Redefined

  • Matt Conner
  • Published Sep 15, 2008
Underoath Redefined

Underoath just revealed that they’re feeling pretty confident at this stage. Oh, really?

Of all the things uncovered in our interview with the GRAMMY-nominated hardcore act, this was hardly earth shattering to hear. After all, the band’s last two studio LPs—They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define the Great Line (Tooth & Nail)—were certified Gold, the latter landing at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 100. Numerous high profile headlining slots and magazine covers only solidify the fact that Underoath is one of rock music’s brightest bands.

We recently caught up with keyboardist Chris Dudley to tell us the latest on the band’s new album, Lost in the Sound of Separation (Tooth & Nail), and how they handle the achievements of drummer Aaron Gillespie’s side project (The Almost) with the band’s own success.

CCM:  You’re in the middle of CD release season, so what’s the feeling for the band right now?

Chris Dudley (Underoath):  It’s awesome. Everyone is just really, really excited to get the record out. It’s a weird thing when a record comes out because we hear the songs for so long. I think we probably have a different view on them than others because we’ve heard them in one form or another for two years. For others, they don’t even exist yet, but for us, we know them all front and back. So we are ready to get it out and see what others will think of it for a change. [Laughs]

CCM:  You’re coming off a string of such well-received albums. What is the confidence level on this one? Is it much different?

Chris:  Back when we recorded Define the Great Line, we had a real confidence level that we had built something that we loved. We didn’t necessarily know if it would do well sales-wise, because it was so heavy. But we knew that we couldn’t have done any better, and we were very confident in that. With this record, I feel exactly the same way. This one is a lot heavier than Define the Great Line, so I don’t know how it will do necessarily. But we have definitely done the best we can do. I have a lot of confidence that if people like it, they will like us. And if they don’t like it, then there’s nothing we could have done better.

CCM:  What’s the theme behind Lost in the Sound of Separation?

Chris:  The record as a whole has a theme of realizing that you’re not where you need to be in your life, that you have changes that you need to make. It’s figuring out that you don’t have life figured out. For me, it deals with those times in your life that you feel separated and that you’re not where you need to be in that aspect. It’s that kick in the pants moment when you realize you need to stop being an idiot and just do what you need to do.

CCM:  So how has your own role in the band changed in the last several years?

Chris:  I think that everyone’s role has changed simply because we started when we were 15 or 16-years-old. Now we’re in our late 20s, so we’re all changing as people. We all communicate differently, and we’re just different people than we were back then. I’m realizing more and more now what God wants for me and how He wants me to live my life.

CCM:  With Aaron’s success in The Almost, has that created any kind of tension at all? How do you handle that?

Chris:  There’s not a whole lot of thought that goes into it because Underoath is the first priority, and if there’s some leftover time, then Aaron can do The Almost stuff. That’s the way the band wanted it, and that’s the way Aaron wanted it. I mean, if it weren’t that way, maybe there would be some sort of tension there. But we just figure out Underoath’s schedule, and if there’s a month off, Aaron says he wants to go play some Almost shows. And it’s his time, so he can do what he wants with it.  [Laughs]

CCM:  Do you have a side project of your own?

Chris:  I do have one, but it’s slow coming [for] me. The singer for the band Every Time I Die and I are doing an electronic singing kind of thing. We’ve been working on it for a while, but when we were in the studio, all of our energy was focused on this project. But I’m ready to pick up the project since we’re done writing for Underoath. I’m pretty stoked about it. We don’t have a lot going on right now with it, but we have one song that’s done.

CCM:  You guys have a fall tour planned around the new album, right?

Chris:  Yeah, we’re going out with Saosin and The Devil Wears Prada. Then we’re breaking up the openers into two weeks apiece. The first two weeks will be P.O.S.—a rapper from Minneapolis that we’ve done shows with before. The second two weeks [will be] Personnel, which is Kenny [Vasoli] from The Starting Line—it’s his solo project. I just picked up the new record, and it’s blowing my mind. The last two weeks will be The Famine from Texas, some friends of ours that are really good.

CCM:  Any parting shots?

Chris:  A huge thanks to whoever is reading this interview for taking the time out!

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© 2008  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.  

**This interview first published on September 16, 2008.