Aaron Gillespie on Underoath’s They’re Only Chasing Safety

Posted by Chris Hudson in From The Artist on July 28, 2020

Why it’s his personal least favorite, the B-side he’s most excited to play and more

Finalizing our amazing three week dive into Underoath’s albums in tandem with their Observatory series, where each week they live stream a performance of one of their three most iconic albums front to back in amazing technical production, Aaron Gillespie looks back on the era-defining masterpiece, They’re Only Chasing Safety.

Underoath Observatory Live Series: ‘They’re Only Chasing Safety’ Friday July 31st @ 8pm ET/5pm PT. Tickets with exclusive vinyl pressing, shirts and other merch available here.

The album would go Gold, sky-rocketing the band to a household name and solidifying them as a pillar in the scene. Even now you can still hear an entire sea of people belting out every single lyric, without fail, to “A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black And White”, “Reinventing Your Exit” and “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your front Door.”

Knotfest: What was the song from They’re Only Chasing Safety that made you most excited about the record? 

Back then it was such a different time. We were just so happy to be making music, I can’t remember a specific track but I do know we went back to do a b-side called “I’ve Got Ten Friends And A Crowbar That Says You Ain’t Gonna Do Jack.” I can remember us listening to that and being really excited. 

KF: What is a tour story from that era that has stuck with you since and why? 

Oh man, we slept in the weirdest places and did the strangest stuff. I remember driving through the night to Brooklyn to film the video for “Reinventing Your Exit”.  At the time, ten of us toured in a conversion van and we slept in it in the middle of Brooklyn.

KF: What was the most memorable show during that album cycle?

2004 Boston Warped Tour. We were playing last on a small stage the same time The Used was playing. I was convinced the we would play to no one, but we walked out there and the crowd was huge. I think that is when we realized it was all changing. 

KF: Where do you feel TOCS ranks among the Underoath catalog? 

It’s my personal least favorite. The lyrics were from when we were teenagers, so to listen to it now is like a weird look inside your high school bedroom.

KF: What song did you not play from this record typically that you are most excited to play now that you are doing the album in full? 

I’m the most excited to play “The Impact of Reason” and the b-side “I’ve Got Ten Friends and a Crowbar that Says You Ain’t Gonna Do Jack”.

KF: Up to that point, what was the definitive moment for Underoath as a band? 

They’re Only Chasing Safety was really when it all happened for us. Honestly, Warped Tour 2004 changed everything for us. The album came out that summer. 

KF: Are there any regrets associated with They’re Only Chasing Safety?

Not at all. We were kids. The lyrics and music now seem elementary to me, but I was 19. I’m 37 now and you can’t, as an artist, expect to look back and be in love with it all.

Previously in the Underoath Observatory Series:

Underoath’s Chris Dudley Recalls Capturing Lightning In A Bottle with Define the Great Line

Lost and Found: Spencer Chamberlain Revisit One of Underoath’s Most Important Albums


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