Spencer Chamberlain has proven many times he’s an intelligent, experienced, prolific songwriter/composer, and evidence is hearable in his work with Underoath and Sleepwave. Once again, he managed to impress with Neck High, his debut single with a brand new alternative/indie project named Slo/Tide. Therefore, I spoke with him about his latest sonic endeavors, new Underoath album, plans for the future, touring, plus many more topics along the way. Enjoy!
First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. How have you been?
Spencer: Hey man, no problem at all! Im doing great, a little bit busy, but great!
You’ve been busy lately. Slo/Tide recently published a single named Neck Deep. Can you share the story behind the single? What’s the song all about?
Spencer: Well, the song is called Neck High, but I won’t hold it against you. 😉 Honestly, I am trying to remind myself to keep my head up high cause I’ve gone thru some crazy shit, and I always manage to make it out alive, so in a way, it’s a hopeful song reminding myself that no matter how bad it gets we can always get thru it.
Slo/Tide is a music project you started in 2015, but you only recently decided to share music with the world. Knowing that you’re such a prolific songwriter, could you share the reason why you waited for so long to publish your works?
Spencer: In 2015, I started writing songs more in this lane and held onto them, but when I compiled the list of songs for this full-length, none of the songs from back then made the cut. Every song on this album is written somewhere between 2019 – 2021.
Has the pandemic somehow spoiled your songwriting, composing, and producing routine, or have you adapted to the situation?
Spencer: If anything, it helped out to remain normal through this situation. You are on tour for two years supporting a record cycle, and then you go home to write and record the next one. Time flies by, so you don’t have a lot of spare time to sit around and jam or record just for fun. We all had a ton of spare time during the pandemic, so I just fell back in love with the instruments I started on, singing, guitar, and piano.
Have you changed your approach to songwriting/composing for this particular project, or do you stick to an already proven formula used with Underoath and Sleepwave?
Spencer: A song is a song. You always start with an idea and a thought of how you’d like it to go, but you end up following the structure and what’s best for that song. There isn’t a trick to it per se but yah. I have been writing songs since I was around 12 or so, so I would like to think/hope that I continue to get better at it the more I do it.
You teamed up with Sir Sly for this particular single. How did that collaboration happen, and are you satisfied with the final result?
Spencer: Those dudes are my homies, and we have a lot of respect for one another. I was out in their area and jammed in their studio a couple of times. This single was the outcome of one of those sessions. Later I finalized the song in the studio with Maika, who produced the Slo/Tide album, and of course, I am happy with the result. I wouldn’t release anything Im not stoked on. I don’t have time for that. Lol
Can we expect some more guest appearances on your upcoming tunes, or you’ll continue to work with Sir Sly for your future releases?
Spencer: The album has been finished since the end of March, as I mentioned on the announcement day, so I guess you’ll have to wait to see what song I will release next, and I would love to jam with them again in the future. I’m sure we will do it again someday.
Let’s say Underoath plays post-hardcore, melodic hardcore, metalcore, emo, while Slo/Tide leans more towards alternative rock, indie rock, even shoegaze, dream pop, and commercial pop. Do you aim for more commercial success with your new music project, or does the song spontaneously turn up that way?
Spencer: I love writing music that isn’t heavy all the time. I do that with my Underoath family. It is the kind of stuff I tend to listen to, so it just tuned out that way naturally. The aim is to make music I love. Anything else is a bonus.
Comparing Underoath with Slo/Tide, what are the pros and cons of working collectively on music on one side and working solo on the other side?
Spencer: I always love working with the guys in Underoath, there’s no question about it, but I write so much music that there is no point in not releasing more than one project. For me, I need both to function. Without the heavy outlet with my friends, I am def not myself. However, I also need a solo outlet, so I can explore and do my own thing.
How have you decided to start Slo/Tide anyways? Have you needed a break from Underoath, or maybe you just wanted to do something completely different than your initial band?
Spencer: Like I said before, I write all the time. As an artist, I would like to be able to express different sides of my artistic brain. So yeah, I think I need to express myself in more than one way.
What’s coming up next? Can we expect some full-length or extended play anytime soon?
Spencer: The album is complete. It’s all about timing, but yes, the full-length will come out.
Will you continue to work on your own, or you maybe consider for Slo/Tide to become a full-time band? If so, can we expect some European tour when the control measurements loosen up?
Spencer: I will keep it as a solo project. Still, that doesn’t mean I am not planning on bringing some homies along with me to play this stuff live. I would love to tour on this album when it comes out.
What’s happening in Underoath HQ right now?
Spencer: We are also waiting to drop our new album that comes out on Jan 14th.
Underoath released a series of live recordings and singles from 2019 till now. Are there any plans for some full-length studio recordings?
Spencer: The album is complete. I finished the album and went straight into making the Slo/Tide record. Both releases are coming out next year.
Are there any plans for touring Europe with Underoath?
Spencer: We always do when we release every album, so I hope so.
I am positively sure there are music nerds among our readers who would like to know how you maintain your voice while touring. What’s your secret for sounding great during live performances all the time?
Spencer: Always warm-up, plenty of sleep, lots of water, and practice make perfect. I’ve been singing since I was a kid, and I always try to improve and learn from others around me.
What’s currently spinning on your turntable/Spotify playlist? Are there any good artists / bands / songs / albums that you would like to recommend to our readers?
Spencer: Lately, I listen to Brothertiger, Idles, The Chaingang Of 1974, Logic, Tyler the Creator, Tame Impala, Gojira, and of course, anything Oasis/Liam Gallagher.
Every artist/musician/songwriter/composer has its source of inspiration. Can you reveal your source?
Spencer: Life as it happens all around me.
That’s it. I wish you all the best with Slo/Tide. Anything you would like to say to our readers at the end of the interview?
Spencer: Thanks for listening to my first single. Keep your eyes peeled for what’s next The easiest way to stay up is to follow @slotideband on socials cause you never know when I’ll drop the next song!