After originally saying farewell in 2013, Underoath caused a buzz when they announced they would come out of hiding to do a tour, aptly named ‘Rebirth’. They followed this with a new album in 2018, ‘Erase Me‘ and another run of shows to truly announce their return. Citing “Growing Apart” as the reason for the original farewell, vocalist Spencer Chamberlain elaborates. “Growing up in a band as a bunch of kids is hard. You start a band because you’re all into the same stuff, you listen to the same music, you all want the same things. When we started, we were a Christian band, so there’s a whole set of rules on everything which made it hard for people to become individuals. So, when we started to become individuals and we started to grow apart in our own way – and there’s nothing wrong with that, everyone is entitled to be their own human being – I think it became an internal problem and no one knew how to talk about it or trust each other because we all had to pretend we all believed in the same stuff we still did when we were teenagers and didn’t want to get kicked out of the band or cause big problems. It was just really unhealthy”.
Listening to Chamberlain give his version of events, you get a feeling the band wouldn’t lay to rest for good; more so just seeing what they had now that it was gone, or in his words, “Burn the whole house down and see that we had this prime real estate in the best neighbourhood in town.” “We had to rebuild it and do it smarter and more economically and environmentally safe. A lot people have these great houses in these neighbourhoods that just need an overhaul and that’s what Underoath did.”
For those who have followed Underoath, you will know they’ve always evolved musically, so reinventing themselves wouldn’t come as a huge surprise. When talking about their 2018 release ‘Erase Me’, Chamberlain spoke of making music they wanted to hear and how good things have opened up for them from that. “Our headlining tour, the ‘Erase Me’ Tour that we finished at the end of 208, was the biggest headlining tour of our entire career. It was bigger than our reunion tour.” When quizzed on the response to the latest album ‘Erase Me’, Chamberlain says, “I would say quite well. I think we did lose come core fans but for every fan you lose, you’re gonna gain 10. If you’re doing something honest from the heart that you believe in and you make music that you care about, people are always going to come and go, people are always going to want you to be who you used to be. But that’s not realistic, that’s not fair to us and to everyone else. You don’t wanna make the same record over and over and over again; that’s not growing at all. It was eight years between records that we’ve made. Eight years. You grow a lot in eight years, and we learnt a lot about ourselves and I think we applied that to the record that we made”.
Everything they have done has been about forward movement and the vocalist is adamant that won’t be changing. “Anyone who wanted us to go back in time and make an album like we were when we were 21 can seriously f*ck off. I’m not interested in doing that. I would just stay broken up.” The second coming of Underoath had to have a new breath of life. The album ‘Erase Me’ has seemingly given them just that. Chamberlain buzzed about doing interviews from a tour bus on their current tour with KoRn and Alice in Chains, playing in front of 30,000 people and also the opportunity to return to Australia to play in front of people they hadn’t before. This is what excites the band the most about their upcoming Australian tour with The Amity Affliction, which will also include Brisbane’s Heaven and Hell Festival. “We love Australia and we haven’t had a chance to really do a whole lot there since the new record came out. So, being able to come to Australia after a long time and do a support run that sells more tickets than we do; that’s pretty f*cking awesome.”
Australia has always been good to Underoath. Chamberlain spoke of surfing some of the beaches here and always having a good time. He says, “The shows were always great”, in particular Soundwave Festival. “I remember the first Soundwave festival we did when they were still massive. That was probably the most people we’d ever played for at that time in our career. That was just mind-blowing.”
When asked if they had plans to return on their own headlining tour, Chamberlain says, “We would like to. I think that part of the agreement was to do Unify Festival, which we headlined, and The Amity Affliction run if we weren’t going to headline, which is because we want to get in front of new people in Australia as well. We haven’t done anything but headline there in so long. It was an opportunity that we couldn’t turn down.”
Tickets are available here.