The War And Treaty Talk New Music, Mental Health and Expanding Their Creative Circle

The War And Treaty - comprised of married couple Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter -- will release their debut album, “Lover’s Game,” on March 10.

The War And Treaty are known for having some of the most powerful voices in country music. Fans of the genre are about to get even more familiar with the husband and wife duo Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter as they prepare to release their debut album, “Lover’s Game,” on March 10. The couple worked with super producer Dave Cobb, most known for his work with Chris Stapleton, to create the project that shares their take on the shift of cultural tides while also examining a mature relationship.

“There’s a lot of love,” Tanya promised of the album.

“There’s a lot of singing, a lot of vocals, and a lot of honesty,” Michael added.

Michael co-wrote most of the songs on the project. The couple co-wrote some songs together, and Michael teamed with popular singer/songwriter Dave Barnes to create one of the tracks on the record. Tanya said the collaboration was the couple’s first time “going outside of” their creative process.

“He’s amazing,” Tanya said. “He’s brilliant, and he’s crazy.

Michael added good-naturedly: “He’s insane. There’s something wrong with him.”

They also had to adjust to working with Cobb. He’s one of the most sought-after producers in country music, and Tanya described working with him as eye-opening.  

“What you see is what you get,” she said, laughing that she ate her way through the studio.

“After every session, there was a buffet waiting for us,” she said. “I think that was the motivation to make sure we had great recording sessions.”

Much has changed for the couple in the last year. They did a Ted Talk that focused on Michael’s mental health journey and their career in early 2022. They met Kristian Bush of Sugarland at the event, and Bush was so impressed with the couple that he made a few calls on their behalf to his acquaintances in the music business. The War And Treaty is now signed to Universal Music Group.

“Kristian made a lot of calls, and we’re here,” Michael said.  

“For us, we’ve had to learn how to live in every moment that happens and to relish in everything that is happening in front of us and take it all in,” Tanya said. “It’s just taking it in and loving what’s happening.”

“It’s been a real journey, and we’re so happy to be in it,” she added.

On the Ted Talk, Michael – a combat veteran - revealed that he had been suicidal while they lived in Michigan. Tanya sensed that he was planning to hurt himself and reached out to the local fire department and police department for support. Michael was sitting on the stairs when she got home with the emergency services personnel. He remembered that she knelt in front of him and told him that she knew he planned to “end it all” because today felt different. She said that if he would give her five more minutes to love him, she promised to convince him that continuing to live made sense.

“Then people who didn’t even know me – the Albion police and Albion fire department – said, ‘Stay with her, man. Listen to her. Hold on. Don’t leave us just yet.' For some reason, it reminded me of something. The same thing happened to me in Iraq. Every day I kept waking up thinking that I was next … that I was going to die. But every day, I had a commander walk up to me and say, ‘You’re going to make it home. Do you believe me?’”

Michael said the commander was killed, but he believes he came back to him in 2017 in the form of all those men and women in uniform in Albion, Michigan.

“My wife said, ‘Five minutes,’” Michael said. “I’m still living in those five minutes right now.”

Not only is the couple surviving, but they’re thriving. In addition to their new album “Lover’s Game,” which will be available on March 10, they are also embarking on a headlining tour in March before touring with other artists later in the year.

“There is no greater or higher calling in life than to be conduits of love, and that’s exactly what LOVER’S GAME is to us,” Tanya said. “From the opening guitar riff to the last piano note on this is the intention and love is the subject that can’t be ignored. We’ve been through every facet of it together and we could not be more excited to share another layer of our story.”

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