Interview: Today Is The Day
We fucking destroyed every single show. I hadn’t gotten to tour for a while due to surgeries and now feeling like a million bucks, I just felt like losing my fucking mind every night.
Today Is The Day have just returned with No Good To Anyone, their first album in six years and it sees the band combine their blend of caustic and discordant noise rock with plenty of psychedelic influences. As the band released the album, they got the road in support of it with The Obsessed and Child Bite but the tour subsequently got cut short due to the pandemic that has taken over the world. Gavin Brown caught up with Steve Austin to hear all about the madness of being on tour when the pandemic took full effect, but also about the tour’s plus points as well as an insight into the creation of No Good To Anyone and how he is working on further new material at the moment.
E&D: Have you been working on any new musical ideas recently?
Steve: Yes, I wrote one new song in about an hour right after I got home from tour. Each line was stream of conscious with no alteration. It was nice how it all fell into place.
E&D: How has everyone you been keeping busy during these crazy times?
Steve: I’ve been fixing things around my house and servicing my family vehicles. Looking forward to summer and going on the water.
E&D: You were on tour with both The Obsessed and Child Bite just as all this madness was evolving. How hard a decision was it to cut the tour short? Obviously we didn’t know then what we know now.
Steve: The tour for the first fifteen shows was amazing. Everything was rocking and rolling. We rolled into El Paso with Child Bite. There was a dark mood in the air and there were only a few people there. It seemed strange. Something was off. I had a bad feeling about our next series of shows coming up, that would put against further away from home than we already were (1800 vs 3360). I knew something very serious was going on and that we needed to get home. That morning California shut down all bars, followed by the rest of the country.
E&D: On a happier note, what were some of the highlights of the tour?
Steve: Playing in my Hometown of ole’ hometown of Nashville. My son, Hank flew into Wilmington, NC and traveled with us for three shows. The Nashville Show was one of them. Many of my teenage friends came out and the night was of a miracle sort. A Tornado had hit Nashville two days before and it had blown the roof off the club that we were supposed to play. My lifelong friend Devin, that was the promoter, moved the show to Springwater, a killer little David Lynch/Twin Peaks spot. At the end of the show, I brought Hank out and it seemed like everything had went full circle. It made me feel so good that my 18 year old son was able to be there and experience the show with my friends and the true underground fans of Nashville.
E&D: How the experience of touring with The Obsessed and Child Bite and were they good touring partners?
Steve: Absolute professionals and mad men! It was a great honor to tour with both The Obsessed and Child Bite. Wino is one of my favorite guitarists! Hanna and I would listen to The Church Within almost every day when we first met. Shawn and Chile Bite were immediate family as well. They are true outlaws and kick ass!
E&D: Were you playing much new material and how did it go down?
Steve: We fucking destroyed every single show. I hadn’t gotten to tour for a while due to surgeries and now feeling like a million bucks, I just felt like losing my fucking mind every night.
E&D: Will your tour dates be rescheduled at all?
Steve: Yes, as part of a longer tour that will cover other towns in USA and Canada that we didn’t get to play in.
E&D: Today Is The Day have toured and played shows with everyone from Motörhead to The Melvins to Neurosis. Who have you loved playing duty the most?
E&D: How did the creation and recording of the album go?
Steve: It was painful enduring and insane. It took three years to complete. I wanted to delete it all at one point. I think it was just painful to look in the mirror at myself. It’s a dark diary.
E&D: How has No Good To Anyone been received so far?
Steve: I guess good. I love it and our fans seem to love it. So, I guess I’m all good.
E&D: It’s been six years since your last album Animal Mother. How was the experience of following that album six years later and how do you feel Today Is The Days sound has changed in that time?
Steve: It feels great! I think Animal Mother is a crushing album. On every record, I paint a new audio painting. So, our sound is always evolving and changing to suit the music that we are playing.
E&D: This is the band’s eleventh album, do you feel proud that you are still releasing albums after all that time?
Steve: Hell yeah and I feel better than ever.
E&D: You have done a video for the album track ‘Burn In Hell’. Can you tell us about the video and its concept?
Steve: We played the song with no click track or track at all. I wanted it to be completely live and no props.
E&D: Do you still think that music videos are an effective medium for both bands and fans, especially with the advent of platforms like Youtube?
Steve: Yes, I think the added visual aspect is great!
E&D: What is your favourite music video of all time and what makes it so powerful?
Steve: Melvin’s ‘Honey Bucket’. The Music and the Goat.
E&D: What record, more than any other, changed your life the most?
Steve: AC/DC, Back In Black. It was the 1st rock album that I heard. Before that the only music I had ever heard was country music.
E&D: What are your main and favourite memories of the early days of Today Is The Day?
Steve: All of the mystery of what’s gonna happen next. Being broke and not giving a fuck about anything except the rock. Working like crazy to perfect every detail and knowing that the practice was paying off. We were the best of friends and super passionate about the music. We traveled the world together for the first time. Things didn’t always go right, but we we just happy to be on AMRep with Tom and the gang. It was truly a magic time.
E&D: Which album or albums have you enjoyed working on the most and why?
Steve: I don’t know if I have enjoyed working on any of them. They all are painful and the hurt that caused the pain was exorcised doing their records. Willpower was a great time. Until it wasn’t and that was what made it so intense and awesome. My Dad had a few days before the recording of that record. Singing in the studio, felt like a river of pain was going to take me away. I was out of my mind grieving and it was something I felt I had to do.
E&D: Who have been the biggest musical influences on Today Is The Day?
Steve: Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Shakti, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Slayer.
E&D: What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?
Steve: Touring with my Son Hank during No Good To Anyone Tour. Playing Japan with Slayer. Making Weapon Sounds for a PS4 Game. Being lucky enough to be able to play my jams the way I want to.