Always the Understudy is a hardcore/metalcore band based in San Diego, CA. Members include: Neth Maison-Vocals/Programming, Glen Morse-Guitar, Nick Vanornum-Guitar, Travis Carp-Bass, Jose Garcia- Drums.
Regarding the name and mission of the band, Maison explains, “As this band is based on Christian standpoint, I thought that we are to be the understudy of our Lord and Savior. The Bible states that we are to strive to be Christlike (the actual definition of the word Christian), and we wanted a name that would remind us no matter how far the band goes, we are in it for one reason: to spread the word of God to as many people that will listen.”
In this new year the band plans to “take 2015 by the reigns. We want to focus on expanding our reach by possible tours, new venues we’ve never heard of, and church venues is a goal of ours.” But, they go on to explain “some churches are intimidated by the sound of our band.”
That may be understandable as this in-your-face band is not for the faint of heart. Drawing influence from bands like The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria, and The Word Alive, Always the Understudy brings their message with intensity in their diverse hardcore sound.
Settling into their own sound and style with Restless, Always The Understudy is a freight-train only gaining momentum
Their 2014 EP Restless is a 5-song powerhouse in which Neth shows his vocal skill in varying his style in everything from death growls to your more typical metalcore screams. ATU has a heavy hardcore base to their sound upon which they layer metalcore, death metal, and hard rock influences into something all their own.
“Glen Hates the Chugga Chuggas” is a very fun listen that tears open the EP with raw, fast metalcore tinged sound. Neth’s vocals get into a more death inspired sound on this track.
“Restless” is definitely a standout track. Potentially my favorite song this band has released to date.
At a couple points in “This Coffin of a Bed” the guitar work reminds me of Fit For A King.
“Savages” is deliciously heavy, and feels a bit more breakdown-y than the other tracks.
When asked if there was any new material in the works, ATU said, “We are currently writing a few new songs and haven’t decided whether or not to make a full length and release it on our own or shop it out to labels and see if anyone is interested in backing the band. We definitely like the maturity we felt that we gained through Restless. Our EP Compass was the band at a raw stage where we were developing a style we were happy with and with the Restless EP we matured to what we want to be. These next few songs we have been working on are in the vein of Restless in regards to the sound and intensity.”
Settling into their own sound and style with Restless, Always The Understudy is a freight-train only gaining momentum. This band is about to take the heavy music world by storm. I look forward to future releases from this band as they continue to devastate listeners as an energetic, driven band playing with a purpose.
I asked how the band has already seen God work through them and their music. They explained, “we’ve played places and shows that our past projects could never have dreamt of playing. We know that Christ is what is driving this band to reach out and let the world know the gospel. We get messages all the time from new fans telling us how much our music means to them and that they listen to our CD and it helps them get through tough patches in their path.”
They openly encourage anyone attending shows, or through social media, to feel free to contact them and fellowship. ATU says, “we are musicians, but firstly, children in Christ with one job: to spread the word of God and inform the world”