Seize the day

Today is the Day to lay waste to Oddbody’s

By Gary Spencer

Photo: Today is the Day will perform at Oddbody’s Music Room on Oct. 24

Many bands have trouble staying together and relevant two years into their existence, let alone over 20. But that’s exactly what Nashville noisecore stalwarts Today is the Day have done despite a revolving door of band members and record labels, not to mention the rigors of virtual nonstop touring and the struggle to keep their music fresh and exciting over such a long period of time. But, once again, that’s exactly what Today is the Day has accomplished with the recording and release of their 10th full-length studio album Animal Mother.

Released earlier this month, Animal Mother is also Today is the Day’s first release with their new label Southern Lord Records. As much as things (and band members) change for Today is the Day, Animal Mother sports the sound that has become synonymous with the band – rumbling and churning bass lines, blunt and battering drum work, dissonant and noisy guitars and angry shouted vocals, courtesy of long time Today is the Day songwriter and mastermind Steve Austin. And while there are plenty of songs on the album that are akin to sonic muggings, full of disdain and bad vibes, Today is the Day has no problem mixing in some clean vocals and acoustic guitars that throw their listeners off balance before the next wave of songs hit them square in their guts.

Joining Austin for this latest batch of Today is the Day musical nastiness are Sean Conkling (bass) and Miami Valley native Jeff Lohrber (drums). This trio is also currently in the middle of yet another North American tour in support of Animal Mother, in which they will destroy eardrums and minds in live performances as only Today is the Day can. The tour includes a concert this Friday at Oddbody’s. I caught up with drummer Jeff Lohrber to chat about all things Today is the Day.

Steve Austin started Today is the Day in 1992. How has the band managed to stay alive and kicking after all this time?

I think the answer to this question is in the band name itself. This is now, this is the time to take action and control of your life. There is a will for us to make the rock be heard, and we are pushing our artistic abilities to our absolute extreme. As long as this will exists, then it will always be current. It will always be a sharpened axe ready to attack. – Jeff Lohrber

How has Today is the Day evolved or changed over the course of its 20+ years of existence?

I think that the initial goal of the band has stayed intact. The main changes have been the people behind Steve, but I think that the initial goal to make music that is real and a self-expression of these inner demons that we carry with us every day has stayed the same since day one. – JL

What types of subjects or themes are you exploring with the words in Today is the Day’s songs?

Today is the Day is a release of self-expression for Steve. He writes mainly about the experiences in his life, whether it’s good or bad, and also touches on topics that he’s interested in, like the occult and sometimes the supernatural or even political. Steve’s mother had passed directly before we wrote this album and I know that had a major effect on what he ended up writing. My first experience reading the lyrics was on tour with my other band Enabler, and what he had to say was so real that it made me tear up. – JL

On your current tour, you will be playing here in Dayton, Ohio. Was Dayton a particular destination point on this tour?

I actually grew up in Greenville, Ohio and still live about an hour north of Dayton. The first shows I ever went to were at the K of C hall in Dayton, so I have a lot of history and friends there. When I saw that we needed that date filled, it was a no-brainer to put our booking agent in touch with a promoter in Dayton. I believe this is the first time that Today is the Day has played in Dayton. I can’t wait. – JL

Tell me about the Today is the Day live experience.

We try to be as real and honest of a band as we possibly can. We are a band that plays loud, intense, chaotic and heavy music, and that is what you are going to experience. If you like the recorded material, now you will have real people to connect with and see the band play it in an unhinged, no-holds-barred environment. – JL

What does the future hold for Today is the Day?

With Animal Mother, this is a record that we are all extremely proud of. We plan to keep on touring with this record and play in as many corners of the world as we can, and then we are going to do it all over again when the time is right. We are all lifelong musicians and we will never stop playing, in one way or another, until our bodies eventually fail us. – JL

Today is the Day will perform on Friday, Oct. 24 at Oddbody’s Music Room, 5418 Burkhardt Road in Dayton. Lord Mantis and Mouth of the Architect are also on the bill. Tickets are $11 in advance and $14 on the day of the show. The show is for patrons 18 and older with valid ID. For more information, please visit todayistheday.us.

Reach DCP freelance writer Gary Spencer at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com.Page

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Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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