MOS Interview: Ūnderestimate

Gabe McQueen and Tyler Weismann of Ūnderestimate.

So many people have negative things to say about their local music scenes these days, especially in smaller towns that aren’t really a cultural center for art and music. And I’ll admit that I’ve had my doubts about Cincinnati, going to shows where no one moves, just stands with their arms crossed and practically glares at the band on stage. But that’s not always the case, and I believe the music scene is changing for the better. There seems to be a relatively recent wave of bands in the area that have so much passion for what they’re doing, and are committed to making a difference with their music. Ūnderestimate is one of those bands.

Drummer Tyler Wiesmann, rhythm guitarist/vocalist Jackson Medlock, lead guitarist Trey Dixon, vocalists Gabe McQueen and Jake Jensen, and bassist Alex Rose have all been in various bands in the past, but for a year now, they’ve been united as Ūnderestimate. I recently got to see them play as support for Palisades, along with fellow local bands Homebound, Sins of Motion, and Today’s Last Tragedy. The guys in Ūnderestimate were nice enough to answer some questions for MOS, and you can read what they had to say, as well as check out some pictures from the show, below! 🙂

You guys have been a band for about a year, right? How did you all meet? And had any of you been in a band before Underestimate?

  • Gabe – We all actually knew each other before this band started. But we were not as close then as we are now. I only knew Trey and Alex and met everyone else while we were searching for members. I was in three other (failed) bands before this band. I met with Trey (who was in a band called “Why Should We?!” years ago) and he brought in Jackson and Alex. Jackson brought in Jake, and Jake brought in Tyler. And thus Ūnderestimate was born!

  • Jackson – Tyler, Jake, and I were all former members of a band called Majesty and that is how we became friends.

You’ve already played numerous live shows, and you have more coming up. Is there a show that’s been the most memorable or special to you so far?

  • Tyler – Out of all of our shows I would say every time we play at The Thompson House. We have always looked up to the bands that shared the same stage that we were playing on. Last time we played the parlor upstairs, everyone was moshing and jumping and the floor was shaking.

  • Gabe – The show at the Parlor in the Thompson House was my personal favorite because of how intimate and up-close it was. The room was very full and everyone was just having fun!

  • Trey – I would have to 100% agree with Tyler. Playing at The Thompson House is always the best feeling. Specifically playing in The Parlor. It feels so much more intimate, and since I’m a loveable brown bear that’s a go for me!

Where would you like to tour in the future? Do you have any touring plans in the works?

  • Jackson – I guess if I had to pick It would be Texas or California, just somewhere not cold. We don’t have a tour or any upcoming tours as of right now but we’re planning on playing outside of our hometown after our ep is out.

  • Trey – I would love to go south, they always seem to have a really involved crowd, and a crowd that is supportive, but on top of that going ANYWHERE in California would be awesome. 

  • Gabe – Yeahhhhh…. California would be awesome! But so would anywhere else…I just love travelling. But as far as touring goes we do not have any plans for touring currently. We’re just trying to branch out from playing in Covington and Cincinnati.

You show a lot of support to other local bands on your social media accounts. What does the local music scene mean to you? Do you feel like the Cincinnati scene influences you or your music at all?

  • Gabe – I see the scene as like a family. I want everyone to succeed and I try my best to help support them as much as possible because it’s their passion. I know that when it’s our turn they’ll do the same. I think we take influence from the Cincinnati Music Scene, because it influences us as musicians, but at the same time it helps us stand out more as a band. 

  • Trey – The local scene is something I’ve been in for awhile, so it means a lot to me. I’m very passionate in saying this music scene has been good, and will continue to get better, and we are all supportive of each other. I’ve supported bands from Boy Meets World, to Harbour, to Hail To The King….it really doesn’t matter. It’s all good music, when it comes to the Cincinnati Scene, it does influence me substantially. I would say that having such good musicians in the scene helps the writing process. But at the same time, we almost take no influence from the local scene, because a majority of us, haven’t been exposed to it enough. 

What can we expect on your upcoming EP “Parallels?” 

  • Gabe – “Parallels” is going to be the beginning of things we’ve wanted to say but people never cared to listen. The music is going to speak for us. I personally believe that it will open doors as well as open ears to a lot of people. Especially the ones that never pay attention to us, not just as a band but as individuals too. 

  • Trey – Expect chaos. Expect music coming from the heart. A lot of the writing process LYRICALLY came from a dark place, and we always think our music isn’t “heavy” but a lot of people say otherwise lolBut I’m extremely happy for this release so much time has went into this.  

What has the recording process been like?

  • Jackson – Recording is really fun and it has been a really big learning experience for all of us. Also we couldn’t be thankful enough to have Gage Rhodus as our producer. He is really good at what he does and he has also become one of our closest friends so far.

  • Trey – Recording has been the absolute best thing to happen to us. We can all agree with having Gage Rhodus as a producer he’s pushed us to do stuff we had never thought of before. It’s been extremely fun, a lot of downtime…but I’m in school so I use that time to get homework done. 

Are you looking to get signed in the future?

  • Gabe – Getting signed is one of our many goals currently! We’ve had nights of just us talking about who we wanted to be signed by. Artery Records, Fearless Records, and InVogue are the three constants.

  • Jackson – We all hope to at some point but time will tell.

  • Trey – Being signed would be so cool. But right now I’m definitely concentrating on doing us, and seeing what direction it takes us in. 

