‘Erase Me’ is the first Underoath album to be released in eight years and is due out on Friday, April 6th. It’s the first album in ten years for drummer, Aaron Gillespie. We caught up with him ahead of the release and chatted ‘Erase Me’, touring, anxiety and more.
While Aaron enjoyed a glass of wine during our interview, I enjoyed a coffee. It was late in the afternoon for him, and early morning for myself. I first asked Aaron what he was most looking forward to about the release of the upcoming album, ‘Erase Me’. “I think for me for a long time it’s felt kind of surreal. It’s an interesting thing to be doing all this press for an Underoath record, I didn’t think we’d ever make another one.” ‘Erase Me’ is the first Underoath release in 8 years, and the first one Aaron has been involved in for almost a decade. “I’m excited for people to hear, which I know is a bit of a generic answer but I really feel good about the material. I feel like it’s the most honest work we’ve ever done.”
“Underoath has always been a band that makes albums to listen to as a whole, we obsess of the running order for days and weeks.” Aaron comments in regards to having so far released two tracks off ‘Erase Me’, On My Teeth back in February, and then Rapture on March 20th. “I’m just excited for everyone to listen to it the way that we intended them to.”
I’ve been lucky enough to hear ‘Erase Me’ ahead of its release, you can check out the review here, and I asked Aaron if he had a favourite track off the album. “I have two favourite tracks, the first track on the record is called It Has To Start Somewhere and the final track I Gave Up and those are my two favourites.” Aaron then continued on to say this in regards to the writing of the album. “We spent a long time writing this record. This record we wrote separately, I live in a different state now, Spencer (Chamberlain, Underoath vocalist) was living in New York and he’d fly to me and I have a studio so we’d write together for two, three weeks and write ten songs then we’d meet up again and do the same thing. Then him and Chris (Dudley, Underoath keyboardist) would do the same thing and write more then we ended up with a pool of 30 songs.” He then went back to say about It Has To Start Somewhere and I Gave Up, “Those two songs, in particular the way those came about, we wrote a few songs in the studio and those two songs feel the most representative of the album lyrically, musically and emotionally. We were firing on all cylinders.”
Underoath are about to head out on tour in the U.S and I asked Aaron what was the one thing he can’t go on tour without. “I lived most of my life on tour. Unfortunately tour is more my home than home is, so I, I don’t really do that whole thing.” He chuckles and then continued with this. “I pack the same bag, and I kinda do the same stuff every day. Tour is home for me, a bus is kinda where I live.” Although there are no dates confirmed or planned for Australia yet, Aaron promises that we will see Underoath on the ‘Erase Me’ album cycle. “I would be lying if I gave you a time frame, but I know we’ll definitely be down on this album cycle.”
On the topic of touring, I asked Aaron what was on the Underoath pre-show playlist. “Usually it’s like hip hop or something kinda vibey like that. For the first few days of a tour we usually don’t listen to much other music, because it’s difficult. You have to make sure the setlist stuff is locked into your brain.” I then asked Aaron if there were any Australian artists he was listening to. “I like AC/DC but I don’t know a lot about the smaller bands. Are there any you can recommend?” I was delighted to indulge on this one and told Aaron about the debut album from the Captives boys and he promised he’d check it out.
The Captives boys are from Tasmania and when I told Aaron this he exclaimed “I’ve never been there man! I was meant to when I was touring with Paramore but the show got cancelled but I’ve always wanted to go there.” This steered our interview down the road of long-haul flights. “We had to fly all the way home from Perth which let me tell you is a painful, painful trip. It’s a 31 hour trip to get home. You have to go to Sydney, which is 5.5 hours, and then you get on your 15 hour flight home and then we live on a 5 hour flight home from L.A.”
“My Mum has photos of me from the early 80’s, I’m 35 now, and she’s holding me over a birthday cake and the artwork on the cake is a drum set.” Is Aaron’s answer to me asking what made him decide he wanted to be a drummer. “There’s never really been anything else.”
Aaron has always been very open about his struggles with anxiety, and I felt this was something I needed to ask him about. “I think that omitting the things in life that are hard is really the only way to get free from stuff.” He continued “This is what I deal with, this is who I am. It makes it easier to deal with you know?” I also asked Aaron what he told kids that came up to him with the same struggles and he said this. “I feel like when people really get into your music they feel like they know about you, what I say especially to fans is I don’t know you, I don’t know your family or your situation but you should definitely talk to someone about it. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, I’m just a person just like anybody else.”
The album is the most honest form of Underoath to date and it’s an amazing piece of artwork. I know I’m personally really looking forward to its release, and keeping my fingers crossed for some tour dates down under soon!
You can pre-order your copy of ‘Erase Me’, out Friday April 6th via Fearless Records HERE!