With the release of a brand new feature documentary about their band in Prevailer, For Today's frontman Mattie Montgomery answered a few questions about the CD/DVD from Jesusfreakhideout.com's Scott Fryberger, digging into the concept of the project...
JFH (Scott): The Prevailer DVD is For Today's first documentary, and it gives the listeners a glimpse into the band's history. When was the documentary recorded?
This interview took place on: 5/27/13.
JFH (Scott Fryberger): Can you please take a minute to introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Mattie Montgomery, and I’m the vocalist of For Today.
The documentary was recorded from February – August of 2012, covering the Fight the Silence Tour and Warped Tour.
JFH (Scott): What was your favorite part in filming the documentary?
I think my favorite part was getting to hang out with James all the time. James Baney (the former keyboardist of The Devil Wears Prada) recorded and edited the entire documentary, and he’s a great friend of ours, so it was an absolute blast to have him out on tour with us for six months.
JFH (Scott): Was the documentary the band's idea or Razor & Tie's (or some combination of the two)?
The documentary was pretty much exclusively our idea. The EP, however, was the label’s idea. It turns out [that] people don’t really care about documentaries much, so they suggested we write some music to go with it (a suggestion we were very happy to run with).
JFH (Scott): Not including the acoustic track, were the new songs on the EP written at the same time as Immortal, or were they specifically for this release?
They were specifically for this release. There is actually a pretty cool theme to this album. In theology classes, they will teach you that the reason God inspired four different Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) was to give four different perspectives of Jesus. Those four different perspectives, according to theologians, are Jesus as the prophecied Messiah, the “Jewish Jesus” (in Matthew’s Gospel), Jesus as the “suffering servant” (in Mark’s Gospel), Jesus as a flesh and blood, mortal man (in Luke’s Gospel), and Jesus as the divine Son of God (in John’s Gospel). We wrote the four new songs to correspond with those four perspectives of Jesus, and we put them in that same order. So, you have “From Zion” (the Jewish Jesus, or Matthew’s Gospel), “Crown of Thorns” (the suffering servant, or Mark’s Gospel), “Flesh and Blood” (the mortal man, or Luke’s Gospel), and “Open Heaven” (the Son of God, or John’s Gospel).
JFH (Scott): My favorite of the new tracks is "Open Heaven"; which song do you feel has gotten the best reception from your fanbase?
It’s hard to tell at this point, because we’ve only played "Crown of Thorns" live. But, it seems like a lot of people really like "Open Heaven."
JFH (Scott): The EP was just released, but are there any plans for another record anytime soon, or are you primarily focusing on promoting Prevailer?
We’re always writing music. There’s no telling when a new album will come out, but we’re always working on ideas for new songs.
JFH (Scott): How often do you see God at work when you play non-Christian events and festivals?
Constantly. Honestly, we almost prefer playing in a secular setting. Many people at Christian festivals have a “yeah, I’ve heard about all this stuff before” sort of mentality, so they don’t really press in to what God is offering them. But, at secular events and festivals, we have the honor of preaching the good news to the lost - people that admit their sin and their brokenness — that they can be free because of the shed blood of Christ on the cross! It’s incredible to see people respond to that message.
JFH (Scott): You guys recently toured with outspoken Christian artists in The Chariot and The Devil Wears Prada. What were some of the highlights to speak of from this tour?
I think my favorite thing about that tour was that, every day, The Chariot would come to our Bible study. For Today has done a Bible study every single day of tour for the last 6 years, and we’ve never had another band join us before! It was a blast to have The Chariot come out every day and offer their perspectives on things. Those guys are good friends of ours, and it was great to get to encourage them, and be encouraged by them!
JFH (Scott): You also mentioned having your van and gear stolen. Though I'm sure that was extremely hard on you guys, you seemed to have stayed optimistic. How were you guys able to continue on with the tour?
It was definitely a crazy experience! Haha. The other bands on the tour (Memphis May Fire, The Word Alive, Upon a Burning Body, and Gideon) were kind enough to all pitch in and let us borrow their gear. We had to borrow drum sticks and guitar picks! They literally stole EVERYTHING from us! Haha. But, we made it!
JFH (Scott): Any particular Scriptures you've been dwelling on lately?
Yeah! In 1 Samuel 17, we read the story of David fighting and killing Goliath. That’s a story that every Sunday school student in the world is familiar with, but I’ve been seeing something recently that I’ve never noticed about that story: in verses 37-40 of that chapter, David’s faith in God to be his help in that battle so powerfully inspired Saul, that Saul allowed a KID (an untrained shepherd boy) to represent their entire nation in battle! Saul must have had RADICAL faith to make such an “irresponsible” decision. But David’s radical faith inspired Saul to have faith that was just as radical! And THAT’S what I’ve been learning. Men and women of radical faith can inspire the same in others. Our courageous “yes” to God can be the thing that gives courage to those around us!
JFH (Scott): Thanks for your time! Is there anything else you'd like to add?
For Today's EP/DVD Prevailer is available now wherever music is sold!