For the second in the Observatory series of album performances from Underoath, the band will revisit their essential 2006 release, Define the Great Line. The critical and commercial success of the record propelled the band into the greater conversation of artists in the top tier of heavy music.
The album would skyrocket to number 2 on the Billboard charts upon it's release. Relentless touring and the enduring quality of songs like "In Regards to Myself," and "Writing On the Wall" allowed the album to only gain momentum while reaching a wider audience. It's a work that has without question, aged incredibly well.
Underoath keyboardist Chris Dudley discussed some of the highlights of the era, detailing what the headspace of the band was and what it was like during the continued ascension of the band during the era of Define the Great Line.
What was the song from Define the Great Line that made you most excited about the record?
DUDLEY: I remember specifically Spencer recording vocals to the beginning of "In Regards To Myself" and thinking 'Wow, I think we have something special here.' From that point I knew we were making something we’d be proud of.
What is a tour story from that era that has stuck with you since?
DUDLEY: Honestly, probably just that entire Warped Tour when the record came out. We were kind of in this bubble of the tour and I don’t think we were fully grasping how big the record was when it came out. We got the news that it hit number 2 on Billboard and right after that I saw one of those airplanes with the big banners behind it with an ad for the record. I remember just thinking that life was insane.
What was the most memorable show during that album cycle?
DUDLEY: Wow, we played a LOT of shows on that cycle (laughs). One of my favorites would probably be a show we played in Birmingham, Alabama while on tour with Taking Back Sunday. That show was a culmination of a lot. From our early days as a band, Birmingham was really a second home and being able to play there on that record cycle in this enormous venue with so many of our old friends there was a big deal.
Where do you feel Define the Great Line ranks among the Underoath catalog?
DUDLEY: I can’t say definitively but I can’t say that it’s the first album we ever wrote that we didn’t feel like we wanted to run away from a year or two later. To this day, I’m still extremely proud of everything on that album and would definitely rank it toward the top of our discography.
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?
DUDLEY: We didn’t play "There Could be Nothing After This" very often and I really don’t know why. We actually talked about it in practice the other day, saying how awesome of a song it is, especially live, and how pumped we all are to play it.
Up to that point, what was the definitive moment for Underoath as a band?
DUDLEY: I’m not sure if there was a definitive moment, per se, but seeing the steady rise in popularity of They’re Only Chasing Safety was definitely wild. I also think that most people were expecting us to go in a very poppy/commercial direction after that album so I think the writing and recording of Define The Great Line was a pretty proud moment for us; knowing that we did what we wanted when we could have easily cashed in.
Are there any regrets associated with Define The Great Line?
DUDLEY: I think only that we were kind of a mess as far as our inter-band relationships go, haha. With all the amazingness surrounding that cycle, if we were as open with each other as we are now, it would have made for a much more enjoyable couple of years on the bus!
Underoath perform Define the Great Line for the Observatory Series July 24th at 8pm EST / 5pm PST.
For streaming options visit https://underoathobservatory.com