Aaron Gillespie

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Aaron Gillespie
Aaron gillespie australia 2010.jpg
Gillespie in Australia in 2010
Background information
Birth nameAaron Roderick Gillespie
Born (1983-07-18) July 18, 1983 (age 36)
Clearwater, Florida, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsDrums, vocals, guitar
Years active1997–present
Associated actsUnderoath, The Almost, Paramore

Aaron Roderick Gillespie (born July 18, 1983) is an American musician, best known for being the original drummer and clean vocalist for the metalcore band Underoath,[1] and the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the alternative rock band The Almost.[2] Gillespie also maintains his own solo project, and released his debut full-length album, Anthem Song on March 8, 2011.[3] From 2013 to 2016, he was the touring drummer for Paramore.[4][failed verification][not verified in body]


Aaron Roderick Gillespie was born on July 18, 1983, in Clearwater, Florida. Ever since he was born, he has been nearly blind in his left eye.[5] He grew up in a devout Christian family, attended private schools, and went to church regularly.[citation needed] Gillespie's parents divorced when he was 18.[citation needed]

At age 14, Gillespie worked at the church and vacuumed for $60 a week. He enjoyed playing the drums at church, but was told that he did not play well and that he played too loud.[citation needed] However, one of the leaders in the church came up to him and said that he believed Gillespie would "travel the whole world playing drums".[6] At this time he received a call from Underoath asking him to play drums for them.[7]

In 2008 he achieved the HM magazine's Readers Award for "favorite drummer", along with his bandmate Timothy McTague who received "favorite guitarist" of 2008.[8] He was one of the preaching pastors at unveiledchurch.com based in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

Aaron and his former wife ran a clothing label, Pig Cloth.[9]

Gillespie left Underoath after a European tour in 2010[5] but later rejoined the band.

Gillespie produced and performed on Collington's "We Swim in Seas that Never Rest" at his former Salt Lake City recording studio. The album was engineered, mixed and featured additional performances from singer and songwriter Andrew Goldring and was debuted by Relevant Magazine on their series, The Drop.[citation needed]

Gillespie did guest vocals on the song "All About Us" by indie pop band He Is We, which was released on the album "My Forever" on November 23, 2010.[10]

Gillespie has discussed his issues with hypochondria and anxiety, stating that they played into his departure from Underoath.[11]

Musical career[edit]


Gillespie performing as a part of Underoath during their 2007 winter tour

Gillespie had performed on every Underoath release before Ø (Disambiguation) and first began to add clean vocals on Underoath's third album The Changing of Times, which shifted Underoath's original extreme metal music style into a more straightforward metalcore sound and was released in 2002. After lead vocalist Dallas Taylor parted with the band, Spencer Chamberlain joined and the band began to change its style of music even more.

Most of the lyrics on the album They're Only Chasing Safety are written by Gillespie and are about him ending a four-year relationship. He stated to Alternative Press "I think I would've died if we didn't write those songs. I thought I had ruined someone's life. It's hard to explain, but you can't just pretend that things are great and go on and get married". The follow-up to They're Only Chasing Safety, Define the Great Line was released on June 20, 2006, it debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 selling over 98,000 copies in its first week, the record was certified Gold by the RIAA on November 11, 2006, representing 500,000 shipped units of the album.[12]

On April 5, 2010, Underoath announced that the band and Gillespie had agreed to mutually part ways pending the end of their European tour.[13] On the same day, Gillespie posted a message on his personal blog.[14] On August 17, 2015, in an interview article for Alternative Press, Chamberlain and Gillespie confirmed that the band was reuniting.[15]

The Almost[edit]

Gillespie performing with The Almost in Sydney's "Big Exo Day" 2011

Gillespie performed lead vocals for the alternative rock band The Almost. The band's debut album Southern Weather was released on April 3, 2007, along with their first single, "Say This Sooner". The single reached a peak of No. 7 on the Billboard's US Modern Rock Charts. Gillespie recorded every instrument on the Southern Weather album except for bass on a couple of tracks, with which Kenny Vasoli from The Starting Line helped.

