Earlier this month, metalcore vets Underoath released a new song standalone single called "Let Go," their first piece of new material since last year's Voyeurist LP. The track also doubled as the band's first release on new label home MNRK Heavy, and it dropped the same day Underoath kicked off their current U.S. tour with Periphery and Loathe.
It's been a busy month for Underoath, and today (March 22nd), they're showing that they're not slowing down. We're proud to be premiering the brand new music video for "Let Go," which channels the song's heavy, riotous energy into visual form.
The clip was shot in the same room Underoath wrote the song, and it sees the band wilding out while performing it with all their might in the cramped studio space. There's some colorful, grainy editing shades thrown on top the footage that give it an off-kilter vibe, but the whole thing feels super Underoath. Watch it above via YouTube.
With so much going on in their camp, we spoke with vocalist Spencer Chamberlain and drummer-vocalist Aaron Gillespie about the current touring climate, new music, making peace with "cringey" old songs and much more. Read our chat below.
YOU GUYS ARE ON TOUR RIGHT NOW WITH PERIPHERY AND LOATHE. HOW'S THAT GOING?
SPENCER CHAMBERLAIN Dude, it's been so sick. We haven't toured in a year besides festival fly-outs, so it just feels good to get back out and be able to get in the swing.
Takes a couple days to get really comfortable with the set. All the bands are super cool. We've never met Periphery. We've been trying to tour together forever and ever. I don't think we've ever even played a festival on the same day. We've played many of the same festivals, but it's cool that we got to finally link up and we're all super homies already a week into it, so that's dope.
A LOT OF ARTISTS ARE TALKING ABOUT HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO TOUR THESE DAYS, IN TERMS OF PRICE INFLATION, LOGISTICAL ISSUES, ETC. HAS THAT AFFECTED YOU GUYS?
AARON GILLESPIE Every aspect of touring is more expensive than it's ever been. Bus leasing costs and production and crew and fuel. All of the above. I think for a band like ours, it doesn't really help us to tour too often. When you're on the come-up, I feel like you can tour a bunch. There were years where we played 200 shows, 250 shows, and now I can't do that.
It doesn't make sense for a band like ours to do that. Money and all that aside, if you want people to show up, they can't have that little saying to themselves,"oh, we'll get them next time." Everything almost has to be an event.
CHAMBERLAIN It definitely does. Look at the lineups on some of these tours. It almost seems like a mini festival of headlining bands. I think that's not because bands are just trying to do the biggest shit they can possibly do. I just think they're trying to make everything so important, to where Aaron said a fan can't go, "well, I'll catch it next time." This is the show that I have to attend.
GILLESPIE Yeah. It is what it is. I think that you hear a lot of old guys, if you will, be like, "that's new and everything's changed and it's expensive." The streaming [era] and the world is different, but I think that it's a really cool time right now and people are excited to go to shows. I feel like every day I look at the stories on Instagram and it's like a tour ad or whatever, and everything's sold out or low tickets.
YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN TOURING A LONG TIME. DO YOU STILL LIKE IT?
CHAMBERLAIN Love it. Nothing, nothing compares to that feeling that you get onstage. The adrenaline and the feeling of performing is just to die for. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true. I can't imagine living a life without it. That's the terrifying thought to me.
GILLESPIE I like that part, but I hate the rest, personally. As you get older, that part's harder. Everything else is harder. The playing on stage is what you live for, but the rest of it sucks.
CHAMBERLAIN But, we grew up as a live band. We came from [a scene where] you proved yourself live before anyone bought your record because it was pre-streaming. You got on tour with a band that was bigger than you, and your whole job was to put on the best live show so kids would stop at the merch table and then go grab that little compact disc that we used to sell. It would be a really shitty interpretation of what you sounded like live.
You were always a better live band than in the studio because as kids, you couldn't afford to make a good-sounding record. Now, anyone with a laptop with enough money, you can load it up with the best recording equipment and plugins to make a really great sounding record.That's an awesome thing. We even produce our own records now, but back then you had to have a big budget from a label to sound good. Our scene was underground, and you didn't get that budget. So, you went and recorded with some old dude that didn't know what you were doing, what you were going for.
It sounded like ass. You put that out and go tour with it, but people would see you live and be like, that band is fucking rad. We've based our whole livelihood off being a live band. We're not a band [whose] streaming numbers keep our families fed. We're a band that sells tickets and plays shows, and we're a live performance band.
YOU GUYS JUST SIGNED TO A NEW LABEL, MNRK HEAVY. DOES THIS FEEL LIKE THE START OF A NEW ERA FOR UNDEROATH?
