On the road to Underoath’s new album
by Laura Ladymon
Heading back across the U.S. from The Cool Tour with Blessthefall, Underoath was gearing up for the final countdown to its November 9 record release with a ready smile. We sat down with Chris Dudley, who plays keyboards in UO, during their drive back for a few questions and a lot of laughs. It’s apparent after spending a short amount of time with the band that they deal with the pressures of the music industry with light hearts.
During the past year Underoath has received a lot of media attention due to the departure of original band member, drummer, and singer Aaron Gillespie. No matter how often the band members have to deal with repetitive and often silly questions, Chris says they don’t mind. In fact, interviews are often the butt of their jokes on the tour bus.
“It’s one of those things where I don’t mind being asked anything, but there are definitely questions you get asked more than others,” said Chris. “It was funny because we were just on this tour with As I Lay Dying, and there was this band called The Architects with us. We had this whole thing going one day where we did a fake interview. The singer for The Architects was interviewing me and it was all the questions you get every interview, and he was pretending to be German for some reason. He’s like ‘so, how’s it going?’ And ‘what’s been your favorite show so far? Can you tell us about the new record? What’s the craziest thing that’s happened on tour?’”
Laughing at experiences with the media isn’t their only form of entertainment. Normally, Underoath spends a lot of time on the tour bus playing video games and watching movies, but lately they’ve taken a different route. While life on the road can be tiresome and often creates conflict within other bands, UO sees it as an opportunity to grow closer together…
“Normally we play quite a bit of video games, but this tour we decided not to bring any just to see how we like that,” he said. “It’s been working out pretty well. We actually talk and hang out, maybe listen to music. It just depends. We like to play frisbee or see whatever’s around.”
Between tours, Underoath has been spending a lot of time in the writing process. According to Chris, Disambiguation has been quite a hodge-podge. Most of the songs have come about through jam sessions in their practice space, which is exactly how Chris says they like to do it. When asked what their new songs sound like, however, Chris is less specific.
“I always say it’s weird when musicians talk about their own music because being a musician you can’t ever view your music in an objective way, because we’ve been with these songs since they were just an idea of a guitar part,” said Chris, “so we’re never going to be able to hear the music for the first time and know what it feels like. It feels a certain way to us but to other people it might be completely different.”
While he may not have a definitive description for Disambiguation, Chris does say that it’s a departure from their previous albums, much like They’re Only Chasing Safety.
“As a whole I think that it’s a lot different. I was talking to our guitar player a while back, and I was saying that we have an album called They’re Only Chasing Safety back in 2004, and the record after that, for us, was a really big jump,” he said, “It was a pretty drastic change in a good way. I was telling him that I think this record is the same level of change between two records, the same magnitude of change. I think that’s awesome, because we’re always trying to do something different.”
To talk about Underoath’s new album is all well and good, but Chris says that he and the other band members want to let the music speak for itself.
“I just want people to hear it and form whatever opinion you will,” he said. “I heard a guy recently say that talking about music is like dancing about architecture. It doesn’t really work.”
Well said, mysterious guy. Well said.
To see this article in full design, be sure to check out the latest issue of Variance Magazine that came out October 1st!
Click here to listen to “Illuminator” off the new album!