Features

From The Editor’s Floor: Underoath

August 21, 2008
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UNDEROATH frontman SPENCER CHAMBERLAIN has gone through a lot since the band nearly self-destructed during the 2006 Warped Tour. In addition to fighting his own demons in the form of a drug addiction, he also weathered his bandmates being largely unforgiving of his behavior. Chamberlain isn’t afraid to open up about his trials. In fact, he feels it’s his Christian duty to be honest with everyone around him–including himself.



HONESTY AND HYPOCRISY

“I like being honest. If people would’ve been honest with me growing [up], I probably would not have had to go through as much crap as I did. If people could just be real with people, [everything] would be way easier. So I do that, or I try to. In writing music and lyrics, I just want that to be real. I’m [called] a hypocrite sometimes, but that comes with the territory. I’d rather be called a hypocrite than be a hypocrite and lie about something. I try to live like Jesus because I love Him. But I’m not Him. Yeah, we’re a Christian band, and yeah, I’m the singer. But the feeling of believing that we’re so perfect turns people off just as much as the [opinions of] people who think I’m a hypocrite for some of [my personal vices]. People probably shouldn’t even know about [those issues], but they do because I’ll let them know about it. I’d rather be real with someone because it might help someone out. Even if I’m not to the point where I should be [with my own struggles], I can still share with someone and help them out.”



IT’S DANGEROUS BUSINESS WALKING OUT YOUR FRONT DOOR

“[Cocaine] turns everything around you into this big lie, and you’re walking around on eggshells. You can’t even enjoy anything because once you start doing it and you’re with your friends–and they don’t know you’re doing it–having a conversation is almost worthless. In the back of your mind, you’re thinking, ‘How am I going to sneak away and do it again?’ Everything turns into a lie; every friendship turns superficial.”



BREATHING IN A NEW MENTALITY

“I know that [abusing drugs is] wrong-I just get to [that] point sometimes in my life. I have no excuse, really. It’s just that demon that pulls me down, I guess. But even when I’m doing it a lot…I still wake up in the morning and go to bed at night going, ‘Yep, I’m an idiot.’ I never go, ‘Yeah, this is okay. My family would think this is okay. My best friends would think this was okay. God would think this is okay.’ I’m not that stupid.”



THE CREATED VOID

“[Things changed with the band] when other people manned up to what they were doing wrong–whether it be with my situation, or just the fact that they were wrong in other situations. [Like] me not loving someone, or judging someone when they walk through the door. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty, in God’s eyes, that’s the same as this person doing drugs or that person murdering someone. Whatever it is, a sin is a sin. We need to be brothers and not enemies trying to pretend, ‘I’m better than you.’ That’s what I’m trying to share with people. We’re not better than you. We’re not perfect.”



SOME WILL SEEK FORGIVENESS

“[Forgiveness] saved our band. That had to happen. When forgiveness came and the apologies came and more truth came, it was like, ‘Dude, get in here for a hug. You’re my best friend. I want to be able to call you [when we’re] 40, and not tell my kid, ‘Yeah, this one time, I was in this band with this guy. But, man, I don’t talk to him anymore. I wonder what he’s up to.’ I’d much rather be like, ‘Yeah, Uncle Timmy [McTague] lives down the street. You play with his kids. We were in Underoath together for 10 or 15 or however many years.’ That’s what we learned. It’s more of a brotherhood–as cheesy as it sounds. It’s real friendship, real camaraderie, real understanding and real love.” —Brendan Manley

Written by AltPress