On the latest episode of the BadChristian podcast, Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain, Aaron Gillespie and Tim McTague talk about their recent reunion, as well as the events that lead up to Gillespie’s original departure in 2010. “I was going through a lot of weird emotional shit,” admits Gillespie, the band’s drummer/vocalist. “I needed to be medicated; I had this crazy anxiety. [Laughs.] It’s so weird to talk about now in my 30s, but I always thought something was wrong with me. So I just spent all of my time on tour with Underoath kinda’ thinking I was dying or was sick, and it sounds funny to say, but I really made that a polarizing thing in my life. Like, ‘These guys were out to get me and they think I’m an asshole,’ and I was an asshole, to be frank. Looking back on it now, it’s so childish and immaterial to what was happening when they were trying to help me all along. I was sick, like, mentally sick, and I know that sounds way dramatized, [but] I have never really talked about this before.”
He later touches on the specific events surrounding what was presumed to be his final show with Underoath, which took place in Milan, Italy, on April 6, 2010. “I just thought I was sick. I don’t even remember what the hell it was; some bullshit disease that I dreamed up. I had just kept missing soundchecks and I would take a weird taxi to some strange-ass hospital. Tim sat me down with everyone else and said, ‘Dude, this is a selfish action.’ I don’t really remember the logistics of the conversation, or what exactly was said, but the reality of it was true. You know people always have that cheesy saying, ‘The truth hurts,’ and I was like, ‘Shit, I’m pissed now.’ Then I somehow rationalized in my brain that I was actually sick and actually had to leave, and I was like, ‘Well, screw it, I’m done.’ It was a really knee-jerk reaction for me. I guess I’ve never really given a correct answer [to why I left], but the truth is that I was just mentally stupid. When I go back and think about it [now], it’s just so strange.”
Both Spencer and Tim later chime in and claim that Underoath as a whole wasn’t always a healthy entity. “I remember the last conversation I had with Aaron as a member of Underoath, and it was so brutal,” confesses McTague. “Looking back, it’s all water under the bridge, but some of the things that were said were just… no one was acting right. And it was a lot easier to say the guy who has the actual ‘problem’ is the cause of all this, y’know?” He later continues, saying, “It’s a really cool thing to look back on and go, ‘We were all piles of shit [who] were just trying to work our stuff out.’”
Last month, Underoath announced that they will embark on a full U.S. reunion tour in the spring of 2016. Each night, both They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define The Great Line will be performed in their entireties, along with “some special treats.”
“I hated the idea of Underoath being ‘over’ and I’m not sure what we are, but we are all friends again and that’s really the most important thing,” says Chamberlain. “That being said, we felt like now is a great time to do a tour and celebrate Define The Great Line turning 10.”
Created by current Emery members Toby Morrell and Matt Carter, along with former bassist Joey Svendsen, BadChristian is a thriving community that focuses on interacting with culture from an alternative Christian point of view. They do so by being transparent, entertaining, honest and artistic. Their book, Bad Christian, Great Savior, is available for purchase now.
Take a look back at this video of Underoath doing a signing at the AltPress tent during Warped Tour 2009.