On the eve of their Australian tour Underoath drummer/vocalist Aaron Gillespie filled us in on touring, being a part time front man and his love of country music…
Friday May 25th
Interview w/ Aaron Gillespie (Drums/Vocals)
Hey man, how you doing today?
Yeah, good man, yourself?
Yeah, I’m good man. Where
are you calling from?
I’m guessing you’re enjoying
some down time after how long you boys have been on the road?
Yeah, we just got back home today
at about 6am man.
Are you guys planning on taking
any time off?
Only a few days man. My other
band, “The Almost” has been really busy so we’ve got some shows
coming up and then in 10 days we’re off to Australia.
And you guys are bringing
Emery down here with you this time round…
Yeah man, we are. We’re excited
to see what it’s going to be like.
The last 12 months have been
pretty hectic for you guys, what have been some of the highlights?
Touring man. We just got of an
18 week stretch of touring which took us all over the world.
We toured with Taking Back Sunday
who are really great friends of ours. Um, we toured with Norma Jean,
who are really close friends of ours as well. It’s been a really crazy,
good year man.
So, what’s in store for Australian
audiences on this upcoming tour?
Well man, it’s our own show,
so we’re going to have different lighting and we’ll be playing a
longer set. We’ll have some cool interludes that we’ll be using
as well, so yeah, it’s going to be awesome.
One thing that stood out from
the “Taste Of Chaos” tour last year was that your set didn’t really
include any of your more melodic songs. Are you guys moving away from
I wouldn’t say we’re moving
away from using our really melodic songs but we just wanted to play
our strongest material because it was such a short set.
Did ever think you’d be in
a position as a band to headline your own tour on the other side of
Man, I can’t even believe it
now. The response to our last record was amazing and yeah, I just can’t
get over that we get to tour all over the world and do our own shows.
Underoath had released 4 records
before you started to receive widespread recognition. Does it ever frustrate
you guys that so many bands seem to pop up overnight and suddenly they’re
gracing magazine covers?
Nah man, I try not to think about
stuff like that. I’m really happy with how things turned out for us.
We just work really hard and make
sure we have a good time and that’s all you can really do.
“They’re Only Chasing Safety”
was more straight forward than anything else you guys had done previously.
Was that deliberate or was it just the vibe of the band at the time
that naturally pushed you towards making something that was a little
Umm, I dunno man. We just do what
we want to and have a good time doing it. It wasn’t a conscious decision
to make a record that was any set style. We just sit down and make it
coz we wanted to.
When it came time to write
“Define The Great Line” did you guys sit down and say
“this is what we want to do” or had your growth as musicians
– and even as music fans – over the last 2 years meant that the
record was the logical next step for Underoath?
Like I said man, we don’t sit
down and say “we’re going to do this”. We just write records.
It comes out it comes out you know? We had fun doing it and we’re
just really happy that we made a good, honest record.
It’s important that you’re
totally honest with your fans and yeah, we think we accomplished that.
As a lot of your fans are probably
aware, you front “The Almost” when you’re not bashing the kit
for Underoath. I know “The Almost” started off as a solo project,
but has it taken on more of a “band” feel now that you’re touring?
Yeah man, definitely. We’ve done
quite a few tours this year which has been really cool. We’ll also
be doing all of Warped Tour this summer which is awesome!
We’re a full band so things
are turning out really great. We couldn’t be happier!
When writing for Underoath,
you’re responsible for providing the backbone of the song
– do you feel more pressure when writing material for The Almost knowing
that you’re the front man?
Um, the writing process is similar
in a lot of ways for both bands.
You know, I sing in Underoath
as well so I feel the same kind of pressure when I’m writing for both
bands. I put my heart and soul into everything I do so I don’t think
there is much of a difference about how I write anything for either
I was going to ask what was
in store for Underoath once you wrapped up your Australian tour, but
I checked out The Almost’s MySpace page and can see that you’re
touring right through to the end of August
– do you ever take a break?
Ha ha, it’s been a while man.
Today’s actually my only break.
Sorry that you had to spend
your day off talking to me man, ha ha.
Ha ha, nah that’s cool.
After that tour, will you guys
reconvene to start writing the next Underoath record?
Underoath is actually doing 2
weeks of Warped Tour as well and then we’ll be doing a headlining
tour in the fall. Once all that’s finished we’ll start writing our
record in winter.
Have you guys discussed what
direction you want to take on the next record or is that something that
won’t really be known until you start jamming on some new songs?
I don’t really know man. We’ve
written a few songs at sound check over the last few tours which have
sounded pretty cool. We’re really excited by how those songs are turning
out so yeah, things are going really well.
Who or what has had the biggest
influence on Underoath – both as a band and you as an individual?
I’m inspired by my surroundings,
God, every day life, my family and my friend. My influences change daily
depending where I am and what I’m doing.
Musically, well I like a lot of
country music, stuff like Johnny Cash, Bryan White, as well as Jimmy
Eat World and Refused. The list could go on and on man.
Is there one band that you
remember seeing or hearing as a kid, and you just went,
yeah, that’s what I want to do?
Umm, not that I can remember.
Maybe little moments where I heard Metallica or saw a country singer
or something like that, but no one band man.
Hard question, but who’s
the best live band that you’ve ever seen?
Radiohead. We saw them in Canada
in a venue that only held 2,200 people. It was just amazing.
What’s been the most memorable
tour that Underoath has been a part of?
We did this tour years ago with
Norma Jean headlining and we opened. It was just heaps of fun and really
great to be on tour with our friends.
Warped tour 2004 stands out as
well. It was right in the heart of summer man. It was just one of those
summers where you work all summer long but it feels amazing. We just
had a really great time!
If you could assemble a tour
with any 3 bands, past and present, who
would it be?
Refused, At The Drive In and Jimmy
With you guys headlining right?
Yeah, for sure, ha ha.
Who are some bands
you’ve been listening to at the moment?
I’ve been listening to Bright
Eyes and Ryan Adams heaps.
Man, the new Bright Eyes record
It really is man. Some of the
tracks on there are some of the best songs I’ve ever heard.
Who are some bands kids should
be checking out if they aren’t already?
As Cities Burn and Sullivan –
I really like Sullivan.
That pretty wraps it up man,
any last words?
Right on man, thanks for doing
We’ll be seeing you in a couple
Thanks heaps for your time….
Catch Underoath (USA) on their
upcoming Australian tour with Emery (USA).
June 7th @ The Arena
Brisbane (All Ages)
June 8th @ UNSW Roundhouse
Sydney (All Ages)
June 9th @ The Uni
Adelaide (All Ages)
June 10th @ Billboards
Melbourne (Under 18’s)
June 10th @ Billboards