Today legendary post-hardcore heroes Underoath announced a national tour of Australia in February. If this news wasn’t enough to excite fans already, the band will be playing their best albums They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define The Great Line in full. Underoath will perform in Adelaide at The Gov on February 15.
Drummer and clean vocalist, Aaron Gillespie talks to The Upside News from the mountains in Utah on his two weeks off after touring with Underoath and doing a short solo tour.
The band performed the two albums in full in America for the most of the year. It has been an unexpected and overwhelmingly positive experience for Aaron.
“It’s interesting, we have never done anything like that before. I think that people were more excited because they know what’s up next. I thought there was going to be an element of ‘oh this is lame’ because we know exactly what’s going to happen. I think it’s really cool because people love it because they know what’s going to happen. Well think about it, if you went to a club, or see a band play, or going dancing with your girl, and you knew every song that was going to happen, that’s exciting! It’s a bit of a mission for the band, because it’s a lot, it’s long…. it is long. This tour is the most successful tour we’ve ever done. Which is so interesting, in our fifteen-year career,” Aaron explains.
Being able to play an album in full live is an amazing achievement for any band. It shows how successful that album is and how beloved it is by fans. So Underoath performing two albums in full is on a whole different level.
“My favourite Underoath record was Lost In The Sound Of Separation. But I think the best Underoath album is Define The Great Line. I think we’re lucky man, I’d damn near say blessed. There are a lot of bands from our time period, and our genre that just don’t do it anymore. For us to be able to come back these many years later, we’ve been very lucky. I’ve met lots of fans who’s brother or sister were really into Underoath at 18 or 19, they gave them the record when they were 9 or 10. So now, we’ve got all these youngsters still coming out to these gigs. Which is really interesting, it’s a very different thing than what I thought it would be.”
“I remember having a conversation with Spencer at the first of the year last year, saying ‘there is no fucking way that there is going to be anyone under 30 at these shows’ and he goes ‘I promise you it will be mostly kids’. And he was right! It’s interesting because these shows were in two to five thousand capped rooms in the states and they were all sold out. We would ask every night ‘who has seen Underoath before’ and 90% of the crowd had never seen us before. It was bizarre. To me sitting behind the drums, it looked like it was the whole audience raising their hands.”
They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define The Great Line came out in 2004 and 2006, now more than 10 years old each. When reflecting back on this time Aaron can’t even remember how the band did it.
“I don’t understand how we did it. I don’t remember. Spencer and I did an interview with Alternative Press a couple of months ago about the tour. We actually went to their offices where they do this thing where on a 10-year-old record they sit you down and ask you everything about that record. How it was made, how it was written, the recording process. I couldn’t answer half the questions. You know, you get into this creative place when you’re making albums. What I love about those records is, if tomorrow someone said ‘let’s remake Chasing Safety it’s an impossibility. For me, I love that we captured a moment of our lives, of our art for that record”
In these 10 years since releasing They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define The Great Line a lot has happened. Aaron left the band in 2010 and has been away for close to 7 years now. This time apart has done wonders for himself and the band.
“You know what, I keep saying this in every interview. Pre 30 Underoath is not as good as post 30 Underoath. We’re all in our 30s, there are 9 children amongst the band. We are better at music, we are better at being friends, we’re better at playing our music and we’re better at communication, which is the reason why Underoath didn’t survive before. We were just burning it out too hard, we were doing 10 or 11 months of the year on the road, it was fucking stupid. Now it’s this approach of ‘let’s just let it happen’, let’s do a few months a year and make it very special and blow it open, make it fantastic and make people want to come back.”
“There’s a band in the states called Brand New, I love the model of what they do. ‘We’re going to make this record, then we’re not going to make the record and then we’re going to tour like 3 times in 2 years, and you’re going to love it, this is what you get’. I think that’s why they see such success. They just played Madison Square Garden! Which is one of the most iconic arenas in the world, and they were just a scene band like everybody else. The kind of business model they took is ‘let’s not burn it out, let’s just do what we want to do and have a good time doing it, and let it happen organically’. Which is, in my mind where I think Underoath should be. I just want to make music with my friends and relax when we’re doing it. I want to tour with my friends and see what happens. I don’t want to try and meet any deadlines or any ideals of what people think Underoath should be doing. To me, I think we’re in the best place we’ve ever been, as people, as a band, as friends” says Aaron.
Underoath are no strangers to an Australian tour. Having been here numerous times before Aaron can’t get enough of it. The last time Aaron was in Australia was oddly enough with Paramore as their touring drummer on their 2013 Australian tour.
“We love your country, we love the fact that we can come there and get away from the winter and do this great tour. And you’re the first international country we’re doing it in. Aus is such a no-brainer [for touring], the people are beautiful, kind and wonderful, the food is super different and you can literally leave the states in the winter time, and it’s the summer! It’s brilliant. It’s the most obvious place to go. “With Underoath, back when we were a full-time band, we made records ALWAYS in the wintertime. We would make records every two years and in the off year we would come to Australia. I hate winter” Aaron says coldly.
After nearly 7 years, Aaron’s first performance back with the band was in 2016, the night before their official reunion show at A Day To Remember’s Self Help Festival.
“We played a tiny bar in our hometown for our first show back. We announced it the night before, and we put 700 people in a bar that held 200 people. The traditional Underoath way, let’s do something crazy. Then we did a proper big outdoor venue a couple of days later. It was mental, we had never been a band that rehearses a lot, but we actually rehearsed quite a bit because it had been so long. Some of the songs on They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define The Great Line we have never played live, ever. Some of those songs hadn’t been played in 13 years. The magic started happening when we got in a room together and it was like ‘oh wow, we’re still really good at this.'”
Seeing Underoath perform live in Australia in 2016 is a gift on its own. Seeing Underoath perform They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define The Great Line in Australia in full is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Underoath will perform in Adelaide at The Gov on February 15.
The “Rebirth” Tour ….. performing
‘They’re Only Chasing Safety’ and ‘Define The Great Line’
Tickets go on sale Monday 17 October at 9am through tickets.destroyalllines.com
RSVP via http://bit.ly/UND17tour
Friday 10 February – Eatons Hill, Brisbane – Lic AA
Saturday 11 February – Enmore Theatre, Sydney – Lic AA
Sunday 12 February – 170 Russell, Melbourne – 18+
Wednesday 15 February – The Gov, Adelaide – Lic AA
Thursday 16 February – Metropolis, Fremantle – 18+
Aaron’s song of choice :