After nearly 20 years of identifying as a Christian band, Underoath ditched the label on their newest album, Erase Me. The change left some of their fanbase confused about the new direction and even angered. Now, in a new interview with Revolver, the post-hardcore outfit explained the reasoning behind the decision: being a Christian band became far too limiting and suffocating.
Erase Me is Underoath’s first album in eight years. It not only marks a return to the spotlight, but an altering in image. “The band who once openly — and without apology — professed their faith-based worldview onstage nightly, have since moved beyond the realm of seemingly impenetrable polemics,” read their new Spotify biography. “At various junctures, Erase Me illustrates those moments of sanctuary, anxiety, betrayal and conflict that inevitably arise when humanity grapples with belief systems.”
Reality and humanity eventually caught up with the group, to the point that they had to face the fact that being a Christian act just wasn’t working for them anymore. In many ways, it actually had held them back, both creatively and as individuals.
“I think part of music and art is stirring the pot. One of the best things we ever did was when we agreed not to be a Christian band anymore, and when we made this record the [phrase] ‘That’s not Underoath enough’ was not allowed to be said because those two things fucking ruined our band in the first place,” lead singer Spencer Chamberlain told Revolver. “We couldn’t grow musically and we couldn’t grow individually and once we let that stuff go we became a healthy happy family that got along and were able create music again.”
“I’ve been off drugs for over a year, and I know that was able to happen because we just let all those titles and restrictions go,” added Chamberlain. “That’s beautiful to me and if people are mad about that they can be mad all they want.”
“I’m at a point in life where I can happy and healthy and they really want us to be a metal band and a Christian band again? I would be dead by now,” he concluded. “I would be miserable and overdosed on drugs and there wouldn’t be an Underoath.”
Read the full feature over on Revolver.
Erase Me is due out April 6th via Fearless Records. Watch the video for the first single, “On My Teeth”: