Underoath after a break up and over three years apart have returned. They will be bringing their Rebirth tour to Australia in February 2017 playing both They are only Chasing Safety and Define the Great Line in full. We caught up with front man and vocalist Spencer Chamberlain to speak about the reunion of Underoath and upcoming Australian tour.

SCENEzine
What was it like hitting the stage for the first time since Underoath reunited?

Spencer Chamberlain
It was pretty crazy man. Definitely a thing that I never thought was going to happen again. So I think when your in that kind of a headspace and you learn to let something go that you held so close to you before learning that it’s never going to happen again. Then having to re-learn the feeling and thought of ok now we are going to do this again and play as a band again.

It was beautiful you can’t really put it into words without feeling it. But when your in the crowd and see it you can kind of understand. With the whole rebirth thing the band is definitely reborn into its proper self. It really feels like something special is happening.

SCENEzine
Were the Riot Fest shows fun to play?

Spencer Chamberlain
Yeah man it’s a huge gathering of people I guess you can compare it to how Soundwave used to be back in the day. It was a ton of people and a lot of our friends were there. We had a massive audience it was great.

SCENEzine
Did it take you guys long to re-learn the songs?

Spencer Chamberlain
No because most of these songs we’ve been playing our whole career. The band was broken up for three and a half years. When we talked about getting back together and doing the tour we listened to the records a couple of times and it’s just like riding a bike everything came back so naturally. Give or take a song or two for a couple of people but other than that it was pretty easy man.

SCENEzine
When you look back on the break and up until now do you kind of think everything happens for a reason?

Spencer Chamberlain
Absolutely 100%. I think for Underoath to be a band and be healthy and to make more music and do more tours and to be the groups of humans we were supposed to be the thing had to come to a screeching halt. There’s no way we could of kept going without breaking it all the way down. It’s just something that had to happen. You are 100% right everything happens for a reason. In this case it meant there was going to be some tough years. Those were some of the hardest years of my life in-between the last show and the first show back.

It’s a huge life changing thing that happens learning how to accept it and forgive people, to get past the anger. All that stuff and we learnt how to forgive each other for past stuff that probably brought the band to the end. We learnt how to love each other again and be friends and learnt how to appreciate what we have and all the work we’ve done.

Being able to see the band from an outside perspective because it didn’t exist anymore. We were like man we built all this and worked so hard and we did all of this together. We weren’t a band that had producers helping or people co-writing or a huge label behind us, no radio play or anything. We did it on our own from fresh out of high school all the way up until we broke down and walked away. We worked so hard that we didn’t give ourselves any space or room to breathe. When your a little kid being in a band with your best buds your all the same dude you are all super similar. When you become a man which is going to happen eventually growing up on the road doing it for ten plus years your going to become an individual. I think we didn’t know how to accept that because we grew up on the road. We didn’t know how to handle each others differences and communicate like real humans, real friends and real family.

That’s what we are we are a family. I think that the break absolutely had to happen to fix everything. The band is healthier now than it’s ever been. This is a group of people that love each other and love what they do. You can see that when we play live it’s a whole different animal. I’ve always valued Underoath as being a great live band but now I think it’s unstoppable because everyone has this passion, chemistry and fire. You can’t teach someone that, you can’t sell someone that , you can’t buy that, you can’t learn that. You just have to have it for each other and for the music and for what your doing and we have that. I think a lot of that comes down to everyone respects each other and loves each other and is happy to be there.

At different times of our career there was at least one guy who wasn’t happy and didn’t want to be there anymore. Now that we’ve gone through all our growing pains, basically disintegrated then picked up the pieces and rebuilt the whole foundation stronger than ever.

SCENEzine
Underoath has touched so many peoples lives worldwide from fans getting lyrics tattooed to having your songs help save their lives. How much did the fans impact your decision to bring the band back together?

Spencer Chamberlain
It’s crazy that we’ve touched as many peoples lives as we have. We definitely don’t take that for granted. We wouldn’t of talked if it wasn’t for our fans being outspoken about us getting back together. That was the catalyst for the conversations that we ended up having and the steps that we took because our fans were begging every single day for three years plus.

It never stopped begging us to come back and play shows and do more music. Saying how much they miss our band and how much we mean to them. That was something that eventually you can’t ignore. You’ve got to put things behind you and think well this is bigger than just us, our egos and personal conflicts with each other. Our fans in general are super supportive of us.

SCENEzine
Our favourite Underoath album is They’re only chasing safety. Does that album mean a lot to you?

Spencer Chamberlain
Yeah all of them do they are all personal albums to us. Obviously everything we do I’m going to connect with more and more as I move forward. I feel like we progressed a lot after They’re only chasing safety and learned a lot. We made that record when we were really young and learned a lot form what we call mistakes on that record and that touring cycle. We learnt how to become a better group of musicians and work better together.

