As members of Lou Ford, a roots rock outfit that was popular locally in the 2000s, and the Loudermilks, brothers Alan and Chad Edwards have written memorable tunes. Their kiss-offs and heartbreakers "You Ain't Worth My Time" and "How Does it Feel?" were etched in the minds of local music fans. Having launched the Loudermilks, parenthood and responsibilities have altered their writing process.
Q. You were known for sad songs. How is writing different now?
Chad: The challenge is finding the drive to continue writing and be productive when you don't have anything to be miserable about.
Alan: Regret is more of a subject in our most recent songs. It's about looking back now more than living in them, which is kind of what we were doing with those (early) songs.
Q. How has having families and careers altered your focus?
Chad: It slows the whole process down just because things you used to be able to dedicate to music in a week now take a month. We had to accept that it's not just about us anymore.
Q. What's your writing process?
Alan: I generally start with a line or a hook. The ones that stick with me, I finish. Songs have happened in one sitting, but those are rare. Some have taken me 10 years to finish. It's kind of like having a junk yard of stuff. I have different ideas and realize I can merge these two songs together.
Chad: We work pretty similarly. We learned to do it together - but not. We've never actually written a song together. We both learned the songwriting process together, from each other. It's a pretty solitary process. I've never actually written anything that I didn't bring to practice pretty much done. I have to shape and mold the whole thing and I almost can't do a song any other way.
Q. Do you have a certain space where you write?
Alan: My wife has given me a room in the side of our house. If I know other ears are around I can't write.
Chad: I don't have the luxury of a room, but I find my down time and I can tune it all out. I can close the doors.
Q. What is the new, flexible configuration of the Loudermilks?
Alan: We did a benefit for a choir school downtown at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. We were forced to do it that way because only three of us were available. It went over so well with the people there and our wives that it got us thinking. That will probably be the approach to making a record. Strip it down, bring down the volume, rely less on the distortion pedal and focus on dynamics and songwriting.
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