drummer Aaron Gillespie of UnderoathAaron Gillespie had things he wanted to say. As drummer and lead vocalist for the screamo outfit Underoath, he was one sixth of the equation. With the recent release of his debut solo opus, Southern Weather, Gillespie grabs his guitar, locks a groove on drums, and shows why he had to go solo. Southern Weather is a mishmash of substance, style, and flavor, featuring enough drum genres to fill a room. “Aaron Mlasko, who used to be Pearl Jam’s drum tech, came in with an incredibly cool kit he’d made,” Gillespie recalls of the tracking sessions. “It was only 5-ply and it sounded great. We used a lot of different snares on the album as well. It was just an effort to get as many different tones and feels as possible.”

At times the drumming on Southern Weather feels lush, while at others the “less is more” philosophy rules. “On ‘Dirty And Left Out’ we recorded into one microphone,” Aaron recalls. “I used brushes and had a tambourine taped to the front of the bass drum. I like to serve the song no matter what it calls for.”

For the band’s live dates, where Gillespie would have to be upfront and off the drums, his drummer requirements were simple: “I was looking for someone who could hit really, really hard–a sweaty, long-haired dude,” he laughs. Enter eighteen-year-old Kenny Bozich, who Gillespie’s wife discovered at church, of all places. “He’s rock solid,” says Gillespie. “He plays to a click and has a really cool style that’s similar to mine.”

Despite being a frontman and having the freedom of leading his own band, Gillespie isn’t bashful about his loyalties and responsibilities as the drummer for Underoath. “I love Underoath and I love playing the drums,” he says. “Underoath is the band I’ve played in for ten years. It’s my heart.”

Steven Douglas Losey