Today Is The Day Ghost In the Machine

Today Is The Day Ghost In the Machine
"I think it is our most expansive work. I think it is probably the most free-form," comments Steve Austin, Today Is the Day's guitarist, vocalist, keyboardist and cult leader on the overwhelming descent into madness that is their new double-album, Sadness Will Prevail. "And in terms of doing or saying something new, it's probably the most far-out thing we've done, which was the motive."

Throughout Today Is The Day's ten-year psychotic episode, one constant has emerged: the need to reach beyond the limits imposed upon aggressive acts. It is a desire they have achieved without fail through six full-lengths, a revolving rhythm section (currently filled by bassist Chris Debari and drummer Marshall Killpatric), unwavering experimentation, an ardent dedication to "the rock," and Austin's incredibly damaged psyche. But by releasing a string of brilliant albums spanning noise rock, fragmented electronic soundscapes, beautiful acoustic lament, metallic dirge, desolate artistry and precision hostility, with each release the leap of faith becomes more ambitious. Sadness Will Prevail rises to the occasion with two-and-a-half hours of abrasive experimentation running the gamut of Today Is The Day's musical madness. If their last release, In The Eyes of God, was "real anger, real hatred," Sadness Will Prevail is "real insanity, real psychosis."

Today Is The Day's desire to transcend the musically mundane manifested itself in some unique forms of inspiration for Sadness Will Prevail. "I'm trying to use different things instead of the rock band methodology of playing and delivering songs," says Austin. "I live in this building where upstairs this guy went crazy and wrote all over the ceilings and walls. We would go up there and sit with bongos and acoustic guitar and a notepad and write song after song. It seemed like there was a connection of spirit, because there was some demented feelings.

"Another time," he continues, "I thought ‘why don't we climb a mountain and see what happens when we get to the top.' There's a mountain near where I live so we waded through a swamp with a shitty acoustic guitar and bongos and got eaten up by insects but we got up there and we were coming up with these really different riffs."

But perhaps the most bizarre aspect of Today Is The Day's desire to transcend convention occurred when the beyond reached out to them. "A ghost called our answering machine at the studio and left some messages," Austin claims. "They were subsonic, quiet things you couldn't even hear. So I cleaned it up with a noise-reduction program and at the heart of it there was this weird, otherworldly voice on my machine on three different occasions, so I looped all that together and made it the lead vocal for ‘Unearthed.'"