UnderoathNick Fancher

Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain: “I Don’t Think Religion Should Be In Music”


While they spent much of their early career as a faith based band, Underoath eventually decided to follow their own path, having stopped describing themselves as a Christian band around 2009. Speaking recently with Loudwire on their return with their new album “Erase Me“, the band’s frontman Spencer Chamberlain has once again reflected further on their decision:

“So a band is a bunch of personalities. It’s like being married… If anyone’s been in a relationship, trying to keep your girlfriend happy or your wife or your boyfriend or whoever… is a lot of work. Add a bunch of people into that, all different personalities, that’s a lot of work.

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But then put a guideline, a rule, overtop of it saying ‘now we all have to believe the same thing.’ That’s like saying… you’re in my band and I’m like ‘I’m going vegan and so is he and if you don’t you’re out of the band.’ And you’re kinda like ‘That’s not really how humanity works.’

Putting a religion on a band; we’re all six individuals, that’s really unfair. What if someone decides to go down a different path? What if someone has questions? What if someone maybe just doesn’t feel right with stuff anymore?

And that pressure was really hard, because if you questioned that within the band, there was kind of this facade and smoke and mirror effect going and like, I know you’re not telling me how you really feel because you don’t want to cross that boundary of sounding like you’re not a Christian anymore, and same with this guy. No one’s talking anymore; there’s all this inner turmoil because we couldn’t talk about shit.

I just think it’s really inhumane and I don’t think religion should be in music. I don’t really care what Maynard [James Keenan of Tool, etc.] believes in, I think his music is great.”

The band themselves drew controversy from the Christian music scene with the release of their song “On My Teeth” earlier this year, due to it saying “fucking.” When asked if those fans still support the band now, drummer/vocalist Aaron Gillespie replied: “Some of ’em. A lot of them aren’t. If you say ‘fuck’ in a song, for those people, it’s a huge deal.” Chamberlain added:

“They didn’t support us before anyway. We never wrote songs about… We never wrote songs about god. I mean go read Underoath lyrics. Except for a song called “Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape” on ‘Chasing Safety‘, written by Aaron from Copeland… we didn’t write that.”

He continued on to say that:

“We haven’t been a Christian band since 2009, something like that. We made that announcement, people just weren’t paying attention. It’s a bigger deal now cause we’re back and I said “fuck” on a song.”

He later added:

“I don’t hate any religion. I think anyone should be entitled to do whatever the fuck they wanna do. But for us, there was a lot of weird pressure and weird stuff behind the scenes. And people sing things that they are but they aren’t and vice versa. They like made a painting out of me. Since 2006 on, when it came out that I had problems with drugs, there was never any help.

It was just like ‘let’s crucify that guy. Because look how terrible of an example of a Christian he is.’ Not one person offered to help me. It was just like ‘fuck that guy, let’s get him out of here.'”

The chat continues on finding Chamberlain reflecting on his over a year of sobriety now, referring to his past self as a ‘functional drug addict.”