On November 24, 2008, The Almost released an EP, No Gift to Bring.

On October 6, 2009 The Almost released another EP, Monster EP. On November 3, 2009 The Almost released their second album, Monster Monster, in which the rest of the bandmates were more incorporated in the writing and recording processes.

On June 11, 2013 The Almost released their third full-length album, Fear Inside Our Bones.[16]

In an interview released on February 8, 2015, on Emery's BadChristian podcast, Gillespie stated that he had placed lower priority on the band, citing his "busy schedule" (as Paramore's touring drummer, a solo artist and producer) and the "busy schedules" of the other band members.[17]

Solo work[edit]

Shortly after leaving Underoath, Gillespie announced that he was working on a worship-based solo project. He went to The Compound recording studio in Seattle on June 28, 2010, to record the album that would eventually be released in March 2011. On his Twitter account on July 24, he posted "Finished my record. So great to be a part of it. Goodnight." Gillespie's solo album Anthem Song was released on March 8, 2011.[18] It debuted at number 90 on the Billboard 200.

"Anthem Song" was Gillespie's revisit to his musical beginning, which began in worship. In an interview with CBN.com, Gillespie recounted the experience and how a trip to Africa helped shape Anthem Song. He stated "I saw people worshiping God because He exists, because that's what we were created to do. I believe everybody worships something, whether it be your job or your family or a relationship or whatever. We were all made to worship just one, and that's Jesus. And it really, really messed me up, seeing these African people who have nothing worshiping God, just because He exists. It gave me the fuel to go and do this record and also convicted me to leave Underoath and to pursue this ministry area in my life."[3]

On February 3, 2015, he released his second worship album, Grace Through the Wandering.[citation needed] The record was made on the road while touring with Paramore and was produced by Paramore's touring key player, John.

In 2016 Gillespie released the self-produced Out of the Badlands. Gillespie and his studio partner, Andrew Goldring, made the record at Gillespie's Salt Lake City studio, Soundcave. Goldring engineered, mixed and performed on the record. The album is a departure from his former worship record and instead focuses on his personal grieving and honesty.[19]


On August 26, 2013, Gillespie was officially announced as the new touring drummer for Paramore, after their previous touring drummer, Miles McPherson, suffered from an injury.[4] He was to remain only for their duration of The Self-Titled Tour's European dates, but later remained for the duration of their North American fall tour of that year, as well as the Australian and New Zealand legs of the tour.[20][21][22] Gillespie has stayed in the Paramore touring line-up for the next few years, playing drums on the Monumentour (Paramore's co-headlining tour with the band Fall Out Boy in 2014) and the Writing the Future Tour (in 2015), along with two of the band's "Parahoy!" Cruises - the first one (in March 2014) and the second one (in March 2016). However, in February 2016, Gillespie clarified that his role in Paramore doesn't extend beyond live performances and that he isn't involved in the songwriting/recording process with the band. With the reinstatement of Paramore's original drummer and with the reunion of Underoath, Gillespie is now back with Underoath full-time.


Aaron Gillespie operated as a producer out of Soundcave Studios from 2015-2017.[23] Alongside of singer-songwriter, producer and engineer Andrew Goldring, Gillespie and Goldring worked on productions, most notably, Aaron Gillespie's solo record, "Out of the Badlands". Goldring also engineered, mixed and performed various instruments on the record.

