After calling it quits in 2013, returning in 2015 for a few reunion concerts, Underoath is finally only days away from releasing their heavily anticipated album, “Erase Me”. Eight years since their last album, the band decided to treat a select few fans who pre-ordered the album to a screening of their documentary, “Get Over It”, a look into the making of the album, sponsored by their new label, Fearless Records.
Fans were handed posters of the new artwork, a broken angel with the album’s signature green filling the background, as well as a pass with a link to download the album when it releases this Friday, April 6th. Fans came from as far as Tucson, Arizona, driving eight hours to then wait in line to debate which album truly is the greatest Underoath album. As they opened the door to the theater, fans quickly filled the red seats of the AMC Santa Monica 7.
After a brief announcement, the film began. Following lead singer Spencer Chamberlain, guitarist Tim McTague, keyboardist and engineer Christ Dudley, and drummer and singer Aaron Gillespie, the film documents the process of creating an album when obstacles such as geography, conflicting ideas, and strong personalities look to hold them back. Directed by Dan Newman, the band does not shy away from talking about the changes they have all gone through while being in and out of Underoath. They talk of how family, moving and personal projects have taken them in new directions, but that coming back to write this album, without putting any conditions on themselves, has allowed them to grow and possibly make some of the greatest music to date.
With only 60 days to record the album, the band hired producer Matt Squire, whose impressive producing credits range from Thrice to Ariana Grande. Newman captures the band as they each bring in pieces of songs, lyrics, ideas, and with the help of Squire are able to eventually reach completion on multiple songs that feel like Underoath. The documentary does not shy away from addressing Chamberlain’s long-standing battle with drug addiction. He mentions that this is the first album with the band where he has stayed sober through the whole process and that it is the first time he has been able to reflect on lyrics after he has written them. Newman captures the passion and intense musical ability of each band member with handheld shots of them playing instruments and discussing songs as they talk to Squire about structure, melody and angular vibe. At one moment, Gillespie plays a set on his drum set so intensely on-screen that the audience erupted into applause. These shots are cut between an interview style setup of the band explaining their history, as well as their past, present, and future.
At the film’s end, the audience cheered as the band headed to the front of the stage, joined by bassist Grant Brandell, guitarist James Smith, and director Newman. The host of the night tried to get the Q&A going by asking about the band’s opinion on streaming – “Who gives a shit” was their reply – but was quickly shut down by McTague, who wanted their fans to have a chance to ask questions. The fans did not disappoint asking questions ranging from Chamberlain’s drug addiction and recovery to the band’s religious status and when they would be performing in California – they said: “Possibly the fall, but keep that to yourselves”. They answered all questions honestly, stating that removing the Christian label freed the band to be more honest with not only fans but with themselves. They talked of how they want their music to be inclusive of everyone and know that change may be weird for their fans but that they believe that 9/10 fans will like their new direction just as much as the band does. Fans also asked the band to address the absence of Brandell and Smith from the documentary, to which Brandell replied that he was in a good place and accepting of the new direction now, while Smith, the quiet one of the band, said that he was happy to be playing with the guys and excited to see where this new direction takes them.
Underoath may be taking a new direction musically, but at their core, they are still doing what they love and have the passion for – creating honest, great rock music that fans will love or hate. Either way, Underoath has said what they need to say and the rest of the world can hear it on April 6th when “Erase Me” releases and see them live when they hit the road on April 20th starting in Las Vegas.
To preorder ‘Erase Me’, click here!