Chart-topping Christian band We The Kingdom believes there’s never been a more important time to declare God’s truth in the face of fear, especially amid the anxiety and uncertainty fueled by the coronavirus.
Last week, the Georgia-based group — made up of Ed Cash, Scott Cash, Franni Rae Cash, Martin Cash and Andrew Bergthold — released their sophomore single “Don’t Tread On Me,” a powerful anthem that reminds believers of the power that is theirs through Christ.
“We wrote the song before the coronavirus hit, but we thought through the irony of releasing it right now,” Scott told The Christian Post. “I think that people are terrified, and rightfully so. We’re facing an enemy in the world that we’ve never seen before. When we face uncertainty, it can often bring fear. The song is really timely and we hope that listeners can use it as a tool when facing the unknown and the fear that comes along with that.”
The single release comes on the heels of the group’s hit “Holy Water” featuring Grammy Award-winning artist Tasha Cobbs Leonard. The song, accompanied by a live video, spent seven consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian AC chart and amassed 27 million global streams.
“I think it’s important for people to know that in the battle of life, it’s OK to declare what we know about ourselves and the truth that we live by,” Martin said. “An important tool in the battle is not only to pray and be in communication with the Lord but to declare your truths and beliefs as well.”
Earlier this year, the group released the EP Live Acoustic Sessions which included acoustic renditions of some of their fan-favorites, and they can also be heard as featured artists on multiple tracks on Bethel Music’s latest album, Peace.
We The Kingdom, which has opened for other chart-topping Christian artists including Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, and Zach Williams, plans to resume their touring schedule this fall. The group recently spoke with CP about their catchy new single, their songwriting process, and their heart for providing hope amid difficult times.
The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
CP: What was the inspiration behind “Don’t Tread on Me?”
Scott Cash: The track to the song just had a gritty vibe to it. We were thinking about what everyone collectively struggles with and what’s important to talk about, and honestly, the lyrics just started spilling out. We wanted to try and find the words to be able to speak God’s truth in the face of fear. We wanted to be able to give ourselves some words to sing to remind ourselves of God’s promises and who He is and that the blood of Jesus is powerful enough to cover our greatest struggles.
CP: The song repeats the words, taken directly from Isaiah, that “no weapon formed against you shall prosper.” How can this verse be applied amid all the unrest and anxiety stemming from COVID-19?
Franni Rae Cash: When you remind yourself of the Word of God and the fact that God is sovereign and stronger than any enemy, it’s so comforting. You know that no matter what happens, God’s plan and His intention will always win. Especially with COVID-19, it’s comforting to know that the Lord is in control, even when it doesn’t feel like it. He might be allowing that obstacle to happen so that it can draw us closer to Him.
CP: Can you talk a little bit about the songwriting process behind “Don’t Tread On Me?”
Scott Cash: Martin and I were in the studio working on music for a different song when somehow the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me” started floating around. We thought it was a really powerful statement. There’s a history to that phrase from the American Revolution; it’s very charged and intense, but we wanted to try and re-frame that phrase and apply it to a song.
We played it for the first time last summer on a whim and Andrew added some amazing things to the track. It took a while to shape, but as it came to fruition, we just kept getting more and more excited about it. It’s probably my favorite song to play live. The first time we played it live, the room just had strong vibrations and it was a very special moment and it really encouraged us to release it.
Andrew Bergthold: It’s so important for us as believers to have anthems that energize us to get into God’s Word to empower us. There’s a physical change in your body when you start saying these things or spending time with the Word of God.
It’s so important to have songs like this to empower you when you’re facing a battle. We all get moments of fear or anxiety. In those moments, I’ll grab my guitar and just start singing, and it really changes the whole moment for me. It’s important to have these anthems in our lives and to live by these anthems, especially in our darkest moments.
CP: What do you hope fans take away from this song?
Scott Cash: Our names are written in the book of life. The Bible tells us we’ve been given power and authority, but the next step in that process is knowing that we have an eternity of fulfillment through our relationship with Jesus as we get to walk in Heaven with Him. It’s a great song for right now, but it also has eternal implications for who we are as people who love Jesus. It’s not just a pump-up song for the moment; it’s an anthem that reminds you of eternity.
CP: “Holy Water” hit No. 1 on Christian Airplay and also topped the Billboard charts for a number of weeks. Why do you think this song resonated with everyone so well?
Franni Rae Cash: I think the song is just a celebration of freedom and forgiveness. There’s a connotation with forgiveness, and it makes all of the heavy things like shame melt away when God forgives us. He takes our sin as far as the East is from the West and He rejoices over us with singing. So the song is a celebration of the cleansing power of the cross and knowing that we don’t have to carry our shame and our heaviness anymore.
CP: How do you stay rooted in the Gospel throughout the songwriting process?
Martin Cash: We feel like we carry a responsibility as songwriters to take the Word and either write a song that’s just direct Scripture or write a song that’s sort of like a commentary or creative twist. It’s just such a fine line because you’ve got to be really careful that you’re not changing the truth. So we’re constantly bouncing off one another and studying the Word and just checking in with Scripture. Scott has a good friend who’s a pastor who is really theological and we’ll call him up and say ‘Hey, does this is line up with the word or are we in the clouds chasing some artistic line or is this actual truth?’
CP: What is your ultimate goal through your music?
Andrew Bergthold: I think in all of our hearts, there’s a calling, even in the name We The Kingdom, just to bring people together under the blood of Jesus. When we play at different places, we try to bring others on stage to collaborate with us, whether it’s other musicians that we’ve met on the road or worship leaders. It’s really something in our hearts to see what the Lord is doing in our lives, in culture, and with the people around us.
We are members of one body. I might be a hand or an elbow, but I can’t get anywhere if I don’t have afoot. We are five individual people with different musical influences and different decades just trying to use each other’s strengths and cover each other’s weaknesses, just as the Lord is the head of the body.