Underoath (sometimes stylized as Underøath or UnderOATH) is a Christian Metalcore band from Tampa, Florida formed in 1998. They are currently signed to Tooth & Nail and are the label's best selling band. After several line up changes, Underoath now consists of Spencer Chamberlain (screaming vocals), Timothy McTague (lead guitar/backing vocals), James Smith (rhythm guitar), Christopher Dudley (keyboards), Grant Brandell (bass), Aaron Gillespie (drums/Clean vocals).

During the band's early years, when they were fronted by former vocalist Dallas Taylor, Underoath displayed a more melodic death metal sound, with double-bass drums and intense breakdowns. With Taylor, they released Act of Depression (1999), Cries of the Past (2000), and The Changing of Times (2002). Following his leave, Chamberlain became lead vocalist. The band then released They're Only Chasing Safety (2004) and Define the Great Line (2006), gaining a certified gold rating and the highest-charting Christian album on The Billboard 200 since 1997, respectively. The two albums gave them more mainstream and commercial success. Underoath has plans to release another album in 2008.

 

History

Cries of the Past and The Changing of Times, 2000 - 2003

In 2000, keyboardist Christopher Dudley joined Underoath, and the five-song, forty-minute Cries of the Past was released, selling over 3,000 copies. Currently, both Act of Depression and Cries of the Past are no longer in print. After the release of Cries of the Past, Steger, who along with Taylor are credited to give the band it's principle sound, left Underoath. The band's sound from it's first two releases had been a borderline of grindcore, while others had described it as melodic death metal, containing double-bass drums and intense breakdowns.

In 2001, Takehold Records was bought out by Seattle's Tooth & Nail Records and Underoath was subsequently signed to the label's heavier subsidiary, Solid State Records. The band, which was now a sextet, worked with Cries of the Past producer James Paul Wisner on their Solid State debut, The Changing of Times, which was released on February 26, 2002. The album produced one single, "When the Sun Sleeps." The band was criticized with The Changing of Times because it had changed from the sound of their previous releases, falling into the general hardcore genre. Though the change in style caused some long-time fans of the band to criticize the album, The Changing of Times went on to outsell both of their EPs combined.

In 2003, Underoath supported The Changing of Times on their first Vans Warped Tour, however their participation in the tour came to an end when Taylor, under controversial conditions, was asked to leave the band. Under speculation of a potential break up, the band then went on a supporting tour with Atreyu, and in fall with Matt Tarpey of Winter Solstice as the temporary vocalist. In late 2003, at the CMJ Fest in New York City, the band reappeared with new lead vocalist Spencer Chamberlain, formerly of This Runs Through.

 

They're Only Chasing Safety, 2004 - 2005

During the early months of 2004, Underoath returned to the studio to begin recording their first album with Chamberlain as lead vocalist. They're Only Chasing Safety proved to be a more commerical success for the band, going on to out sell the previous three albums combined. Featuring only one original band member in the form of Gillespie, They're Only Chasing Safety had been a vast change from their metal roots. The album sold close to 100,000 copies in its first week of release and was certified gold by the end of 2005. "Reinventing Your Exit" and "It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door" were released as the album's singles and both songs spawned music videos that received airplay on MTV2 and Fuse. In the Spring of 2005, Underoath participated in the inaugural Taste of Chaos tour, and shortly after, embarked on their first headlining tour. The band premiered two brand-new songs during the length of the tour.[citation needed] They played a part of the Warped Tour, but declined to perform for the entirety of the tour in order to take time to record another album. Underoath made their first cover of Alternative Press magazine with the September 2005 issue, and in October, They're Only Chasing Safety was re-released in a two-disc set with three formerly unreleased songs, new artwork by Converge's Jacob Bannon, and a DVD with over two hours worth of the band touring in support of the album.

 

Define the Great Line, 2006 - 2007

In January 2006, Underoath entered the studio to record their fifth album release, which would come to be titled Define the Great Line.. Matt Goldman, who produced albums for Copeland and Norma Jean, and Adam Dutkiewicz, guitarist for Killswitch Engage, enlisted as producers. The album combined the melodic tendencies of They're Only Chasing Safety with a return to the band's metalcore roots.[citation needed] Chamberlain noted that the vocals for the album would sound less like an imitation of former vocalist Taylor, but more like the vocals of Chamberlain's former band. Some say that this ablum is an example of Underoath going back to their Deathcore roots. An unfinished version of the album was leaked onto BitTorrent websites and P2P services months before the release date. Members of the band released a statement saying that the leaked version was an unmixed and unmastered, raw copy of the album which lacked certain elements and the finished product would sound much different.

The band flew to Sweden in the spring of 2006 to make videos for the new songs "In Regards to Myself" and "Writing on the Walls"; the latter was chosen as the lead single for the album and was later nominated for the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video. When Define the Great Line released on June 20, 2006, it sold 98,000 copies in its first week and debuted on the Billboard 200 Chart at #2, the highest debut for a Christian album since 1997. The album debuted at #1 on the Christian, Christian/Gospel, and Rock charts and, for its first four weeks on the chart stayed in the top 50. With the debut of Define the Great Line, Underoath simultaneously released a special edition version of the album featuring special artwork and a DVD that includes another behind-the-scenes movie and a "making of" video. Define the Great Line was certified Gold by the RIAA on November 11, 2006, representing 500,000 shipped units of the album. It is the second album in Tooth & Nail history to reach that distinction (The first being Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo by MxPx in 2000).

