Music Forum: What’s your favorite Underoath album?
When Underoath announced in 2015 that the band was getting back together with original drummer Aaron Gillespie in the fold, it was announced as a “rebirth,” as the band knocked out a couple of reunion shows over the following years. It’s an appropriate way to describe Underoath’s return since it’s been eight years since Ø (Disambiguation) and nearly a decade since the band’s last release with Gillespie in the fold. And obviously so much has changed within the metal scene and music community as a whole during the band’s hiatus; Underoath found themselves at a crossroads between pleasing older fans and drawing in a generation of listeners that may have never heard Define The Great Line. So while a level of musical reincarnation was expected, the extent of that remained unknown. Recorded in 2017 with producer Matt Squire, the band looked to deconstruct the idea of Underoath while incorporating all the moments of anxiety , betrayal, and struggles of the past decade. And ultimately these sessions resulted with Erase Me – the most polarizing heavy rock album of 2018.
“When you’re a kid in a band, you play together because you all like the same stuff,” explains Spencer. “It’s tough when you leave your teens because you start becoming individuals and different people. That’s weird, and you don’t know how to handle it. As time goes on, you go in different directions. You miss how it used to be. It’s a hard place to grow up.”
But grow up they did. It wasn’t until someone revived their group chat with the reminder that Define The Great Line was about to turn ten and maybe they should play a show, that Underoath returned.
The set, which was released on April 6 through The KSR Group/Atlantic Records, earned 255,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 12, according to Nielsen Music. That’s the second-biggest week of 2018, trailing only the arrival of Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods, which bowed with 293,000 units on the Feb. 17-dated chart.
“One of the best things we ever did was when we agreed not to be a Christian band anymore,” Chamberlain tells Revolver. “And when we made this record the [phrase], ‘that’s not Underoath enough,’ was not allowed to be said because those two things fucking ruined our band in the first place.”
If we’re doing things the way we used to do it and keep saying “That’s not Underoath enough”, it wouldn’t work. I’m not the same person I was in 2006 when we wrote Define the Great Line, I’m a way different person and in a much better place in my life mentally, spiritually and musically. So I’m not going to write the same as I did when I was at that point in my life. Whether it’s you as a journalist, a football player or a business person, there’s no way you’d be doing things the same as you did twelve years ago. So I find it unfair when people expect that of us.
The reactions have been a little all over the place in our forums on this one. Having heard the album, I’ll say that this is the most “radio rock” ready song on the album. There’s a few others that take a similar vibe, but this is not the overwhelming direction of the record.