As a dynamic, outspoken artist in the music scene, Aaron Gillespie isn’t always what one might expect to find in a faith-based performer and such is the case with his solo project. Aaron’s strong musical history began at the young age of 14 as a standout drummer and co-founder of the popular metalcore band Underoath, which he amicably left in 2010. He is also the lead singer and founder of The Almost.
Aaron’s story is full of unexpected twists in its own right. A standout drummer by age 14, Gillespie was invited in 1997 to join Underoath, a Christian metalcore band that would chart the gold-selling records They’re Only Chasing Safety (2004) and Define the Great Line (2006). The group’s aggressive sound—often tempered by Aaron’s comparatively softer additional vocals—and steady mainstream success has led to a passionate fan base and provided many unique outreach opportunities on tours that have included controversial hard music acts like Slipknot.
In 2008, Gillespie memorably appeared on the cover of the last printed issue of CCM standing next to tobyMac, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and other top names as the sole representative of what the magazine called “a new generation of artists”—a statement whose time has come. Despite the public outcry, Aaron left Underoath on good terms in 2010, pursuing a cleaner alternative rock sound as lead singer of The Almost, a band that recently toured with Switchfoot and is signed in the general market to Virgin Records (Gorillaz, Lenny Kravitz).
Even as The Almost continues its rise, Gillespie made another sudden turn, doing Anthem Song alone.
“I’ve always wanted to make a straight-up worship record like this. The Almost is a rock band, and we didn’t want to mix the two styles. Of course, it’s all worship; your shift at Starbucks should be worship. But this just seemed to be the way to do it right now,” Aaron begins to explain. “I have this desire to see our generation worshipping God. But a lot of the people I get to meet through music—kids with tattoos and swoop over haircuts—don’t think of worship as ‘cool.’ I want them to find a home and a vocabulary to experience this kind of music.”
“I love that God wants us to know him, that we were put here as missional people to serve God and point others to him,” concludes Gillespie.
Aaron, who is on the volunteer staff at his local church, has a vision for when he tours in support of Anthem Song to help other places of worship welcome those who wouldn’t normally feel comfortable being there. He says when people don’t feel good enough to join God’s family because of whatever sin is in their lives, that’s when they should be running to the church. Indeed, we should all be there.
Listen to Aaron Gillespie here
|Anthem Song||2011||Tooth & Nail Records|
|Echo Your Song (Live)||2012||BEC Recordings|