Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain: “You Can Only Play Hardcore Or Heavy Metal For So Long”
On deciding to end the band:
“…A lot of it has to do with family. I think it’s time. I don’t know if that sounds weird or not. Underoath were a part of something important that happened, as far as heavy music goes and the underground scene goes. I think we did our part and now it’s out of our hands: It has been out of our hands for a while.
I feel like that scene still exists, but we don’t know anything about it anymore, you know? We’ve grown up a lot, and it was just time for all of us. I’ve been in the band for a decade. Chris [Dudley, synth op] and Tim [McTague, guitarist] for close to 15 years. It’s been a long time in people’s lives.”
On the limitations of writing for Underoath:
…It’s tough because we wanted to keep going and changing, but we couldn’t. I’d be tracking a song and be like “Man, I have to scream because I have to because that’s what Underoath ‘is’.” I would just want to sing the whole song, because I think it would be better and then we’d end up going back and forth and coming off somewhere in between.
There was another step to be made with Underoath, but I don’t think the fans would have been happy. That’s always a weird feeling to know you’re getting better, but Underoath have to be a heavy band—you have to be that. That’s what side projects are for; because you have to be that and that was maybe a part of some of the guys not wanting to tour so much—because they can’t do that anymore. You can only play hardcore or heavy metal for so long.”
On his own future plans:
“I’ve only told one person this before, about two years ago. I’m a musician; I’m not just the guy who fronts Underoath. I’ve been playing piano and guitar my entire life. I’ve been singing since I was in elementary school. I played my first show when I was 12 years old.
I can’t leave behind the people that have followed anything I’ve done. I can’t leave the industry behind. It’s like working as a lawyer and your firm decides to shut down, you start your own firm or you can go join someone else. I’m not going to go join someone else’s band—that’s just not what I do. But I was coming home a lot and locking myself in rooms and studios and writing songs even when Underoath were not even close to breaking up.
Even talking about it, I was doing stuff. I never wanted to make the mistake that Aaron made and release something at the same time, because I think he could have gone way further with the Almost, but he had to do double duty with Underoath. I saw that happen and was like, “Dang, that sucks.” I feel bad, but this band happened first. It’s not fair for us to sit there while he tours with the other band, but that really did hurt that band. Not that they’re not doing well, but I feel like it was bad timing.
In my mind, I’m writing stuff I want to hear and I can’t do anything with. I’m already halfway done recording it. I have 30 songs—it’s different [sounding] and some of the fans will come with me, but some of them will probably be mad at me. I made that decision when I started writing songs.
I was like, “If I’m writing some style of music and it’s just not as good as my favorite band then I’m doing something wrong.” So, I took all of the elements from the things that I loved and sat down and decided to make something that I want to listen to.
I’ve got a lot of stuff to share with people and a lot of stuff to say. That’s as much detail as I’m going into—I am not stopping. There is another band and I’ll make that announcement when the time is right.”
The full feature can be read over at Altpress.com. The band will release a ‘best of’ effort titled “Anthology 1999-2003” on November 06th through Solid State. The compilation will feature two newly-recorded tracks.