INTERVIEW: Underoath

We were lucky enough to speak to Christopher Dudley (Keyboardist) from Underoath about their rebirth!

So, we couldn’t believe that ‘Underoath’ started way back in 1997. Is that true?

More closer to 1998. The first record came out in 1999 and it was one of those things where we were all just in high school. It wasn’t like “Oh we’re putting out an album”. We happened to find someone that would pay for us to record an album so we didn’t feel like we made it or anything, like I said we were all still in high school and just hanging out.

It’s been a while though, it’s funny because when I talk about it I’ve been doing this literally my entire adult life. I joined when I was 16 and I’m about to be 34 which is crazy but I’m thankful because not alot of people get to do it for this long.

Have you ever had a normal 9am til 5pm job?

Yeah, we were not a band for almost 4 years. We broke up and we didn’t think we were gonna be doing it again and I started doing all this nerd computer work, working on government contracts in the US and doing a lot of hardware support. I got to hangout at my house and work from home and hungout with my kids all day and did computer stuff. It was awesome! I loved it, just being home and hanging out with my kids all day and it was great.

Do you think the band has progressed and come back better than ever after the break?

Oh yeah and the thing is for us it wasn’t a break, because from the outside alot of people will look at it as if like “oh they stopped for a little while and then started touring again”. But for us literally we had broken up, that was it. I got rid of all my equipment, dudes went and started other bands, dudes got jobs and it was just like that’s no longer what we do. But fast forwarding to now, that break gave us a lot of perspective and there was time for healing as far as relationships go and yeah it was definitely needed whether or not we got back together, us ending when we did, had to happen.

What initially brought you back together?

A group text. We had broken up but we still had this group text chain where we would send stupid memes and dumb random stuff and we knew one of our albums was about to turn 10 and somebody threw out the idea of what if we played a secret show to commemorate that album. Like one show in Florida, have it to be a one off thing, it would be fun and then that snowballed into what if we play a weekend worth of shows and then it was like what if we went for a week and then it turned into what if we did a whole tour where we played these two albums back to back.

And it was about half way through that tour, when we started that tour we weren’t planning to do anything after that, but half way through that tour we just realised how much we love doing this and individually we were all alot more mature and it had been years and yeah we were like lets just do this as it makes sense. I mean we’re not grinding like 10 months a year like we used to, we’re playing things here and there but yeah we’re doing things as its fun and it makes sense.

Everyone wants to know is there some new material?

We don’t know. At this point we are just enjoying being on tour and being friends and being in europe, playing awesome shows.

Coming back does it feel good to know your fan base is still there?

Yeah for sure, we had no idea how it would go we just knew we wanted to initially do that first tour but since we’ve come back its been the biggest thing we’ve ever done which is crazy cause it’s funny we did a headline run and a run in the US with BMTH and we were asking who’s never seen us before?

And it’s like 80% of the crowd and we were touring non-stop and everybody we talked to were like “When you guys were touring i was too young i wasnt able to go to concerts but now you’re back doing it I can come” or like “My uncle got me into you guys” and that whole thing so it’s crazy to see how that’s happened and there’s a lot of new people too not just people who stuck around from back when we were full-time but alot of new people that got into us after we broke up or just now got into us. Alot of people on that last tour that we did they were saying “oh we’ve never heard of you guys until this tour you guys were great” and I’m like cool that’s great!

What are you doing to keep things fresh?

I dont know, it’s interesting because I think when you’re touring as much as we were back then there’s an element of fatigue that comes into it like physically and mentally when you’re constantly going and going everyday. But now we’ve got in a lot of ways a renewed excitment cause it’s not just like this is something we have to do it’s now like oh man this is something we get to do so I think that that is a really good thing I don’t know if I’d say that definitely keeps us “fresh” but it’s something that we didn’t have before and I don’t know if I wanna say it’s an energy.

Is the onstage chemistry the same as before?

A lot better now, you know we have a lot of fun and it’s great! I can’t complain.

You have children, have they heard your music yet?

It’s funny because the last tour we did with BMTH that was the first time my kids had seen us play that they can remember so when we went away for those years they were about the age where they would not have remembered. So until our last tour started me playing music was just something they heard about that their dad used to do, it’s funny cause me, James, Tim and Grant all live around the same area so for our kids, Grant doesn’t have kids but for the rest of our kids it was like oh that’s something that the daddy’s used to do.

Sso my kids were at the show in Atlanta on our last tour and my daughters were in the back watching and it was so awesome to see them and my oldest daughter was backstage after the show and she didn’t remember seeing us and I was like “so what did you think of the show?” and she was like “dad it was so good you know what else is my favourite thing about underoath, you guys all know each other” and I thought that was really funny because I talked to her about it later cause I didn’t really get what she meant but she never put together the idea that somebody who’s on a stage playing music that those people have any sort of relationship outside of just being on stage together so she’s used to seeing us at all the birthday parties and then she goes and sees us doing this thing.

Interview by Kaori Manz and Hannah Smith.

at Groezrock 2017