Exclusive interview with Write This Down rhythm guitarist Nate Rockwell
Write This Down have returned with their sophomore full-length, “Lost Weekend,” out this week on Tooth & Nail Records. On it, the Minneapolis-based post-hardcore outfit serves up a duality of sounds, from gut-wrenching screams to melodic clean vocals. Right now, Write This Down are gearing up for the “Lost Weekend Tour” with Children 18:3, Red Morning Voyage and Harp & Lyre. Before the trek, we caught up with Nate Rockwell, who plays rhythm guitar and contributes vocals to the band, to discuss the new album and how their Christian faith influences their heavy tracks.
Your new album, “Lost Weekend,” dropped this week on Tooth and Nail Records. What was the writing and recording process like for this release?
This time around, it was a lot more pressure with timing and rediscovering where we wanted to take our sound and live show. We toured as much as humanly possible after our debut album, and when the time came for a next record, we knew we had to get away from all the distractions and write a good, cohesive record. So we packed up our gear and went to a Chad’s (Nichols, drummer) cabin in northern Wisconsin to write what would be the foundation for “Lost Weekend.” We had very limited time to record, being smushed between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but our producer Pete Stewart and the four of us worked day and night to get it polished and get it tracked. It was stressful, overwhelming and exhausting at times, but we all felt the experience captured more intensity and grit, creating a sound that we wanted from the beginning.
Do you have a favorite song on the release?
“The Florida Rage.” It’s basically a guitarist’s dream song. It’s influenced by Rage Against the Machine, but still has the signature WTD hooks. It also ties in the prodigal themes found in “Lost Weekend.”
Do you think fans will be surprised by anything on the new album?
I believe the honesty of the record might ruffle some feathers, but that was the intent. The lyrical content is more literal, whereas our first record was vaguely metaphorical. We hope fans will understand the situations we put ourselves in and learn from our mistakes.
How does your faith and Christianity influence your music?
Our belief in God, as with anyone who believes, is to stay hopeful, love more and be true to ourselves and our convictions. “Lost Weekend,” in many ways, is twelve short stories on how we lost our way between our first and second records.
What’s next for Write This Down?
Hopefully nothing but open road for the next year and year and half. We have two tours this summer routed around festivals, the first being the “Lost Weekend Tour,” followed by “DisTOURtion.” We will be heading back to Europe at the end of the year, as well as participating in “Shiprocked” with Godsmack and Five Finger Death Punch, a rock and roll cruise ship to the Bahamas.