For Today frontman embraces religious controversy

A year ago, we interviewed For Today vocalist Mattie Montgomery at the Vans Warped Tour — a few months before their guitarist had a Bible-thumping meltdown and left the band.  We also got some heated replies on our YouTube channel wondering why we didn’t ask Mattie about For Today’s religious overtones.

So, we caught up with him again and asked some follow-up questions.

You have sold over 115,000 albums, which is no easy task.
Talk about that journey and the struggles you’ve had leading up to it.

I think it’s over 130,000 now, but who’s counting?

It’s been an absolute blast.  I always tell people, “We started this band as a bunch of friends playing music together, and we’re still just a bunch of friends playing music together — now there are just a lot more people listening.”  We love what we do, and it’s a great honor to have had the growth we’ve experienced.

But, honestly, that growth has been a huge blessing and a big strain.  I’m being very honest here — it’s sometimes hard to remain humble when there are 1,000+ people telling you you’re awesome every night.  Sometimes, you’re tempted to start believing your own hype.  There have been times that we’ve had to confront one another about issues that came out of our pride.

Thankfully, God has been faithful to bring people into our lives (for me, it’s my wife, my sons, and my spiritual father) to remind us of who we really are, and to hold us accountable to remember that this band is not about us — it’s about making Jesus famous in this music scene, and giving people the opportunity to meet Him.

Speaking of which, religion is an important part of your message, and your fans have complained on the interview we did with you last year that we didn’t ask you about that.

Religion is usually a controversial subject, why have you brought it into your music?

For just that reason — it is controversial!

We all know that something in our culture desperately needs to change, and change doesn’t come without controversy.  I have seen Jesus set addicts free in a moment, and transform suicidal addicts into new people with one encounter — and one of those people was me!  So, I preach Jesus because our world needs to change.

I am convinced that Jesus is able to save our lost and hopeless world, because when I was lost and hopeless, He came in and saved me!

For Today - Prevailer

Since you seem to be very in touch with your fans, how have you used social media to increase your fan base?  Or do you believe touring is the reason you get more Facebook or Twitter followers? (chicken vs. the egg)

It’s hard to make that distinction.  Our social media has grown as we’ve gained more exposure from touring, and our tours have grown as we’ve gained more exposure through social media.  However, I think that social media is the thing that keeps a band growing at this point in the music industry — maybe not our social media outlets, though.

What I mean is this: If a kid comes to a For Today show and has a great time, he’s going to go home and post on Facebook and Twitter, “OMGeee, For Today ttly killed it 2nite!”  Then, all his friends will see that, and think to themselves “Maybe I’ll go check that band out next time they come through town.”  But, if that same kid comes and sees us and hates it, he’ll say “For Today ttly sux live”, then none of his friends will ever care about our band again.

So, with that in mind, social media is very important to the survival of a band, but not necessarily just from the “How many Facebook ‘Likes’ do we have?” aspect.

What do you guys have coming up or in the works?

We’re playing a bunch of festivals this summer, all over the country.  That’ll be a blast!  We’re also writing new music again, but there’s no telling when that music will be released.

Other than that, I don’t think I’m allowed to disclose any more information at this point.
But keep an eye out — we’ve got some big things in the works!

Whatever it is, sounds like you’ll have quite the anticipation — thanks for talking to us again, Mattie!

For Today