Hailing from Tampa, Florida, Underøath has released seven full-length albums over the last two decades. Two of those albums have been gold-sellers in the States -- especially impressive when considering that they were recorded for indie labels -- while the most recent album, 2018's Erase Me, debuted in the Billboard Top 20.
One of the more popular metalcore bands working today, Underøath seems to be on the road more often than not these days.
Bassist Grant Brandell turns out to be a big fan of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lighting. In turn, I spoke with him. More on Underøath -- which also includes lead vocalist Spencer Chamberlain, drummer/vocalist Aaron Gillespie, guitarists Timothy McTague and James Smith, and keyboardist Christopher Dudley -- can be found at www.underoath777.com.
Word has it that you are a big Tampa Bay Lightning fan. When did you first get into hockey?
Grant Brandell: Well, my family is from Pennsylvania -- minus myself from Tampa -- so we were always Pittsburgh fans growing up. No one in my house really enjoyed hockey, but I started playing roller hockey when I was like eight and remember having a Mario Lemieux jersey. But then music took over my life and I didn’t really get back into it until my early twenties and being from Tampa myself, I became a fan of the Lightning.
Do you have a favorite player on the Lightning?
Grant Brandell: I’d say right now Yanni Gourde. I like his play style. The guy literally never stops grinding on the ice and makes things happen through just hard work and hustle.
How often do you go to Lightning games?
Grant Brandell: It depends. I’ve had season tickets and then seasons where I have only been to a few. It really depends on my band’s schedule.
Have you ever campaigned to perform the national anthem at a Lightning game?
Grant Brandell: (laughs) No, but I did have our publicist years ago send the team a bunch of Underøath merch and music, but I don’t think anyone was a fan. Seems like hockey players generally only like country or rap. (laughs)
Are there any teams that you are as passionate about like you are the Lightning?
Grant Brandell: Not really. Over the years I’ve kind of lost interest in other sports. I pretty much only keep up with hockey and the Lightning are my team.
Is anyone else in Underøath a big NHL fan?
Grant Brandell: James definitely enjoys the games and supports the team as well. We’ve been to games together and try and watch the playoffs when we’re on the road.
Career-wise, what is coming up for you?
Grant Brandell: Well, we just released our new album Erase Me in April, so now we are going out and supporting it, touring in the U.S. and Europe. Trying to play as many shows as our schedules allow. We will most likely be visiting other places in the future as well.
When not busy with music or hockey, how do you like to spend your free time?
Grant Brandell: It really just depends on the month you catch me. I play a lot of ice hockey -- like 6-8 times a week -- when I’m home. But mainly I just try to enjoy time at home, spend it with friends and family and keep it pretty casual.
Finally, Grant, any last words for the kids?
Grant Brandell: Obviously -- go Bolts!