Interview: Underoath


So what does the album title Define The Great Line mean?

Spencer Chamberlain: It’s a really long story, but I’ll tell the short version. Define the Great Line is the line, your path that you see yourself traversing down as a human, and I believe that most or all of us are on some sort of path to better ourselves. It’s the point and meaning of change in your life and growing into the man that you want to be while trying to balance yourself on that line. No matter how many times you fall off, if you have the vision of where you are and where you want to go, you can always pick yourself up and get back on track. That’s the short version of what Define The Great Line means to me.

What influenced the band to change your style for the new album?

Spencer: We didn’t really decide to do anything, we just wanted play what we enjoyed playing and that’s what came out this time. It was not really a conscious effort, the only effort was to not put a limitation on it by saying this or that doesn’t fit who we are. That shouldn’t be a part of anything creative. We just wanted to do anything we wanted to do and that’s what we did.

Was there an overall idea of what the band had in mind for the new sound and song structure?

Spencer: No, we just knew what we didn’t want to do and that was a lot of things that we did on the last record that we were unhappy with. We knew that those were things we would not do again and that was really the only direction we had.

The CD artwork is amazing. Who did your artwork? Can you tell us a little bit about what it means?

Spencer: A guy named Chandler Owens. He’s from North Carolina. He’s done a bunch of layouts. It’s just a dude that’s walking through the desert and he’s dying and hallucinating and seeing a lot of different things as he goes through his life. He sheds himself of all the things he’s wanted to get rid of and after all he goes through, he sees a light and he doesn’t know if it’s real or if it’s God or whatever it is. Whoever looks at it can make their own interpretations, but he finds hope at the end and that’s why he dies.

What made you decide to go with a lower pitch scream from the previous album that was mostly higher pitched?

Spencer: It’s more natural for me. It’s something I’ve always been able to do and I was able to do a lot more with this record since the new music was more suited for it. I was talking about this earlier. I had a lot of stuff on our last record but it just didn’t fit since our last record was really poppy. With this record, I got to be me. I’m doing a lot more on this record as opposed to the last record.

I heard that you guys had been getting a lot of offers from majors. What made you decide to stick with Tooth & Nail?

Spencer: Tooth & Nail, those people are our friends before anything. It’s always good to work with your friends. It’s more stress-free. We don’t like the way major labels work. They try to tell you what kind of music to write. They want to whore you all over the place and put you everywhere and force people to like you. We’re not that band. We’re not on a quest to become the next My Chemical Romance and sell millions upon millions of records. We just want to write the music that we enjoy playing. And if kids like it cool, if not, whatever.

What influences did the band have during the writing of this album? What influences in music does everyone have?

Spencer: Re the new album, we weren’t influenced by any bands in particular. Everyone’s got totally different influences in our band. I’ve been listening to a lot of the same bands for the last few years from Isis, Dillinger Escape Plan and Radiohead to Botch. We all could probably agree upon Glassjaw and [At the] Drive-in. I don’t really have influences, I just listen a lot of bands I like.

I’m sure the band was upset about the album leak. How did you guys feel about the situation and about the person who leaked your music?

Spencer: We were pretty upset about it. It was a bummer because we weren’t even done with it yet. We just felt like someone stole something from us. Which is what happened and we thought it was pretty weak. Poor judgement and bad character from whoever did it.

Would you go with the new Saves the Day, or the new Taking Back Sunday, and why?

Aaron Gillespie: That’s impossible. Both. They’re both great records. Saves the Day has been my favorite band since I was 14, but the new Taking Back Sunday CD is so good. So yeah, both!

What were the concepts for the two new videos, and why did you decide to make two at one time?

Aaron: Two at one time because it seems like we never have five minutes away from touring to do a video. The concept-a company out of Sweden by the name of Popcore Films came up with these cool surrealistic videos.

What is your specific theology as Christians playing music in a scene that rejects the formalities of a Christian lifestyle like obedience, humility and love?

Aaron: I am who I am, but I have respect for what others feel, and if they don’t want to be that that’s fine, too. You don’t have to be a certain way for me. I’m down to hang out with whoever, however and hopefully they believe what I believe but if not, it’s fine…I know what I believe and I live my life the way I do, but if someone else chooses not to it’s not for me to judge and say they’re going to hell or I hate them or they can’t listen to our band.

What is the best tour you have been a part of so far?

Aaron: Well, definitely the Warped Tour, which is going on right now. It’s a crazy event and we just enjoy being a part of it the people, the bands, the crowds, its great, its bigger and heavier than ever this year.

Do you plan on having a full band with your side project The Almost and do you plan on doing any shows soon?

Aaron: I will definitely have a full band for The Almost. I don’t know when we’ll hit the road, probably next year maybe.

Is there any band over any others that you just love touring with and have the most fun with above all others?

Aaron: The Used. They aren’t stuck at all on how big of a band they are. They just like to hang out and have a good time.

The band is doing all of this year’s Warped tour correct? Anything tour-wise planned for after Warped this summer?

Grant Brandell: We are doing a tour the first half of September and maybe for the second half of September with Silverstein. Then we’re doing the Taste of Chaos worldwide tour with Taking Back Sunday in October/November, which is Australia, Japan and Europe. We’ll do a January/February headlining U.S. and Canada tour.

I know that one of the members is married. Is anyone else in a serious relationship and if so is it hard to be away from home all the time?

Grant: Well I’m not in a serious relationship, so it’s hard for me to answer. James is getting married in December. Pretty much everyone but me is in a serious relationship. It’s definitely not easy to be in a relationship while you’re on the road, but you have to have a supportive other.

Last time you played in Omaha with Thrice, I took Aaron to get a tattoo on his finger. I know the band just played there, did anyone leave with more tattoos then they came with?

Grant: No, not this time. Aaron did get some more tattoos recently, but nothing in Omaha.

If you were stuck on an island and could only bring one album with you, what would it be?

Grant: One album? Wow. The first thing that comes to mind is Isis’ Panopticon. I just like the record because it has a great live element to it. Chris would take Pantera’s Cowboy’s From Hell.

After all the success, what is one thing that you’re absolutely grateful for over all that has come with it.

Grant: I’m just thankful for the opportunity to play shows honestly, doing what I love, the music. Being able to talk to the kids and just share our music with them to see if they want to hear it. That’s the best thing.

Any last words?

Grant: Go check out the Saves the Day, Moneen and As Cities Burn at the Warped Tour this summer too because there’s a lot of really good bands out there.

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