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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Underoath Are Blessed

A Grammy Award nomination may not be a big deal for some, but for a band whose humble beginnings were drudging around metal's underground, that's a damn big accomplishment.

Underoath have been in existence since 1998 and are on top of their career with the release of their latest album, Lost In The Sound Of Separation, though their success hasn't come without criticism.

While the band were in Toronto, ChartAttack had the chance to talk to bassist Grant Brandell about the new record and the overwhelming success the band have had.

ChartAttack: Underoath are a band that have really progressed their sound. Is it one of your goals to improve album after album?
Grant Brandell: Definitely. I think that we are always trying to progress and always trying to out-write the last album and do something better. We're definitely a band that likes to experiment and try new things. I feel like if we wrote the same album two or three times, it gets to be boring and lame and we wouldn't be into it. We're always trying to push ourselves, even with different elements of music and instruments and styles. We're definitely that kind of band.

Do you find that alienates fans sometimes?
Yeah, I think it can, but I think of it more like the fact that if I was on stage every night and wasn't really into it and wasn't really stoked on it, if I was a fan, that would be way more lame than seeing a band that maybe I liked their older stuff a little bit better, but at least they're doing what they love, you know? I think that's way cooler.

You can tell when a band is into what they're doing on stage and loving what they're doing. I think if it alienates fans and you don't have as many for the next record, that's not really the point anyway. We're definitely not trying to write music for everyone else. We're trying to write music that we love to play and if people like it, that's awesome. If they don't, that's cool, too.

You guys have definitely been getting the most mainstream attention of your career.
Yeah, which is funny because each album we've put out, at least the last two, have been heavier than the ones before it and not as radio-friendly. But it's cool, you know? I think people can tell that we're doing what we love to do and trying to push the bar and they respect that. They can sense that and latch onto it.

Has there been a negative side to the attention you've been getting lately?
Um, honestly, no, not really. I mean, I try not to read the whole message board things and forums online because, 90 per cent of the time, that's just bickering and stuff from kids anyway. That's the only thing I can think of that's negative that comes from this.

I personally think this is the best album that we've put out, so I'm stoked on it. I think every band says that. It's kind of cliche, but at the same time, it's what I believe.

At what point did you realize something was really happening for you?
Probably the year we were on Warped Tour. We had kind of played Warped Tour here and there before, but this was the first time we were doing the whole thing and you could just tell a difference in the shows. Like, the CD was selling really good, and shows started getting better and better and it was awesome. That was the first time I was like, "Wow, this is sweet."

And now you're doing massive tours. That's pretty amazing that your job, if you call it that, allows you to see the world.
A lot of times I feel bad complaining to friends at home, like, "Yeah, I've got to go out of the country for five weeks," and they're like, "Yeah, poor baby. You travel the world and do what you love. Rough." So you have to get a slap in the face to be humble about it, but it is honestly the best feeling ever. I feel totally blessed and just lucky to be able to do what I love doing for a career and see the world, you know? It's awesome.

Even just coming from the metal underground where you guys started, to be able to do it from that scene is amazing in itself.
Yeah, completely. Anything our band has done, like, five years ago started going past my expectations. Everything now is just like a cherry on top. It's amazing. I definitely feel blessed and appreciative of the chances and opportunities we've had.

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