CHAMBERLAIN I feel like we're starting the next 20 years. We're about to hit 20 years and we signed a new deal. To me, it feels like for the first time we have a team firing on as many cylinders as the band is. It's almost like ... I don't know if it's just a coincidence or a sum of the parts, but it seems like even the members that were more comfortable, and we built this thing in itself sustainable, are now fired up again in the way of where they're constantly working on it and constantly wanting to push it and do things that are uncomfortable and play for new audiences and take tour offers that we would've said no to.
I don't know how you feel, Aaron, but I feel like it almost feels like someone came in and just re-lit a fire. It's kind of wild.
GILLESPIE Yeah. I think that sometimes newness inside of a band or any business or creative venture, something new, something changing will kind of light a fire under your ass. I feel like we make our own records now, and we self produce. With this new thing with MNRK, they've kind of allowed us to do things completely our way. We're just kind of taking it in a song at a time. I think eventually it'll be a album, but we're just kind of making shit as it happens.
I think that that's a way, a freeing way, for us to create that we'd never done before. Typically, you fly somewhere or whatever and you write "x" amount of songs and you dig through those songs and you record 11 or 12 of those. That standard album launch type deal.
But this is a little different. I think we decided that we needed a little bit of a step back in terms of how we create, shake it up a little bit, and it just feels good. It feels like everybody is firing on all cylinders because there's some newness kind of breathed into the situation.
SO IS "LET GO" THE FIRST MATERIALIZATION OF THAT NEWNESS?
GILLESPIE For sure.
CHAMBERLAIN We made four songs in that trip. That was the first one that we thought was ... To finish up. It represented a good leeway into what the next chapter of music sounds like.
WHERE DO YOU GUYS WANT TO GO WITH YOUR SOUND?
GILLESPIE With "Let Go," we spent a lot of time on that song. The funny thing about that song is I keep hearing people say, "oh, it's so different." It doesn't feel that way to me. That's really interesting. You could take that at face value or whatever, but for me it's like that's a cool thing to hear people say because that shows me that we're still pushing. You know what I mean?
There are artists and bands you want to hear the same thing from over and over again. You don't want McDonald's to change what a fucking Big Mac tastes like. I think for us, people don't want the same thing over and over again, even if they think they do. It's just refreshing to hear people say it feels different.
CHAMBERLAIN Yeah. Because if you're not happy, I think people can tell. It's weird. When we're all on the same page and we're all happy with it, we believe in it. It latches on. Honesty always wins, I feel like.
HAVE YOU GUYS EVER FELT LIKE YOU'VE PHONED ANYTHING IN?
GILLESPIE I can say no to that.
CHAMBERLAIN I stand behind everything we made at each individual moment. This was our best foot forward of what we were going for at that time. Even the early Chasing Safety stuff, there're parts of it that are cringey to me now as an adult. But as an 18-year-old kid working on that stuff, dude, we didn't ... we were fresh out of high school. What the fuck did we know?
GILLESPIE We thought that shit slapped.
CHAMBERLAIN We were dumb little kids. I look at every different phase that we've been through and I'm proud of it, except for the breakup, I think. I don't think you ever have to close a book on a band. I don't think breaking up is ever the answer, but you can take some time and go away for a while, take a hiatus, and get your shit right or make amends.
Breaking up, what does that do for anybody? It just says, :oh, we'll never play these songs like this ever again." That's not true. You don't know where you're going to be in five years. You don't know where you're going to be in 10 years.
That's the only thing I remember, like, man, we shouldn't have done that, but here we are. We did and it has made us stronger and better. We could have done that without maybe breaking up, but we didn't know either what the fuck we were doing at that point. We were idiots and worn out.
GILLESPIE I mean, even the cringe, even the cringey stuff, I feel like if I sat down and read the lyrics of Chasing Safety right now, some of it's pretty cringey to me is a 39-year-old man. But every night when you play that stuff and you see people and you feel people's energy and you see them light up, and [see] that shit means the world to them.
CHAMBERLAIN That's all you need.
GILLESPIE That's all you need. Because when you're 18, you're 18. You're writing that trash down. It's like you really meant it. Do you know what I mean?
CHAMBERLAIN We just added "Down, Set, Go" back into the set list because we've always felt like that song on record is pretty cringey, but we played it on that Emo's Not Dead cruise and everyone lit up in the crowd. The crowd came more alive on that song than "Reinventing Your Exit" and stuff. So now we've added it back into the set, not caring about those parts that could be considered cringey, and the crowd lights up and they love it. And we're having fun doing it. I think that's just ... It's cool.