All the records mean a lot to us and that’s why we decided to do these two records on tour because Define the great line turned ten which was part of the reason that we decided to get back together. As well we joked around about how we missed the ten year anniversary of chasing safety because we were broken up. I believe it was Grant who said lets just play them both and we were like alright lets figure out how to play them both (laughs). It’s a celebration of the two records and the tour was so special to so many people in America we decided to take it across the world before we move onto the next cycle of what Underoath is going to bring to the table.

SCENEzine
Do you remember how the choir style drowning in my sleep part of “It’s dangerous business walking out your front door” came about?

Spencer Chamberlain
I remember some conversations in a practice space. When we demoed it we made it ourselves and kind of faked it but then when we made the record we actually had a choir sing with us which was cool. I remember it was a conversation and a melody idea then I wrote the lyrics later that fit perfectly with it.

SCENEzine
Was the video making process for “Writing on the walls” a fun experience to make?

Spencer Chamberlain
Yeah we made two video at once. We made four videos with the same guys for that record they were actually in Sweden where we shot those videos. We got really close with those guys they are super creative and really good at what they did. They don’t make music videos anymore they’ve gone onto to bigger and better things. We had such a great time. It was cold and we were tired, jet lagged but the way that they made the videos was just so rad. We had a blast. That house that we were in they built that set. Everything in that house was real except for the background scenery behind the house. Those videos were done with real sets not just on computers which is not how it really works anymore. It was really cool to work with people that were as passionate about their videos as we were about our music.

SCENEzine
You’ll be back in Australia touring in February 2017. Does it go without saying your excited to get back down here?

Spencer Chamberlain
Yeah it’s definitely one of my favourite countries to be in as far as visiting wise. The shows there for us have always been pretty top notch. We’ve had a great following in Australia I can’t remember the last time we were there so we are definitely looking forward to it. It’s the first country we are going to after the American tour so if that puts it in perspective of how stoked we are to get there (laughs).

SCENEzine
Is there anything you like to do in Australia besides play shows?

Spencer Chamberlain
We’ve done a lot of surfing while we were there in the past. A lot of water stuff like cliff jumping or just swimming in the ocean. I like to go to rad local spots and check out how people live.
I hope we have enough time to walk around and enjoy it. That’s probably the best part about touring besides the shows just meeting the local people. Seeing the bars they drink at and restaurants they eat at and try and see a little bit of everything. But I’ll normally rent a surfboard at least once while I’m there and try and catch a few waves (laughs).

SCENEzine
Now that Underoath is back does Sleepwave still exist?

Spencer Chamberlain
Yeah I just got home today from playing a radio festival last night. I’m just going to try and balance it out . It’s kind of fortunate that the bands are opposite in size. Sleepwave is starting out and Underoath is a headlining band. It’ll probably balance itself out. I’ll have to bend some schedules here and there but the way it’s looking right now they will work on opposite schedules.

SCENEzine
Is it a completely different feeling taking the stage with Underoath vs Sleepwave?

Spencer Chamberlain
Yeah Underoath is like I said a family. It’s my first band that actually stuck. I’ve been in bands my whole life but I love those dudes that’s my home. Sleepwave is my other side of things.

The new Sleepwave stuff is so different now the next record will be so different. Underoath being back has allowed me to be a lot more free with what I’m writing for Sleepwave now.
It’s cool I get to express different sides of myself. I listen to so many different kinds of music and I write music everyday. I write all sorts of music people will never hear because it’s different. It’s nice to get on stage and do something that’s not so heavy and aggressive sometimes.

SCENEzine
Do you think it’s cool that Underoath were able to collaborate with the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the new shirt?

Spencer Chamberlain
Yeah that was nuts they came to us with that idea and I was like ok sure. If we are the band that represents the Tampa Bay area and we get to do an NFL shirt then why the hell not right.

SCENEzine
Have you guys talked about what happens after you visit Australia?

Spencer Chamberlain
We’ve got a lot of plans I can’t talk about them because I’ll probably get yelled at by somebody. But you’ll be seeing a lot more of Underoath that’s for sure.

SCENEzine
Can you leave us a last message for your Australian fans?

Spencer Chamberlain
I want to first of all thank them for sticking by our side because I know our farewell came up pretty abrupt. It was definitely very short we only played twelve cities in America let alone any other country. Then we did our reunion tour and it was only in America and now we are making sure we get to our fans all over the world to experience the reunion tour. We’ve always loved Australia and had a lot of support so Australia is the first stop after America. I just want to say thank you because without our fans we probably wouldn’t have talked about getting back together. Every fan no matter where you live is just as important as the other one so we really, really appreciate our fans. That’s what got my band back together that I didn’t want to break up so I owe them all a big hug. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Australia real soon.

(Interview by Christian Ross)

 

Underoath

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