Aaron Gillespie: Hardcore Hero
Aaron Gillespie was the long-time drummer in Underoath, one of the most popular hardcore bands in the world. In early 2010 he left the group to concentrate on his more melodic side project, the Almost, for which Gillespie handles the vocal duties and all of the instrumentation.
Gillespie’s career is an example of the heights a drummer can attain with unwavering dedication and drive. Aaron grew up in a devout Christian family, gaining his first drumming experience playing in a church band in Clearwater, Florida. At age fourteen, he was asked to play with Underoath when the father of one of the band’s founding members saw him behind the kit. Underoath’s lineup changed several times over the years, significantly with the departure of singer and founding member Dallas Taylor in 2003. In time the combination of new singer Spencer Chamberlain’s guttural screaming and Gillespie’s cleaner and more melodic vocals became a trademark of the band, one that’s been imitated by scores of others but never duplicated.
With Underoath Gillespie recorded a number of gold-selling albums, including 2006’s Define The Gold Line, which, at #2, became the highest-charting Christian album on Billboard’s Top 200 list in ten years. Meanwhile, the physicality of Aaron’s playing, his penchant for larger-than-life drum sounds, and his vocal contributions became widely emulated by young drummers who aspire to have their drums and their voice heard loud and proud, front and center.