Underoath drummer Aaron Gillespie will release the debut album from his side band, the Almost, April 3 via a joint venture with Tooth & Nail and Virgin Records. "Southern Weather" will be supporte

Underoath drummer Aaron Gillespie will release the debut album from his side band, the Almost, April 3 via a joint venture with Tooth & Nail and Virgin Records. "Southern Weather" will be supported by a spring tour as well as a long stint on the Vans Warped Tour this summer.

"I wrote all the songs last year when Underoath was in the studio doing 'Define the Great Line,'" Gillespie tells Billboard.com. "I'd do all the drums, then have a three-week to a month lull between doing drums and singing. I got so bored, so I wrote these 11 songs."

Gillespie says the material wasn't right for Underoath because "the dudes like a certain style of song and this wasn't it. I wouldn't try to put something like this on an Underoath record because it doesn't really fit that niche. It's just rock tunes -- pretty structured rock tunes, which doesn't really work for Underoath, because Underoath is an unstructured/moment kind of thing. This is more Foo Fighters-esque."

The artist played all of the instruments on the album, although Jeremy Enigk lends his vocals to "Dirty and Left Out" and the Starting Line's Kenny Vasoli plays bass on two tracks. For Gillespie, working with Enigk was a dream come true, even though he has yet to meet the former Sunny Day Real Estate frontman face to face. Their collaboration was facilitated by producer Aaron Sprinkle, who went to high school with Enigk in Seattle.

"I went to a wine-and-cheese party one night, which is something I don't normally do, and I asked [Sprinkle] at the end of the night, 'Hey, could you get Jeremy to sing on my record?' I was being half-serious," Gillespie recalls. "And he goes, 'Absolutely. For sure.' A month later, he emailed me the track. It blew me away."

Having just wrapped a month-long tour with the Almost to introduce "Southern Weather" tracks to fans, Gillespie will return to Underoath duties this weekend when he flies to Sweden to shoot videos for "Define the Great Line" tracks "You're Ever So Inviting" and "A Moment Suspended in Time." The group will then hit the road in the U.S. with Taking Back Sunday beginning Feb. 22 in University Park, Pa., and will also play some summer Warped dates, as well as a fall headlining tour.

And after interpersonal issues forced the band off the Warped Tour prematurely last summer ("We felt it necessary to take some immediate time to focus on our friendship," read a statement issued at the time), Gillespie says Underoath is once again firing on all cylinders.

"It was a rough patch, but not a detrimental one," he says. "It was one of those things. You lose sight of who you are and where you're at. We figured it out, by the grace of God. Things are better than ever now. We've done three tours since then, so things are good."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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