Underoath toured extensively throughout Europe, Australia, and Asia in the fall of 2006, from February to April in 2007 toured with Taking Back Sunday and Armor for Sleep. The band was scheduled to spend the summer of 2006 on the main stage of the Warped Tour, but on July 28, 2006, it was announced that Underoath was dropping off the remaining dates of the tour. A statement from the band stated that the members "felt it necessary to take some immediate time to focus on our friendship, as that’s more important than risking it for the sake of touring at this time.". Rumors to the contrary, however, flew that the band had actually left because NOFX frontman Michael "Fat Mike" Burkett had made fun of Underoath and their Christian beliefs on-stage. In an Alternative Press cover story on Underoath, Burkett told the magazine that Chamberlain had confided in him that Underoath's band members had been "having a lot of arguments over their religious beliefs.". Burkett told Punknews.org that Underoath's claim of needing a break was true and admitted to poking fun at the band, criticizing their stance on gay marriage, but emphasized that he befriended Underoath's band members at the start of the tour and had a personal policy of not making jokes on-stage about anyone he wasn't friends with or didn't like personally. He explained that there were never any hard feelings between himself and Underoath's band members. In a January 2007 interview with Ultimate-guitar.com, McTague stated, "It definitely wasn’t a Fat Mike thing." 

In February 2007, Underoath shot videos for the songs "You're Ever So Inviting" and "A Moment Suspended in Time" in February 2007; both videos have been released and "You're Ever So Inviting" won MTV's Battle of the Videos on May 23rd.

Gillespie recorded a side project with Seattle producer Aaron Sprinkle under the name of The Almost shortly after Define the Great Line was recorded; The Almost subsequently was signed to Tooth & Nail and released its first record, Southern Weather, on April 3, 2007.

Underoath performed a Canadian tour followed by the Taste of Chaos World Tour, and also played at Cornerstone Festival 2007. On July 17, 2007 Underoath released a DVD entitled 777 to the US market. Underoath also played the Warped Tour 2007 from July 24th to August 9th, and in August 2007, toured Australia and East Asia. During a tour with Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Poison the Well, and Every Time I Die, Gillespie went through emergency surgery on an infection in his hand. Instead of cancelling shows, Underoath recruited Kenny Bozich, the drummer of Gillespie The Almost.

 

Future Album, 2008 - present

On September 30, 2007 at a concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, Chamberlain confirmed that the band will have a new record out in the summer of 2008. He also said that the band will take a break in winter 2007 to spend time with family, recording shortly after. In the January 2008 issue of Alternative Press, it was stated that Underoath was going to have both Dutkiewicz and Goldman, who also produced Define the Great Line, produce the new album. Also in the works is a live album, which currently has no official title. Underoath stated on the Alternative Press podcast that recording would begin in March 2008, and McTague has said that the forthcoming album will be considerably heavier than Define the Great Line.

Chris Dudley recently confirmed that they have written 7 new songs for the upcoming album, in a Myspace bulletin.

Hey all! Just a little note to give you an update on whats going on with us! I just got back from practice and as of now we have about 7 songs.... and we are STOKED.

– Christopher Dudley

Members

Current members

  • Spencer Chamberlain (2003 - Present) - Screaming Vocals
  • Timothy McTague (2001 - Present) - Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
  • James Smith (2003 - Present) - Rhythm Guitar
  • Christopher Dudley (2000 - Present) - Keyboards
  • Grant Brandell (2002 - Present) - Bass
  • Aaron Gillespie(1998 - Present) - Drums/Clean Vocals

Former members

  • Dallas Taylor (1998 - 2003) - Screaming Vocals (Currently in Maylene and the Sons of Disaster)
  • Corey Steger (1998 - 2001) - Rhythm Guitar
  • Ray Anasco (1998 - 1999) - Bass
  • Luke Morton (1998 - 1999) - Lead Guitar
  • Octavio Fernandez (1999 - 2002) - Bass (Currently in At the Wake)
  • Matthew Clark (2000 - 2001) - Bass (Currently in Kicked Out Heel Drag)
  • Billy Nottke (2000 - 2001) - Bass
  • Scott Nunn (2002 - 2003) - Rhythm Guitar (appears in "When The Sun Sleeps" video)

 

Discography

Year of Release Title Label US Billboard Peak US sales
1999 Act of Depression Takehold Records
1,000
2000 Cries of the Past Takehold Records
2,000
2002 The Changing of Times Solid State Records
120,000+
2004 They're Only Chasing Safety Solid State Records #101 350,000+
2006 Define the Great Line Solid State Records #2 500,000+
2007 Underoath 777 DVD Solid State Records
20,000+
2008 Untitled Album Solid State Records

2008 Untitled Live Album Solid State Records