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Underoath's Tim McTague talks reunion shows, King State Coffee, touring in 2016 and more

Octavio Jones



In today's Tampa Bay Times, you'll find our story about Tampa's burgeoning small-batch coffee scene, led in part by musicians like Joel Davis (formerly of Ascend the Hill, currently of Fistful) of Commune + Co., and Nate Young (Anberlin) and Tim McTague (Underoath) of King State Coffee.

Young and McTague aim to hopen a coffee shop in Tampa sometime in 2016 -- this, despite Underoath reuniting for a tour that'll kick off with a sold-out performance at Jannus Live in March.

"That was the big thing we talked about before we started," said McTague, Underoath's guitarist, who also works for online merch compnay Merchline. "Nate's basically the manager of the on-the-ground company. As far as the space, he financing, the funding, taking care of business licenses, opening up the accounts, that's what I do, and I can do that from anywhere."

McTague said the timing was simply right to reunite the Christian metalcore outfit -- but originally, the plan was just to do a one-off concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of They're Only Chasing Safety

"We were going to show up at a 200-capacity bar," he said. "Just let Instagram do the work, and play for free. Which was cool, but then it's like, flying Aaron (Gillespie, drums and vocals) in and out to practice, it just doesn't make any sense."

Indeed, with Gillespie moonlighting in Paramore and singer Spencer Chamberlain busy with new band Sleepwave, it didn't seem like a reunion could be in the cards.

When the group reconvened for the release of Tired Violence, a documentary about its final shows in 2013, they discussed playing some shows, and when it looked like their calendars might all line up, they decided to go for it.

"We hit a spot where we're like, 'Wow, we can actually do that?'" McTague said. "If all the stars align, we'll just walk through that door until there's a reason not to. The next thing you know, we had a tour."

The St. Pete show on March 16 sold out in under an hour. "That's been the weirdest thing, is the response," McTague said. "I knew that it would do well. ... I'm aware of the band, what we did, all of that. But I think the response was the craziest thing for us. It's just been nuts."

McTague said the Underoath reunion will be "a one-off thing. It's not going to be back. If it does, it's goin to be like a one-weekend-festival-a-year capacity, I would imagine."

McTague and Young -- who now writes scores instead of touring -- have both been relieved to get off the road. and when it comes time to open a King State store, "that's going to be an all-hands-on-deck scenario," McTague said.

But the business of running a coffee company, McTague said, is in many ways just as exciting as being in a rock band, especially with old friends and scene stalwarts like Young and Davis by his side.

"We were so blessed to be part of the music revolution we were a part of, with the whole Christian scene goin from nothing and becoming mainstream and valid and important to other people," he said. "Anberlin, Copeland, Underoath -- we were all friends when we were just playing at Joel's church, and we all came up together and got the same tours and same breaks together. It's gonna be the same with Commune and King State and all the others. ... The coffee stuff is very new and people are poking around. And we get to be a part of breaking this thing."

-- Jay Cridlin

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 1:34pm]


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