Robb Nash fights the good fight with the cinematic video for his darkly powerful modern-rock anthem This Is War — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The award-winning rocker and Governor General of Canada Meritorious Service Medal recipient’s story is one for the ages. But one peek up his sleeve at the hundreds of names tattooed on his arm — plus his newly released single This Is War — reveals so much more.
“The names are from over 900 suicide notes I’ve received from kids,” Nash explains. “Some of them have my lyrics as tattoos, too; it’s a mutual relationship of ‘go forth and conquer.’ ”
Alongside The Robb Nash Project’s new song This Is War, taken from the forthcoming album of the same name, the skin-inking gesture is part of Nash’s long-held commitment to combat mental illness — a high-stakes conflict he personally endured.
Found with no pulse following a head-on collision, Nash was resuscitated on the side of the icy road near his home in Winnipeg. His skull was rebuilt with titanium, and his lengthy recovery sparked a severe depression. “Frankly, I did not want to be alive,” he shares. “I was an athlete; my identity was lost, and that brought me to a very dark place for two-and-a-half years. Men in this society can feel like talking about our feelings or struggles is weak, so I kept it inside. One day, I picked up the guitar and started my entire journey into music to tell my story.”
That journey ultimately morphed into a motivational music tour with Nash telling his story, confronting stigmas, demonstrating purpose, and encouraging those most vulnerable to feel OK asking for help. Now in its 11th year, The Robb Nash Project has been seen by more than 500,000 people. They have played for students across the country, as well as at maximum security prisons. He has given keynote speeches for the Psychiatric Association of Canada and works closely with Kids Help Phone, the Canadian Mental Health Association and school counsellors.
While the new album’s inspiration has come from coast to coast, the sound on This Is War is all Nash. Co-produced by Anthony Anderson and Steve Smith, the 13-track heavy rock release reveals the familiar full-throated rallying cry of anger, hope, and concern previously displayed across EPs Tell Me Why (2019), Live on Arrival (2020) and more.
“It all has the same goal: save lives,” Nash says of his work. “I’ve realized you can have all the resources available, but if people aren’t ready to reach out for help, it’s no use … I’m not a counsellor. I’m not a psychologist. I’m here to get the conversation started, and to let people know it’s OK to reach out for help.”