Track By Tracks: Woodhawk - Violent Nature (2019)


1. Snake in the Grass:

The song started with a guitar riff that we would jam and not expect to go anywhere. But we loved it too much and couldn’t ditch it. Lyrically it's about the state of aggression and violence we all surround ourselves with and what we are subjected to. It’s overcoming the lows and sense of defeat.

2. Weightless Light:

This tune was one of the last songs we wrote for the record. We had been playing around with that opening drum beat for about a year trying to find somewhere to make it work. And without hesitation, it just clicked right in like a missing puzzle piece for the album. The songs stem from my struggle to sleep for a few months over the fall of 2018. I would wake up every night at the same time and lay awake staring at nothing. My mind would race and inhibit me from sleeping, no matter what. So I would lay in this state of almost non-existence where I couldn't tell if I was asleep, awake, alive or dead. It was an odd feeling of vulnerability. To pass the time, I would get up and play guitar in the middle of the night, until I felt I could attempt to go back to sleep for the last 45 minutes before my alarm.

3. Dry Blood:

This song was for my wife. We started this new chapter in our lives and it was exciting. But like anything, there will always be struggles or disagreements. I’ve been lucky to not have any of those yet. But a marriage is work, a relationship is work. This is my ode to my lovely wife and sense of promise with an admit to flaws.

4. Heartstopper:

Heartstopper was the first song we wrote for the album and was definitely reworked more than anything else on the record. Usually, we scrap the first few we write until we find our groove. But this one just stuck. It tells the tale of how I have friends who live in completely different worlds and live totally different lives. One on side, I have this friend who has faced every major health complication, someone, their age should ever have faced and perceived. But still has the most positive outlook on life. On the other side, the friends who abuse substances and cheat death to the closest point and have no true appreciation for their own life. The juxtaposition in this situation just kind of hit home with all of us.

5. Old Silence:

We started this song when we had first moved into separate cities. It was the first time all of us no longer lived in the same place. So all of our everyday lives changed. We didn’t see each other all the time, didn’t rehearse the way we used to. So there was this sense of loss and defeat that circulated. I had this overwhelming sense of doubt that anything would continue. At the same time, everyone was kind of moving on with their lives in other ways that showed more excitement or investment to that than all we had worked for as a band. It was the first time we took a few months off from doing anything and didn’t focus on the band or what we wanted to do with it.

6. Clear The Air:

This started with this sense of tension that grew between myself and others. I would grow this temper, so to speak, and just let everything and everyone get under my skin. And in unrealistic hopes, I would wait for someone to realize what I felt wronged by. But that was never the case. I faced the reality of my situations and discussed things with people to be open and less closed off. There was no point at being angry with someone for something they didn’t do. Just because I was looking for a fight or conflict.

7. Violent Nature:

The title track. We started this song wit that dancey style of a riff. We were intentionally trying to make something kind of groovy. But lyrically, it relays a sense of confusion and lack of clarity. In close ties to Clear The Air, it was a realization of all that I have. Through waves of self-doubt, I found myself cheating life in this low way of existing. Throwing away relationships that we close to me, cutting people out and just kind of questioning all that I had done so far and if I had fucked up. I’m not a violent person, but I would have aggression or an unhealthy view on things that would encourage anger. But that’s not who I am, and it’s my own therapy discussion with myself about how to relax and step back. And acknowledge how good I have things and those around me.

8. As a Friend:

Being one of the last songs on the album, and written for the album it was a very important and meaningful song. I and Mike lost a close friend and former bandmate in the fall of 2018 and it was something I didn’t think would ever happen. But the events leading up to their final days is what was hard to comprehend. You always know someone who parties a little harder or is a bit more of a daredevil. In this case, they had a whole world that many people knew about but we were excluded from. An overall sense of loss of someone through suicide and substance abuse was my way of vocalizing how I felt.

9. Our Greatest Weakness:

Last song on the album and last song we wrote. This was the hardest song to write because I knew it was needed to be bigger than the 3 of us. And when we began writing it, it was just myself and Kevin. No bass, no extra vocals, no keyboards. So it was hard to kind of look at the other guys when we’d play it and say “trust me, I know this will work”. And everyone was on board and it’s probably our favourite song on the album. I feel lyrically it ties the whole album together. It exhales feelings of loss, success, existence, and realization. As it was the closing track on the album, and one of the longer songs, It was easier to piece it all together. Kind of look at the whole album, and figure out what felt couldn’t be said in previous pieces and how I felt at that moment. Still, with this looming fear of death, failure and lack of trust, I find that it all revolves around 1 thing. Love. And the way that we all love. It’s completely out of our control and is the heart of all our existence. It’s why we’re happy and why we’re sad. Love is the enemy and the hero.

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