Other examples of Gillespie's producer credits include Collington's, We Swim in Seas that Never Rest.[24] Gillespie produced the record, played drums and did other various session work with Goldring and Collington. The album was debuted by Relevant Magazine on their series "The Drop". Gillespie and Collington crossed paths when Collington was opening for Aaron Gillespie in Boston, Massachusetts. Taking a liking to Collington's music, Gillespie invited Collington to Salt Lake City to create a record.[25] Collington originally laughed at the offer thinking it was a joke.[26]


Gillespie worked and toured with the Billy Graham Association's FM419; an event that helps train students to share their faith. The event is a prelude to a much larger event, held a few months later where students can practice what they learned by leading others to Christ. Gillespie performed each day at the beginning and end of the conference.

Emergency surgery[edit]

While on tour with Underoath in 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Gillespie underwent emergency surgery due to an infected thumb. Instead of canceling shows, Underoath recruited Kenny Bozich, former drummer of The Almost, to fill in on drums. Spencer Chamberlain and Timothy McTague shared duties in singing his vocal parts.[27]



  1. ^ Downey, Ryan J. "Biography: Underoath". Allmusic. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
  2. ^ Mason, Stewart. "Biography: The Almost". Allmusic. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Aaron Gillespie: Join the "Anthem Song" – An in-depth interview, CBN.com.
  4. ^ a b "Twitter / paramore: While @mileskmcpherson recovers..." Twitter.com. August 26, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "THE ALMOST's 'Monster Monster' – with AARON GILLESPIE". Coupdemainmagazine.com. March 1, 2010. Archived from the original on December 31, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  6. ^ "Aaron Gillespie's story". YouTube. April 18, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  7. ^ "Aaron Gillespie Speaking at Awakening". YouTube. July 24, 2008. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  8. ^ "Aaron Gillespie". YouTube. September 22, 2006. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  9. ^ "Wooden Steel LIVE interview with AARON GILLESPIE formerly of UNDEROATH". YouTube. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  10. ^ "He Is We". Heiswemusic.com. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  11. ^ Burleson, Ryan (May 9, 2016). "Why Underoath's Rebirth Is So Much Bigger Than Just Music". Observer. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  12. ^ "RIAA Gold and Platinum search for albums by Underoath". Retrieved April 7, 2010.
  13. ^ "UNDEROATH AND AARON AMICABLY PART WAYS". April 5, 2010. Archived from the original on January 26, 2010. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
  14. ^ "Alternative Press | News". Altpress.com. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  15. ^ Sharp, Tyler (August 17, 2015). "Aaron Gillespie, Spencer Chamberlain talk Underoath reunion: "The hiatus is off"". Alternative Press. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  16. ^ "The Almost - Fear Inside Our Bones". Discogs. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  17. ^ "#59 Aaron Gillespie - Underoath, The Almost, Paramore - BadChristian". BadChristian. Archived from the original on September 17, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  18. ^ "03/08/11 – Release Date". AbsolutePunk.net. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  19. ^ Punkvideosrock (November 9, 2016). "Aaron Gillespie on 'Out Of The Badlands,' Ghostwriting and Underoath Reunion". Retrieved September 30, 2017 – via YouTube.
  20. ^ "Aaron Gillespie (The Almost, ex-Underoath) to drum for Paramore on tour". Altpress.com. August 26, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  21. ^ "Aaron Gillespie to remain with Paramore for North American tour". Altpress.com. October 5, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  22. ^ "Aaron Gillespie to remain with Paramore for Australian tour". Altpress.com. October 5, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  23. ^ "Home". Soundcave Productions. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  24. ^ "We Swim in Seas that Never Rest, by Collington". Collington. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  25. ^ Hallels. "Collington Greets the New Year with New Album Produced by Aaron Gillespie". www.hallels.com. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  26. ^ "Collington Finds His Voice on His New Record". Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "Video Exclusive!: Watch Underoath Drummer Endure Blood-Drenched Thumb Surgery During Headline Tour". Headbangersblog.mtv-q.mtvi.com. May 20, 2008. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  28. ^ "We Came As Romans Detail New Album "Tracing Back Roots" | Theprp.com – Metal, Hardcore And Rock News, Reviews And More". Theprp.com. Retrieved March 11, 2014.