I had the honor of sitting down with Spencer of underOATH before their show in Fargo, ND on October 18th 2005. We talk about their tour with Thrice, their upcoming studio time,new album, and other good things.
Bryce: Can we get your name and position in the band?
Spencer: My name is Spencer and I do vocals.
Bryce: How has your tour been going with Thrice?
Spencer: It’s been awesome, the shows have been awesome. Everyone on the tour is really cool. We’ve known everyone but Veda for longer then this tour.
Bryce: Have you toured with Thrice before?
Spencer: No, unless you count Warped Tour. Its like when we met them and The Bled we’ve toured with a couple of times before.
Bryce: You guys are going back into the studio soon. What can we expect with your new album?
Spencer: We go into the studio in January and we are going with Adam D who did Killswitch. We’re trying to record something that you know if you see us live we are completely different from CD. A lot of stuff thats hard for people to capture for some reason, it gets dried out and kind of stale feeling. We’re hoping that someone like Adam who is our friend before he’s a producer to us you know like someone that’s excited about us even if we aren’t recording with him and not someone who’s just excited about getting paid. Not saying thats how lots of people are but that’s how a lot of producers are. Like we were on tour with them and we were writing new songs and he was excited and thats hopefully something that will shine through our new recordings. All of us having fun and just being awesome so hopefully that will come through when you hear the CD you will be able to tell we’re having a good time and you can tell that the people who are working on it are excited.
Bryce: You don’t have to sell yourself to him.
Spencer: Right, yeah.
Bryce: Do you guys have a specific writing process?
Spencer: Not really. Someone will come up with an idea like a riff for an example and that will be like Tim or me or someone who’s playing guitar coming up with something. If we’re home we’ll work on it a lot at home but this last two years we haven’t really been home. Normally on sound check we’ll play around or we’ll play around in the back of our bus we have like a crappy little thing to record with. But now that we have the basic sculpting done on tour and then we come home and we practice every day when we are at home and we just tear it up and what goes wear and switch stuff around. It’s a long process but it’s cool because you get to sit on it for a while even though that happens all the time no matter what.
Bryce: Are you looking forward to going back to the studio?
Spencer: I’m not looking forward to being home. I go crazy when I’m at home because i’ve got nothing to do. I am looking forward to going into the studio for sure. We have like eight songs done already, like done. Like we’re almost done with the record.
Bryce: Will we hear any new ones tonight?
Spencer: Yeah you will.
Bryce: Your the second vocalist for this band. Do you still get people comparing you to Dallas?
Spencer: It’s been over two years, its like a totally different thing.
Bryce: What if someone says I like the old underOATH better?
Spencer: I understand why someone would say they don’t like the last record. I don’t even like all the last record. Thats what we were into at that time. The record we are about to record is completely different. It’s heavier then any underOATH record. It’s not metal it’s just really heavy and some people will be really excited and probably some people who like us now might not be but that’s never our concern. If your concerned of what people are going to think then your going to writ crappy records. There are six of us so to get six of us to record something its the best it could possibly be.
Bryce: Your Special Edition version of “They’re Only Chasing Safety” just came out. Was it your idea to release it?
Spencer: It was kinda the labels idea. We’ve been doing video stuff forever and it was kind the labels idea to do a re-release thing because that seems like something all the bands are doing these days. We were really strict about it being the same price as the regular record. We were just like the DVD has to be really good, we want kids to buy it because it’s worth it not to make more money. We don’t make money off that crap anyways (laughter) we make our money on tours. We were a little worried about it at first but when we got the edit for the DVD we were pretty like I think kids will be stoked about it. Everyone we have talked to was like dude we’ve watched it like ten times. There are like bands that I’m really into and if they re-release something i would go out and buy it. And same thing if they like release the digapack instead of the hard case, i’ll go buy it. It’s worth it and having like a DVD that’s funny is worth it. Selling a DVD alone is like so weird because stores are going to overcharge for it, we are going to try and do a full DVD but that’s so hard to do so we might wait and put it out with the next record. But we thought that was the coolest way to get the DVD out.
Bryce: The videos on the DVD are funny and thats like what you guys get to do in your free time right?
Spencer: Ya we get to mess around a lot in our free time.
Bryce: Do you guys have any pre show rituals?
Spencer: Like normal stretching and pumping yourself up before the show. We always pray before we go on. I warm up every day.
Bryce: Is that all the exercise you get?
Spencer: Normally when the first band goes on I go warm up somewhere and come back and watch the band before us, for me.
Bryce: What can we find in your tour bus?
Spencer: The company we rent from it always costs the same and sometimes you get a nicer bus and sometimes you don’t. They all have TV’s but we bring like our own XBox and stuff. Grant is probably in the bus right now playing games. (laughter)
Bryce: Do you have any favorite places to tour?
Spencer: Well we’re from the south east so down there is always awesome. California is always awesome, and Texas is always good as well. I like being everywhere, I mean there are definitely places that are better then others where kids are just like more excited about what’s going on.
Bryce: Are you listening to anything in particular at the moment?
Spencer: Right now I got the new Sigur Ros thats really good, the new Pelican record thats pretty good, just older stuff.
Bryce: Are you into newer stuff?
Spencer: Umm, like what’s going on now?
Bryce: Yeah, like Thrice’s new record?
Spencer: Yeah Thrice’s new record is pretty good. But most stuff thats going on right now I’m not really into. I’m not saying that we are anything special or awesome but most things that are like cool right now I’m not really into. The bands I’m into are like Botch, Isis, Red Sparrows, Radiohead, and Sigur Ros. Weirder bands like that, but nothing thats really like indie whatever popular like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance kind of stuff I’m not into that stuff. I like those dudes as people but whatever that scene is has taken over.
Bryce: How was the Taste of Chaos tour?
Spencer: That was awesome.
Bryce: What has been one of your favorite tours?
Spencer: There are things about every tour. Like warped tour when this past record came out seeing things grow. We were out there passing out records working our butts off in the heat and seeing it pay off in the end was cool. Things like Taste of Chaos which is like a huge opportunity that you don’t get all the time and headlining. I can’t really pick a favorite all the tours have stuck out.
Bryce: What do you think is the difference between a christian band today then one ten years ago?
Spencer: There’s not much difference at all thats what sucks about christian music. Like we try to do something different. I look at us as just another band in the secular market like with all these other hardcore bands and we just happen to be a christian band that has different beliefs. We’re the sore thumb we’re like not in the christian scene that’s doing something different. We went to this christian award show one time and it was the weirdest thing I’ve ever been to. That to me is like I know why people hate christians and think the scene is lame and the people are lame cause for the most part they are, that’s why we are here trying to change it.
Bryce: I think it’s way more acceptable today.
Spencer: Right, it’s acceptable because it’s not forced. We don’t get up there and say your going to hell because you don’t believe what we believe thats a bunch of crap. I know when I was 15 and going to hardcore metal shows and I didn’t believe in God that wasn’t what was going to help me out at all.
Bryce: Bands that get on the radio like Switchfoot and all those that are christian makes people look at it different look at it different but they have to figure it out for themselves.
We are interrupted by a man running through the curtains and tripping while trying to get outside to get cell phone reception. Watch where your going buddy, lol.
Bryce: Are you guys going to be on Warped Tour next year?
Spencer: Hopefully, we don’t know yet but we’ve been on the last two years a bit. Its hot and you hear a lot of the same thing everyday but its good for bands and kids who might not get out to a normal show.
Bryce: Well thanks for hanging out Spencer. We all look forward to your new record and seeing you again.
Spencer: Cool, thanks!