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Music is cool. Songwriting is very cool. The idea that you could create something in 10 minutes that people will remember for lifetimes is both exciting and challenging. Music is unique in this. Creative works in other forms of art – paintings, films, architecture – take weeks, months, and years to be completed, and when you’re all done, it might be terrible and no one likes it! When you write an album, you are getting 10-14 chances (tracks) to make something lasting and influential, with not a lot of time or money spent in comparison to making a film, for instance. Granted, some artists take years to write and record albums, and that is fine, everyone has their own method. But I feel like on a basic level, a great song has to come from pure and honest inspiration.

Over the years, Scott and I have written many songs together, and have had a lot of co-writing sessions with other writers as well. A lot of those sessions reap poor results because we get caught up over-analyzing the lyrics we have written; this often leads to re-writing little words/phrases here and there, which we later look back at and second-guess ourselves, and the cycle repeats. Really, we should have just scrapped it all and started fresh. One example of a great session we had was with Allen Salmon for our song “You Will Remain” – we banged that song out quick. We got a good chord progression going, everyone was feeling inspired, and the lyrics and melody came about pretty easily.

On the flipside of that, for the Attention record we wrote “Letter to the Editor” with Rob Hawkins, who produced the album. That session was extremely inspired, but it took an extremely long time. Not because we had writer’s block, but because we were continually discussing the story we were telling and creating a context behind it – this made the lyrics feel so much more real as we wrote. There was no pressure – we would talk for a few minutes about what we wanted to say, then someone would have the next line, and we would continue. It was definitely one of my favorite co-writes to date.

All this to say: Philmont is writing some new stuff this week, and I am pretty excited about it. I feel like we are ready to expand upon our sound a little bit, which opens up a lot of doors creatively. Pray that we are inspired! For now, I am going to get my guitar out and jam on some stuff, and who knows? An hour from now I could have written something that people will still listen to 100 years in the future! So could you! Never stop creating.

Three Songs to Buy on iTunes This Week:
1. “Let Him Run Wild” by The Beach Boys

2. “Ticket to Ride” by The Beatles

3. “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” by Eiffel 65

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2 Comments

  1. You guys are great songwriters. I’ve attempted songwriting… And poetry. Even when feeling very inspired, it stunk. 😛 Now I just stick to playing other people’s music and taking pictures. Instant art! Well, as long as I’m working with my DSLR and not my film camera.

    I’m praying for you guys as you are all writing and playing shows!

  2. You guys are amazing. I’d never have guessed “Letter To The Editor” had taken so long, because that song is genius, my favorite from Attention. God has blessed y’all with incredible talent. And y’all are using it to the best of your ability for him, and y’all are just amazingly gifted. 🙂 I can’t say it enough.
    Can’t wait to hear the new tunes. It’s all going to be great. Keep up the great work, y’all are the people who inspire me to be better at music and songwriting. 🙂


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