5 Questions With For Today’s Mattie Montgomery
Following their Warped Tour run, For Today are teaming up with We Came As Romans for a massive fall trek (dates here). This year has been a big one for the band with the release of their new album ‘Fight the Silence.’ We caught up with frontman Mattie Montgomery, who discussed the new disc, as well as some of his all-time favorite albums. He also spoke sincerely about fighting the silence on issues that matter, his relationship with music growing up and much more. Check out five questions with Mattie Montgomery of For Today below:
The new album is titled ‘Fight the Silence.’ What does this album title mean to you personally?
We named the album after the title track, which is a song I wrote about the issue of human trafficking. One thing that I found is in our culture is that if there’s a problem people will do one of two things: they’ll ignore the problem or they will point out the problem and say, “Hey look at that problem.” What I found in terms of solutions, what we offer as a generation are few and far between. I guess the idea of ‘Fight the Silence’ boils down to wanting to see people of this generation stand up and offer a solution, offer an answer. What are you going to offer to help fix it instead of smoking weed and playing in a band? We want to fight the silence of indifference and apathy.
For you, were there any bands that you think fought the silence and influenced you to do the same?
This may sound super negative and I don’t mean for it to, I think the much bigger influence for us is the crazy amount of bands that we’ve seen that have not been willing to do it -- both Christian bands and non-Christian bands. They’re really good at pointing out the problem, people write songs about the Westboro Baptist Church, people write songs about greedy money hungry preachers and hypocritical Christians and I see that.
As a Christian guy, I’m not oblivious to that sort of thing, those things happen and they suck. My goal isn’t to point out the problems to all of that, I want to offer a solution for those problems. I think the thing that motivates us more than anything is the ridiculous amount of people who spend entire songs or entire albums doing nothing but pointing out problems and offering no solution.
We were talking earlier and you talked about being biracial -- having an African American father and Caucasian mother. Growing up, what made you gravitate towards heavier music, did race ever have an influence on the music you liked?
My father died when I was 8 but before he died, he instilled in me certain musical tastes like Chubby Checker, the Temptations and Motown stuff which still holds a place in my heart. You know what’s funny about heavy music is that it wasn’t necessarily the music that drew me in but the culture. When I was 13 and I wanted to fight the system, it was the skater kids and the rocker dudes in my school that seemed like they were doing that. It wasn’t even necessarily the sound of the music that moved me; the thing that brought me here was that intensity and that aggression that is in this music.
What is one thing you must bring on tour with you -- it cannot be electronic.
My weights, I bought a set of weights. I would be going crazy if I didn’t have heavy stuff to lift. I feel like it’s a productive hobby. There’s dudes in bands that play videos games and at the end of the day they have nothing to show for it. If I spend hours a day working out, I feel good and I push myself.
You also mentioned that with all of these interviews, no one has asked you your Top 5 favorite albums yet. So here it is: What are your Top 5 favorite albums Mattie?
Yeah, I had it saved on my phone just in case anyone asked and you’re the first one. In no particular order: ‘The Ugly Organ’ by Cursive, ‘O’ by Damien Rice, ‘Rain Dogs’ by Tom Waits, ‘A Crow Left of the Murder…’ by Incubus and…hold on let me check. I literally have a list on my phone, I thought this was something I’d get asked all the time but no one’s ever asked me. Oh I forgot, ‘We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things’ by Jason Mraz. I freakin’ love Jason Mraz.