Published Jan 01, 2006Every so often, a band becomes a lightning rod for all the politics of their scene. In releasing They're Only Chasing Safety, Florida's Underoath were fully prepared for the response that followed. "With any record, with any change, with any progression, you're going to have kids who will talk. You'll have kids who don't like it, and you'll have opposition," says guitarist Tim McTague.
Whereas their 2002 release, The Changing of the Times, was a hardcore record through and through, their latest work finds the band shifting gears by adding more melody and hooks to their aggressive sound. "You release this one record that everyone latches on to, and they just want that same record re-created every time and they can't really deal with change."
In fact, McTague has an interesting take on the "sell out" label that's dogged them recently. "Selling out is doing something to please a certain group of people. A lot of kids look at that as an underground band who sells out to please a major label and mass audience to gain success, whereas we were in the opposite position. The hardcore scene was expecting something from us, and selling out in my mind would have been writing a hardcore record because that was what was expected of our band."
With the success of their current single, "Reinventing Your Exit," the band is not experiencing the dip in popularity they had braced themselves for. So while some may reject the new, catchier Underoath, a shift in audience is not something that concerns them. "Kids have been really receptive to us. It's not like we're the hardcore band on a weird bill and kids who like us don't like anyone else. I don't see Throwdown shirts all over the place like I used to."