What is your writing process like? Do you all write, or is it designated to just one or two of you? 

  • Alex – Well so far all of the music was written by Trey and Jackson up until Tyler joined the band which helped really make our sound more complete and since then it has been the 3 of us.

  • Gabe – As far as lyrics go when I have a great amount of emotion about an issue or something that has/is happening to me or in the world I write it down. It’s great to get out the raw and intense emotion because it turns into something I want to say but can’t really express. I write about myself and it turns out to be something tons of people like me go through but nobody has said anything about it. But as far as writing goes, lyrically, its me, Trey, Jake and Tyler. Musically its Jake, Trey and Tyler. 

  • Trey – When the band first started a lot of the ideas/riffs came from things I had recorded through the voice memo in our phone, and then it transcribed to mainly me and Jackson writing the music, and with Tyler joining the band like Alex said, it has made our sound more complete. 

It seems that from your name, to your mission statement on Facebook (“find your own path, prove yourself wrong, show them that it’s wrong to underestimate”), to your lyrics, you guys really have a positive message and believe in the underdog. What’s been your biggest challenge as a band so far, and what is your goal when making music?

  • Gabe – The biggest challenge is writing things that people can relate to. Because we don’t want to force ourselves to write something if we don’t actually believe it. Another challenge I would say is guessing what other people think of our music, and we combat that by NATURALLY being able to reassure ourselves by thinking that as long as we are happy with what we have and what we’ve written then it doesn’t matter what the fans have to say about it. As long as who cares in the moment (be it the underdog or the person that always seems to be on top) gets the message of the song, learns a lesson from it and puts it to work. 

  • Trey – Definitely! What Gabe said was perfect…elaborating on that a little more the challenging part is writing music people relate to because we don’t write filler songs. EVERY word. EVERY note serves a purpose, and we want to come across as ourselves in our music. 

What are 5-10 songs or albums you’ve been listening to lately?

  • Tyler – 5 Albums I’ve been listening to recently are The Plot In You’s new record, Make Them Suffer – “Old Souls”, The new After The Burial Record, and everything from In Hearts Wake and The Amity Affliction. 

  • Jackson – “Wormholes” by Volumes, “Skydancer” by In Hearts Wake, “These Colors Don’t Run” by Architects, “Naysayer” by Architects, “My Old Ways” by The Plot in You, “Rainbow Gravity” by Periphery, and “Thorns and Thrones” by Homebound.

  • Trey – Hmmm…I would say lately I’ve been jamming Counterparts – “Tragedy Will Find Us”, Wage War – “Blueprints”,  Dayseeker – “Origins”, Periphery – “Alpha/Omega”, Justin Bieber – “Purpose” (Not sorry about that LOL…), and Hands Like Houses – “Dissonants”. 

  • Gabe – Denihilist – “Eulogy”, Counterparts – “Tragedy Will Find Us”, Counterparts – “The Difference Between Hell and Home”, Volumes – “No Sleep”, Hail To The King – “Dynasties”,  Tyler, The Creator – “Wolf”, Being As An Ocean – “Dear G-D”, Being As An Ocean – “How Wondrously We Parish”, Being As An Ocean – Self Titled, and Woe, Is Me – “Numbers”.

 If you could tour with any band, who would you choose?

  • Tyler – The Amity Affliction, In Hearts Wake, Being As An Ocean, and Bring Me The Horizon would be awesome! 

  • Trey – I feel like I’m obligated to choose a heavy weight…. So to throw it out there I would love to tour with our brothers in the local band I, Apollo. Also I would love to tour with Periphery, In Hearts Wake, Monuments, Architects, and Rush (too bad that can’t be a thing) and last but not least Dream Theater. 

  • Gabe – Top Five Bands: Architects, Beartooth, Wage War, Counterparts and Issues.

 What can we expect from Underestimate for the rest of 2016?

  • Trey – Heart felt dudes, just playing music, and wanting to see everyone’s beautiful faces. 

  • Gabe – Expect rawer and more emotional lyrics combined with great music. “Parallels” is only the start but we cant wait to show others who we are personally through our music. We will be doing our best to branch our to more locations to play shows. But more importantly expect that we are not stopping until we reach our goal!

What are your biggest dreams and goals for the band? 

  • Trey – These dudes are some of the best dudes I’ve ever had the pleasure of being with, and I wouldn’t mind being in a sweaty van, that smells like cat urine with them hahabut learning from the experiences we have together is the #1 thing that matters to me. 

  • Gabe – My biggest goal in this band is to get signed and start touring. It takes a lot of work but to get there and look at the fruits of our labor will be so worth it! My second biggest dream is to get onto Warped Tour. Whether it be a local act or play in a few cities or go the whole route, its been a dream of mine since my first Warped Tour I’ve ever been to. I’m working to make sure this happens.

 

Ūnderestimate’s next show is March 16th at The Thompson House in Newport, KY at 7pm. I Hate Heroes will be the headliner and other bands playing include The World I Knew, Plagues, and Written In Red. You can buy presale tickets from Ūnderestimate here, and be sure to keep an eye out for “Parallels”!

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4 Responses to MOS Interview: Ūnderestimate

  1. Gabe McQueen says:

    Thanks so much! This means a lot!

    Like

  2. Sandra Ramey says:

    Can you please tell me who the photographer is for the picture of Jackson Medlock?

    Like

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