"We had a huge identity crisis," explains Underoath vocalist Spencer Chamberlain, the rigid rules that led to the band's 2012 breakup. While fans faith may think the one-time Christian metalcore leaders are deeply confused, the band insist they're happier than ever.
It's a far cry from where Chamberlain spent much his career, during which members "weren't allowed to have different personalities."
"The worst years my life, the most miserable years my life, the years I got treated the worst and was the most alone and made the most mistakes my life, was when I was a quote-unquote Christian," he says. "It was the hardest, most difficult time my life, and that's the opposite what it's supposed to be."
News the band distancing themselves from the Christian label ain't new, but this is as brazen as they've ever been, referencing the disenchantment in press and, yes, even swearing.
He states it's not an anger thing, some members still identify with the religion, though people's concern with one's use a curse word is "one the million problems" with it.
"We could be arguing about so much fucking cooler stuff than whether some guy says a word or not. Like, grow up."
Beyond that, Underoath's lyrics on new album Erase Me aren't far f from the personal poetics they built their career on, though the music also bucks a rule: their previous "that's not Underoath enough" in-studio standard. Take the track "ihateit," for example, which focuses more on calmer crescendos than chaotic calamity, like much the album.
"At that point, I'm singing about how I was really confused for a long time if I was a drug addict or I just liked using drugs," notes the singer, also revealing he's been f them over a year now, the longest since he started touring. "I was like, 'Dude, this sucks. I'm terrible, just erase me.'"
"There's not one fake thing on this record. It's all stuff that I actually personally lived through, and it about near killed me."