THROWBACK: For Today’s Mattie Montgomery from Issue 28

For Today Issue 28
For Today Issue 28
For Today Issue 28

It’s an indisputable fact that For Today is one of the most outspoken acts today when it comes to their faith. But no matter what your stance on religion, there’s no denying the power that For Today exudes on stage. As much as they can bring bone crushing breakdowns to an all new plateau, the Sioux City, Iowa quintet displays truly tranquil and genuine demeanor off stage, so much so that you forget the brutality they just wrecked the room with. For Today is headlining the Fight the Silence Tour this spring alongside a few acts you’ll see in the following pages. The tour, which chose to bring along and celebrate several non profits, stemmed from an idea that has been brewing in front man Mattie Montgomery’s mind for some time. Montgomery took a break from recording their new record to talk with Substream about the upcoming tour and what it means to fight the silence in today’s world.

Substream Magazine: Is it true that the Fight the Silence Tour was mostly your idea? What motivated you to get this type of tour off the ground?

Mattie Montgomery: I think it’s safe to say that this tour is a result of a dream I’ve had for years, to see the music scene that I love so much become a place in which the leaders (those on stage) are people that have really taken the responsibility to be a good influence on the thousand or so people around the world that look up to them. Whether they want to admit it or not, every band gives people more than music–they give people a vision for life, they give people a picture of success, and a model for how to handle leadership. And unfortunately, as it stands now, many of those leaders in our scene take that roll much too lightly.

SM: Why is it important to you to have charities along with the bands this time around and why these particular charities?

MM: I get told on a regular basis something like, “Man, you really inspire me. My friends and I are starting a band, and we’re going to do what you to.” While that is such an honor, the reality is that most of those people will never go anywhere with the band they’re a part of. But, I don’t want that to discourage these kids from spreading their message. We’re bringing organizations with us on this tour to hopefully give the kids a broader array of ideas about how to change the world than simply the idea of playing in a band. You don’t have to play music to change lives, you have to burn with passion to change lives. And that is what each of these organizations do; and they are changing lives because of it. We want to show these kids real, living examples of the impact that one focused and determined person can have on their world, and each of these organizations represent the reality of that idea.

SM: When the trailer for the tour came out, I noticed in the foreword, as well as in many For Today songs, you emphasize the importance of this generation. Can you expand on what you believe about our generation?

MM: Whew, that’s a big question. Let me start off by asking you this: Have you ever noticed that most young people–including young Christians–seem to hate traditional church? I have. I’ve met thousands and thousands of people, both Christians and non-Christians, that can’t stand that pre-packaged, dressed up, polished Christianity that we’ve all seen on TV.

Now, here’s where I think my line of thought might get a little unpopular: Why is it that everybody in our generation seems to hate that? Most Christians in my scene will tell you, “Because that’s not REAL Christianity.” I’m not sure I agree. I would argue that the real reason people in our generation seem to instinctively push back against that culture is because we know, somewhere deep down in our souls, that we were made for something else, something different, something MORE than that.

Issue 28 For Today

SM: Switching gears a bit. You guys have a new record slated for this Spring on Razor & Tie. What can you tell us about the new tunes?

MM: The new album is called Immortal. The theme behind the album is this: Generation after generation, century after century, the story of this man called Jesus of Nazareth has prevailed. His name has been credited with the power to raise the dead, to cast out demons and heal the sick, to set those in bondage free, and to bring hope to the hopeless. Just days after His grizzly murder, more than 500 people began to claim to have seen Him resurrected and well–many of these were killed for refusing to retract these claims. They were beheaded, crucified upside down, pulled apart with horses, and dipped in oil, all the while refusing to deny that this Jesus had risen from the dead, and had made a way for them to do the same. And since that moment in history, people in every generation have claimed to have seen, felt, heard and interacted with Him.

SM: Can’t wait to hear it. And speaking of your new label again, you guys came from three records deep on Facedown Records, a heavy faith based label. What have been some changes you’ve seen making this transition and getting into the swing of things with a bigger secular label?

MM: You know, I don’t think the transition has been too crazy for us. In regard to faith, I think the vast majority of the impact Facedown had on us was on a relational level. The people that work there became like family, and they were there to encourage and challenge us, and to sort of cheer us on and guide us as we continued on to bring glory to God. And having moved on to Razor & Tie, we really haven’t lost that at all with the staff at Facedown. They still all come out and go out to eat with us whenever we play in their area, and we know that they’re always available to us as friends if we ever need them. So, they are still very much a part of our family, and we are still very much a part of the infamous “Facedown Family.”

However, on a business level, we’re very excited to be involved with Razor & Tie. It’s definitely new having dozens of people working behind the scenes for a release of ours, in every department from art, to distribution, and viral/online advertising to radio promotion. It’s such a crazy and exciting thing for us. We’re all really excited to see some of the creative ways R&T is going to promote this album.

SM: Besides the new record, what does 2012 hold for For Today? What are you looking forward to mostly?

MM: At the moment, I think we’re all counting the seconds until the Fight the Silence tour starts. A number of the bands and organizations are old friends of ours, and it is going to be such a blast to just get to travel around the whole country with our good friends and see lives changed forever! We’re also going to be playing new songs on this tour, and we’ve got a pretty amazing light setup for this tour, so it’s definitely not a show of ours that you’ll want to miss!

We’re also doing Warped Tour this summer for the first time. I think every one of us went to Warped Tour when we were in high school, so it’s such a cool experience to actually be able to be on the tour. We’ve never done it before, so we’re not entirely sure what to expect, but we know it’s going to be an absolute blast, and we’ll be able to be out with a whole bunch of our friends, so we’re all really looking forward to it.

By Jameson Ketchum