Record Label: None
Ben Rose: I and Shaun Collins have been in many different bands together over the last 17 years. Around 4 years ago we hit Steven Nichols up to see if he would like to join us. He obliged and the formation of Written In Red came into being. Shortly followed by Ty Hilbert and Michael Fridley.
Steven Nichols: We had some other band name ideas, but Written in Red just seemed to be the one that everyone was most excited about. It is absolutely because of the words of Christ are red, but for those who have not heard God's Word it kind of gives us an "in" to introduce them to salvation.
Steven: Actually, my wife, Brittany, is a graphic designer so we get a 100% discount on all photos and graphic work (haha). With the title of Not My Home, we wanted something that showed the higher calling/purpose. With the cross prevailing over the city, it helps us remember to keep our eyes vertical.
Shaun Collins: I have enjoyed seeing how real and down to earth these big bands are. They are real people doing what we all love to do. The biggest thing I can take from this is that through God we are able to do big things!
Ben: It's very easy to geek out with some of them since we are huge fans of theirs and they definitely influence our sound in their own ways. But more importantly, it is encouraging to see that they want to spread the Word with their music.
Steven: It's always exciting getting to play with bands that you respect and have influence from. Getting to see how they interact with others, watching their live shows and, most importantly, spreading Christ's love to others is always exciting to witness.
Mike Fridley: It's always a blast to play out, but it's even better when you get to know the other bands and build relationships with one another.
Ty Hilbert: What I took from those experiences is to just have fun and take the moment in. It's not every day we get to open for bands like that. Dream come true.
Shaun: Work with your sound engineer, learn from those around you, Have a GREAT sounding instrument, and realize that you can improve your skills very much through the recording process by learning what sounds good by itself and when it is blended.
Ben: Be prepared. Wasting time in the studio is not a good idea. Know what you want the final product to sound like and strive for it. Recordings don't lie. If it's close, but not exactly what you want, fix it.
Steven: That I am extremely picky! (haha). It is great to have so many ears on one record to hear everything that is going on. Everyone has input on tone quality, song structure, etc. All in all, it makes for a better record. One piece of advice I have for anyone going into the studio who hasn't before is have your material ready prior to getting in the studio.
Mike: When going into the studio, I learned that, beforehand, you really need to be practicing as a band quite frequently, as well as on your own, with a metronome. That way, when you hit the studio, you can spend more time on the overall sound of the record and less time trying to remember the parts you're playing or keeping in good time while tracking. Overall, though, it's a blast and there's nothing like it!
Ty: I loved being in the recording studio. Every time I'm in there, I have a chance to make something special and to put my unique musical talent on display. I learned to go in there and be myself, don't try to copy others. That is what makes some bands better then others.
Steven: I went through a phase where God was giving me all sorts of lyrics and scripture to pour out into these songs. With the help of the rest of the band, we came together with great structure for the tunes. Specifically, "Pray for the Prey" started as just a cool sounding title with a strong message of praying for those who are lost and in turmoil. When the lyrics started coming out, they were very metaphorical ("Don't you know a man stands taller from his knees") and fixed on repentance and, as always, the cross ("His blood for me paid my cost no sin can last").
Shaun: My personal favorite is "Cry." I love the power behind the song.
Ben: I'm with Shaun. It's my favorite to play live and it speaks to the beauty of being broken and picked up again through the Father's love.
Steven: I love the title track actually. It has some busy riffs in it and heavy breakdowns that can get anyone moving.
Mike: I love playing "Cry" the most I think. It just has that mainstream rock sound that a lot of people can appreciate and vibe with and at the same time, it's not so heavy that it scares the older generation! Lol!
Ty: I really enjoy playing "The Reason" live. Just a fun song to drum to. Has time changes and breakdowns that will melt your face off. My favorite track off the album is "We are (Broken World)." An entertaining song that will get everybody moving.
Shaun: God has been showing me that He is on the throne and that no matter what the circumstance He is in control.
Ben: That He's got this. I can't lean on myself or my own understanding. Through Christ, I am strengthened, I cannot do it alone.
Steven: God always continues to show how great He is to me. I'm just excited that He looks at me and wants to use me and WiR as an instrument for His glory.
Mike: God has been showing me lately that I don't spend near enough time in His word as I need to be. I'm finding out more and more, that if you continue to fill yourself up with everything but His word, that is what you will end up with. It's like the mewithoutyou song says, "A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains." Also, He has been showing me that if I'm going to truly serve Him, I need to be serving others and loving others the same way that Jesus did.
Ty: God has been showing me to be faithful to his Word, stand up for what the Bible says, and preach the gospel. Christ died to take away my sin and took the punishment I deserve. What a great message of what Christ did for us. Charles Spurgeon put it best, "The motto of all true servants of God must be, 'We preach Christ; and Him crucified." As a band, that is our goal; to spread the name of Jesus and what he did. There is nothing better in life than to preach Christ.
Shaun: Well, I don't know if he's a Rock Legend, but I would love to play a show with Keith Green. He had incredible talent and a heart for lost souls like none other. I can't wait to hear him play in heaven.
Ben: Ray Charles. What a phenomenal musician. And he did it without being able to see. He literally played by feel and emotion. He wasn't a Christian musician, but you can still hear his influence in today's music: Christian and secular.
Steven: I would love to bring back Dimebag Darrell and pick his brain on the southern influence that he added to Pantera. I'm a huge fan of that southern metal influence (obviously) and would always take tips from the pros!
Mike: As far as older rockers, I would have to say mine would be Jim Croce, otherwise, most of the guys I look up to are still around or close to the same age as me.
Ty: I'm thinking the Apostle Paul, which would be a sweet show! Lol. I grew up a big Newsboys fan and was a part of their Breakfast Club. All I want is Peter Furler to go back to the Newsboys or for our band to open for him. As far as legends go, Buddy Rich would be someone I would love to watch bang on them drums one more time.
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