Ex-Underoath Singer Spencer Chamberlain On His New Band Sleepwave: “I Won’t Do Underoath Pt. II”
Ex-Underoath vocalist Spencer Chamberlain has given an interview to Altpress.com about his new band Sleepwave. The outfit will be debuting a new song online this Friday (October 04th) titled “Rock And Roll Is Dead And So Am I“. Chamberlain said of that new song:
“That track in particular isn’t really about me thinking rock music is dead. It was just an afterthought that there’s no honesty left. It’s hard to find honest music, new music—especially in rock. Rock is what saved my life. When I was a kid, the only things I had were those songs I listened to. As I’ve gotten older and listened to different styles of music, I’ve always gone back to the same songs that I love.
Being in this industry—at least successfully—for a decade, and then I was sitting down in all of these offices with people I haven’t met, to have them look me in the face and go, “We really love what you’re doing, but there is no market for rock.” Rock now is Mumford & Sons, Fun. and the stuff you see on Warped Tour. I’m not talking shit on either [category], but we don’t need another Warped Tour band, and we don’t need another indie-rock band.
As far as rock radio goes, there’s the butt rock: the Shinedowns and the Nickelbacks. You know how you hear the honesty when Dave Grohl plays a song? That’s great. Foo Fighters are one of my favorite bands, but they’ve been around since the ’90s.
Where are those bands now? Where is the next generation of Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Alice In Chains and bands that actually sang about something other than partying and girls? I just feel there’s so much missing from rock ‘n’ roll that even the businessmen are like, “What do you want us to do with this?”
It’s just weird to me how people give up and change so fast. It’s just kind of disheartening. So the title of that track is a middle finger. It doesn’t necessarily have too much to do with the song, itself.”
On the differences between Underoath and Sleepwave:
“I think Underoath were a heavy, somewhat metal or hardcore band—however you want to put it. I’ve been playing in bands since I was a little kid. I got paid to play at parties when I was 12. I’ve been doing it forever, it just happened to be the metal band that I was in stuck.
You enjoy it; you ride it out; you do your thing. But that’s not all I am. I won’t do Underoath Pt. II or continue the saga with another heavy metal band; a band with screaming, in particular, is what I’m not going to do.
That song ["Rock And Roll Is Dead And So Am I"] is probably one of the heaviest that I have. There’s a lot more rock stuff, you know, there’s some piano-driven stuff. The people who are paying attention right now are my Underoath fans, so I’m going to give them something heavy to listen to.”
On losing everything when Underoath broke up:
“…I have no car, I have no house: I have nothing. I have the songs that I’ve been working on—that’s it. I’m not the kind of guy who blew money. I didn’t buy nice cars; I didn’t buy anything. I just had a string of bad luck. A tree fell on my car and smashed it, and it wasn’t covered by insurance.
In Underoath, we all bought houses about eight months before the market crashed. You buy a house for X amount of dollars, then eight months later, it’s worth half. At a certain point, when taxes and insurance went up in Florida, my mortgage doubled.
I wasn’t prepared for the Underoath breakup, so I didn’t have a job to go to. Tim was working at Merchline everyday, Chris was working at a church, and I just kept working on my music. At one point, I was seriously laughing, sitting on my dining room table, with two gold records on my wall, emptying out my piggy bank to eat a 99-cent burger, for the first time in two days. I was just like, “This is ridiculous. This is insane.” All I had were those songs.
Some people would be like, “Why didn’t you get a job?” I haven’t worked anywhere but Underoath since I was 18. I didn’t even have a car to deliver a pizza in. The only thing I could do at this point in my life was put all of my chips in one basket. And that basket is myself.
I believe in myself; I believe in music and what it can do for people. I’ve been around the world many times and people who don’t even know how to say certain lines of English have my words tattooed across their throat. I know what music can do. I also know in order to gain everything you have to be willing to lose it all—and I’m totally fine with that.
Does it suck, and is it uncomfortable at times? Yeah, for sure. But I think it’s the only way this project will ever do what it’s supposed to do. I had to learn how to start for the bottom again. It was a long process.”
The full interview can be found at Altpress.com. Meanwhile, drummer Chris Kamrada of There For Tomorrow was brought in to handle drums for the group with some footage from those sessions posted below: