With two Grammy nominations and one of Billboard’s highest charting Christian albums of all-time under their belt, Florida natives Underoath have been perfecting their blend of metalcore music since arriving on the scene in 1997. After undergoing numerous lineup changes and interpersonal conflicts, the band has returned with a new album and a new drummer in former Norma Jean founder Daniel Davison.

Wrapping up the inaugural run of The Cool Tour, Davison took the time to discuss life after Norma Jean, returning to his Solid State roots, and the future of Underoath.


You left Norma Jean, a band you founded, back in 2007. What have you been up to since your departure?

I spent the last two and a half years in Atlanta. My wife and I started a music video production company called Isthmus Studio. I’ve directed videos for the likes of Oh, Sleeper, Copeland, Manchester Orchestra, and more. [I] did a little graphic design here and there and shot weddings on super 8mm film for a second.

I also began working with as an artist manager at Blood Company. I work with the bands Dead and Divine, The Chariot, Oceana, and Bear Colony. Then in January of this year, I started playing drums with the band Colour Revolt. I recorded a record with them in February, which comes out August 10th.

Underoath announced you as Aaron’s replacement not long after his exit. How soon after he left did you start jamming with the band?

I am not exactly sure when he left the band, but I think they called me just a few days after he left. I started jamming with them like 3 days later, and they announced it like a week or two after I had been writing with them.


With Norma Jean, you cited spiritual differences, among other things, as a key role in your decision to leave the band. How important was spirituality in your decision to team up with Underoath?

Yeah, there were multiple reasons that lead to me leaving Norma Jean, spiritual differences being one of them. I think that some aspect of spirituality is always an important guide while making decisions for myself.

As for me joining up with Underoath, it really just came at the right time and felt right from the start. There wasn’t much debate in it for me. I go on vibes a lot of the time, and from the time they called me, it’s been all good vibes. It just fell right into place, and I ran with it.

You participated in the writing and recording process of Underoath’s upcoming album. How did the process vary from your past work with Norma Jean?

Writing and recording with Underoath was an great experience. To be honest, the writing process was very similar to my experiences with both Norma Jean and Colour Revolt. That is one of my favorite aspects of being in a band–just getting to create music from simple ideas and building these ideas into a whole record. It’s really a special thing to me.

The recording process was somewhat different from what I’d experienced in the past, but it was really enjoyable as well. I think the main difference for me was playing to a click track. I had never done this with any record that I’d done in the past. But after getting used to playing with the click while writing the record, it made recording so smooth. I don’t think I’d do it any other way now.

Another cool thing that I had never experienced was actually writing in the studio. We had a song that we just weren’t 100% happy with, and we decided to scrap it last minute. So that night, we ended up writing a whole new song. Then like 10 or 12 hours later, I was recording the final drum tracks for the song. Pretty crazy. Turned out to be one of our favorite songs.

Aaron’s singing was an eminent part of Underoath’s sound. Will you be replacing him on vocal duties as well?

Ha, nope! Spencer has taken over all of the singing duties, in addition to the screaming. He completely killed it on the new record. I think people are going to be really impressed.

As for the old songs, Spencer and Tim share the duties of singing Aaron’s parts, and I think they are doing a great job.


Your addition to the band brings you back to Tooth & Nail/Solid State. What is it like being involved with the label again?

It’s great! I’ve known some of the folks over there for like 10 years, and I’d never really lost connection with them anyway. Having done music videos for multiple bands on Tooth and Nail/Solid State over the last two years, I never really went long between interactions with them.

Your official role with the band has been somewhat ambiguous, with press releases stating you were “joining on drums for writing and recording the new album and the forthcoming tour.” Are you a permanent member of the band or is that still up in the air?

We like keeping things ambiguous [LAUGHS]. So we’ll just keep rolling with that theme! Things are pointing to a long-term involvement though.

The Cool Tour was your first run with the band. What can fans expect from your live show?

Now that the Cool Tour is almost over, I guess most of the fans have already seen the live show. For those who have not, they can expect a very energetic live show, which to me, is pretty set apart from most of the bands on the tour. We incorporate a pretty methodical light show, as well as video projection. We’ve been playing one of the songs off of the new record, as well. It’s been going over really well, I think.

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