Underoath – Across The Ocean

Underoath

Epic tour announcement beyond all proportions! Clear your diaries because Underoath are touring Australia playing two epic albums They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define The Great Line in full this coming Febraury. Aaron Gillespie spoke to Across The Ocean about the rebirth of the band and how much it means to be touring again.

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It has been a really big build up to the Underoath Australian tour next year, the band must be buzzing after this announcement?

Yeah, we’re quite keen because it awesome as we get to come over in your summer so we get to escape the winter you know which is really cool. We’re really excited to get back to Oz and do our thing which we just did that tour here early this year. We’re bringing the same thing to you guys which we are really excited about.

How did the whole Re-Birth tour go? It sounds like they were some really epic shows…

Honestly it is probably the best tour we have ever done in the fifteen years that we have been touring. I think Underoath breaking up was the best thing we could have ever done for each other.

Was it liberating to be back as a band with everything feeling all fresh and exciting again?

I keep saying that post thirty Underoath  is better than pre-thirty Underoath. We’ve don e all the dumb shit and have learned our lessons on not being kind too each other or doing the right things. Now that we are older I think that it is so much better honestly.

What was the catalyst to get the band back together?

It was actually a series of group text messages. Two years ago this group text with all of us in the band started with us toying with us doing one show for They’re Only Chasing Safety for the tenth anniversary in a tiny venue somewhere in our home town. We toyed with the idea of doing something small and then that turned quickly in to tour and we don’t do anything small. It turned in to what if we waited two years and did Define The Great Line and did them all, doing both records as a big celebration. In the rehearsals for that it was like ok and it was an organic thing to be on these text messages for two years. It made us go we love each other, we really love the music we make, we really love being in a band together and there is no point of us dancing around that ideal and just go on tour. It was a really, really great time and a really organic way for us to connect as friends before we started doing the band thing again.

So it was always the intention that everyone would bury the hatchet at some point and play more shows? Was it different for Underoath?

I don’t know, obviously in bands there’s some ugly stuff that happens. For us we just worked too hard, we never stopped touring. I think we just burned each other out and got tired of the social implication of having to keep going and keep going and it loses its lustre. Some bands have done it really smart in terms of touring and how they tour, the rate in which they tour is brand new. There’s such a demand for them because what they don’t do is tour for ten months of the year. I think that is what Underoath has always done. We would tour for two years straight and have small windows of time off, make a record and then repeat. That burned us out socially with each other.

Does that make it hard to be able to get the life balance right and enjoy the fruits of your hard work?

Yeah, it is great to have successful records but you’re never with the people that you love and never enjoying the fruits of your labour. Wed all bought these beautiful houses after Define The Great Line and it was years before we spent any time in it. It was always go, go, go! I think the grind squashed Underoath not each other. We were at odds with each other but that was mostly because of the grind.

Do you feel like there is no stopping Underoath now?

I do feel that way but let’s do it our way and play the game. We’re going to make the tours we want to make and do the things we want to do. I think if we feel strapped or burned out we’ll take a pause. What we have now is too precious to squash. For years we kept trying to sympathise that.

Is that compounded by the fact that bands have to keep touring to make a living as record sales aren’t quite there anymore?

I don’t know, I think it is good and bad. We live in an age where you can just get your music out there instantly which is cool. It is different but I think it is a good thing, I don’t think it is safe for me to look at every situation in how the music industry has changed and think that it’s terrible.

Was it the obvious choice to tour both albums They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define The Great Line in full?

That was what we decided to do from the beginning. We were going to start with one album then we thought it would be smart to do both. It is a bit of a mission but a lot of fun. When it comes to what we were going to do we knew that had to be it.

Playing two albums makes for an epic show in length. Does it create pressure when fans start yelling out for requests?

No, it is a very calculated night, there is no encore, just those songs… boom! Done! We’ll see, we have just come off a tour where we have played what we wanted so I’m not sure how it will happen in Oz yet. I know it will be those two albums but I don’t know exactly how we’re going to do it yet. I’m assuming it will be exactly the same tour as we did in the States but again it is early days though.

Did you have to relearn some songs you have forgotten to play?

When we started the last tour I quit and in the two years the band made one album without me. So, when I sat down to play this stuff for the first time it had almost been seven years since I played it, so for me I’ve been playing drums for Paramore and doing solo things, I was completely out of that world. It was a bit of a learning curve but honestly I think when you write and record something you’re responsible for the creation of something I think it comes back easier than you think it does. It was a lot less taxing than I thought it would be.

Do you wish you had the chance to re-record these songs?

Nah, I think when you’re younger you have those thoughts once and a while where we should have done this and done that. For me we’re ten and twelve years on when those records were released and I don’t see that now. I’m just happy with what we have done and people have resonated with those records and to be in this genre of music and having success in it at a young age is really special. Now, people still really care and that speaks to the magnitude of those two albums, we did what we wanted to do, we were honest and this many years later people still resonate those two albums.

Is a new album part of the band’s future plans?

You know, we’re just taking it one day at a time right now. That’s what made Underoath implode the first time. We did too much and made too many plans so we’re having a good time doing it and see what happens.

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Rob Lyon

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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