TODAY IS THE DAY

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TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE

Tony Belcher, Tartarean Desire's American Editor, had written a killer, albeit sometimes rambling, piece on Today is the Day, including a review of their latest album, Kiss the Pig, in August 2004. The Reverend Steve Austin himself was contacted soon thereafter and provided with a link to the article. He had this to say:

"God Tony,
That's a Great piece you wrote there.
You definitely get it!!!
Thanks again man!"

After agreeing to do an interview so many moons ago, Steve Austin finally made the time. He had this to add:

"We aren't doing anymore interviews for [Kiss the Pig].... [but] I will do the one you asked for a while back.... Thanks!"

So without further adieu, I give you a brief look into the life of Steve Austin via this e-mail interview....

If you can gauge it, what has the response to Kiss the Pig been like so far?
It seems like people are into it...

Did you write much of the new album in response to a particular event, person, or situation? The material seems quite focused and could be considered topical and perhaps related to the current world climate.
It was in response to our government being out of control...

Many are outspoken in their disdain for what the president has done in regards to Iraq. However, there are others, notable among them in the Metal community Phil Anselmo, who have expressed a dissenting opinion. Anselmo recently offered this: “…if you fuck with the U.S., no matter what we do, you're going to have to pay at one point or another. …[W]e need to restore some order with authority, and if it is war that we have to endure, then so be it, if it's the only language they understand.” If I may be so bold, what is your take on the war in Iraq?
It is something that we didn't need to do...

Shifting gears, what drives you to create the way you do with Today is the Day? What inspires these sounds and lyrics and is it different per album? Some lyrics just seem more personal than others.
Life just drives my fucking crazy...

Is there a process by which you operate – write music, lyrics, produce, mix, etc.?
Just gettin' into the vibe and trying to create.

For you does a song typically start with the almighty riff, as opposed to a lyric, and are you always the main composer?
I write the songs...

Further, are the contributions from the rhythm section ‘written’ in response to the guitar lines or are the bass/drum parts sometimes created first? Along those lines, is there a specific tuning that you use to achieve that characteristic TITD sound?
Bassist and drummer write their own parts...

Is it difficult to record or/and produce yourself in TITD? Do you employ the opinion or voice of any outsiders during the recording process as a sort of filter?
Just the other members...

How do you view working with other bands, particularly regarding production and the inevitable guest appearance? What is your relationship with the bands you produce, such as Lamb of God, for example?
Love it... It's been my life and job since 1995...

By the way, your work on New American Gospel was killer. How did that interaction come about – was it a carry over from your work with the band when they were called Burn the Priest?
Yes, we have been friends for years...

Are there bands that you are a fan or friend of, or both? Also, who, if anyone, do you consider to be your true peers in music?
Many, too many to say...

During Today is the Day’s existence, there have been several lineup changes. Has it been tough to maintain a steady line-up from album to album or even tour to tour or is there something else at work here?
[This question was completely ignored.]

Relatedly, what are your thoughts on Mastodon, the band now featuring one-time TITD members Brann Dailor and Bill Kelliher? Was their parting amicable?
[This question was likewise completely ignored.]

About music in general, what can Steve Austin be found listening to when on the tour bus, or while sitting at home, etc.? Are there any surprises in there – any skeletons in the closet, so to speak? Further, what are some new bands that you find exciting and worthwhile, if any? Is there anything new that you see spewing forth from the underground that can move people?
I hate music...

Are there any bands that influenced you either back in the day or more recently? For example, Slayer has been credited for getting Annihilator and Entombed back on track after some subpar albums.
Of course Slayer is a big influence...

On that note, I want to thank you for submitting yourself to this interview. I do appreciate it. Do you have any parting words?
Thanks Tony! You are a good guy! Steve.


Links of interest:

Today Is The Day
Relapse Records