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Interview with Chris Dudley of Underoath

Before the show on 1/26 at the House of Blues in LA, I caught up with Chris Dudley, Keyboardist of “Underoath” and asked him a few questions

Nicole Lemberg: On Wikipedia, it says the meaning of Underoath is “Something from the bible” can you elaborate?

Chris Dudley: Actually no, what’s funny is um, the guy who came up with the name of the band was in the band for probably like for 6 months. He left before Underoath recorded anything, like it was just a long time ago like back in high school and he was the one who came up with the name. So, it says it on Wikipedia because we know he got it from somewhere in the bible, we’re just not sure where.

NL: When you were growing up, did your parents think you would be in a band or musician?

CD: No, not at all. ‘Cause when I was growing up like my biggest thing was, I wanted to be a pilot in the air force because my dad was a pilot in the air force and I just, I wanted to fly jests and like that’s all I cared about. Then uh, when my parents got divorced and we went to Florida, and I went out to visit my dad one summer and he um broke the news to me, that I was now too tall to fly jets because apparently you have to be under 5’10 in order to fly so that was a, you know it ruined thought for sure about what I was going to do, so whatever. And then, honestly I just kinda fell into doing this. I had some friends who were playing music and they were like, hey do you wanna play with us? And I was like yea sure and at the time there were no shows there was no anything. It was just dudes in a bedroom playing music and I just kinda like started doing it.

NL: Did you take piano lessons?

CD: Nope, just kinda picked it up and learned as I went along. They’re defiantly good for learning how you should play, I’m sure I don’t play correct, but yea.

NL: Must be good enough!

CD: Yea!

NL: So do your parents support you being in a band?

CD: Yea, sure, ya! They were great. It’s funny because me and Daniel [drummer] and Tim [lead guitar] were actually talking last night about how we can’t believe how our parents were as cool about it as they were. Like you know, like being 16 and like in the summer going on tour and going all the way across the country and this is like, we had no cell phones or anything like that so it was a big, a big leap on our parents part but they were awesome.

NL: If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

CD: I don’t know! Uh, I thought about being a chef before. I thought about one time about being a flight attendant, just because I like to travel and meet new people, but I wouldn’t do that now, I don’t think. So I’m not sure, I don’t know.

NL: When you’re on tour is there something you always have to bring?

CD: My phone, Yea. I have it with me all the time. Just because I do so many different things with it, like you know, I obviously I talk to you know, my wife and my friends and everyone on it and I’ve got my pictures on it, my email.

NL: Your iPod.

CD: Ya, my iPod with all my music, yes! So it’s pretty much, so many different things I always have to have it, it’s the first thing I grab.

NL: On your iPod, what are you listening to right now?

CD: Let’s see, (takes out phone) what have I been listening to lately? The last thing played was “Wooven Hand” because that’s a really, really good record. The new middle class rut record, I like a lot.

NL: Yea, I just saw them!

CD: Oh really! How were they?

NL: Pretty good!

CD: Really, I’ve never seen them, so I would definitely love to see them. So, listening to Lamb of God, Huey Lewis Greatest hits the other day. New deftones, new Circa Survive is really good .

NL: Nice. We are at the House of Blues in L.A, have you ever performed here before or seen any bands here?

CD: We’ve played at the House of Blues a lot um, we played them all over. There are a lot of them like the one in Anaheim we are playing tomorrow. The one in Florida, Cleaveland, you know, in Dallas. I like them a lot because pretty much the same everywhere, like you know what you’re getting into. The sound is always really good. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to a show at the House of Blues so yea.

NL: Do you have a favorite place to play? Like city, state, or venue?

CD: It’s really hard, all of California the shows are really good. So as a state, I would probably say California. Just because it’s always awesome.

NL: What was the most embarrassing thing to happen to you while on stage?

CD: Um, on our last tour, I slammed my face on my keyboard stand and ripped my nose open and I was just like bleeding everywhere. That was pretty embarrassing. Ripping pants on stage is never fun. That’s happened a few times. Fell off the stage once,that was pretty embarrassing. I’ve gotten my share of you know embarrassing things.

NL: Is there anything you always request to have backstage?

CD: Water! That’s pretty much it. I mean there are always other things, but that’s the only thing that we always have. So that’s the main thing. Water, and we’re good.

NL: What’s the weirdest thing a fan has done for you, or to you?

CD: Wow, um, we had a guy one time. We were doing a signing one time in Japan and he took all his clothes off and laid on the table so we signed his body. It was not pretty. That was pretty crazy.

NL: You just came out with your 7th album, a few months ago in Nov. how is it different from your previous albums?

CD: I mean, it is in a lot of ways. I guess one of the biggest things would be the fact that we have one vocalist now, which I think is a really positive thing. ‘Cause before we had two guys who were going back and forth as far as the vocals go and two different ideas and two different views on where the song should go. It was kind of like a competing thing, but now it’s Spencer doing all the vocals and he’s doing, an awesome job and I think it’s great because it makes the songs sound more cohesive and they make a lot more sense. I’ve heard a lot of people making semi- jokes about us being a “real” band now that we just have a singer. So that’s probably the biggest change. Obviously having a new drummer that creates a whole new dynamic so, it’s quite and bit different.

NL: What comes first, lyrics or music?

CD: Music, always. The lyrics are the last thing to get done and then titles for songs and then the album title is the dead last thing, totally.

NL: Any do you contribute to the lyrics or just the keyboards?

CD: No, no. None of us really do any of the lyrics or stuff, except for Spencer. And then in the studio he’ll have some sort of a thing, where he’s like I don’t know what to do, how this melody should go, so we just kinda throw in ideas but 99.9% of all that is up to Spencer.

NL: When you’re playing live, is there one song from the new record that you just love to play?

CD: Yes! “A Devine Eradication.” It’s my favorite song period of the whole set to play and we’re playing it tonight, it’s fun. It’s a good time.

NL: Is there a song from the new record that really gets the crowd going and into it?

CD: I don’t know, the reaction to the new songs have been um, pretty much the same across the board in a good way. There doesn’t really seem to be any stand out tracks, it’s always been doing really well so it’s cool.

NL: That’s all I have, thank you!

CD: Oh! Thanks! Glad you got everything you wanted!

All photos by Nicole Lemberg

About the Author

Nicole Lemberg is a teen concert photographer, reviewer, and band interviewer. She recently started her own website and her work has been published on numerous music related sites. She is a point and shooting guard on her high school basketball team. In her free time Nicole goes to concerts and hangs out with friends.

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