Laughlin is a country music duo from Georgia who are fairly new to music city. Allison and Zach Laughlin took a romance and turned it into an art. The couple’s passion as well as talent is proven during their live performances. Although they have only been performing for a year, the couple has already been nominated for two Georgia Music Awards. Laughlin is definitely a duo on the rise.
1. Where are you answering these questions from and what are you wearing?
We are in our brand new apartment in Nashville! We are both still in PJ’s (you do your best work when you are comfy).
2. What’s your official title and favorite thing about what you do?
Our band name is Laughlin and our favorite thing about what we do is that we get to travel on the road together. The tough part about the business is that when you are a single artist, you often have to leave your family back home when you travel, but since we get to do it together, we don’t have to face that issue.
3. How did you guys become a band?
We met our first day at the University of Georgia in Athens. We began singing together almost immediately, but it took us three years to actually consider going out and playing in front of people. We started learning enough cover songs to get us through a two-hour set (that we were paid for in beer) and began playing around Athens. Once we mastered the covers, we started trying our hands at writing, and from there we really started finding our sound and formed a full band.
4. What’s the first concert you’ve ever attended?
Allison: My first concert was the Fray in Atlanta on my 16th birthday. Zach: The first concert I ever saw was Three Doors Down/Shinedown in Columbus.
5. What’s your favorite cartoon character?
Allison: Mine is Angelica from Rugrats. I was a 90s kid so I loved that show! Zach: I would go with Johnny Bravo! He is pretty smooth…very unlike how I was with Allison at first!
6. What’s the hardest life lesson you’ve learned?
As far as music goes, we have just had to learn that you can’t please everyone. As long as you stay true to yourself and write music you love, I think people can see that you are genuine and that’s what make people love your music.
7. Do you have a favorite restaurant in music city?
We have only been here three days, but so far we love the Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden!
8. Beer or whiskey?
That’s a hard one…but we both love craft beer. Any time we are in a new city we will try to find a local brewery to tour.
9. What’s your favorite country singer from the 90s?
Zach: Alan Jackson, no doubt. Allison: I grew up on some Shania Twain.
10. Out of all the songs you’ve written, do you have a favorite?
I think “Lullaby” is the most special song to us. We wrote it when we found out Allison’s sister was pregnant, and it really turned into a universal love song, whether that be between the two of us, for a child, or for a friend. We wrote it specifically to be a song that would be most effective acoustically, and that’s how we recorded it for the album.
11. Do you have a favorite place to perform?
Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta is just an unbelievable venue. So many great artists have played that room (John Mayer, Sugarland, The Civil Wars) and you can almost feel that energy when you play there. It is so small and intimate. We absolutely love big shows where we can play with the full band, but there is just something unique about a small, great sounding room where you can talk about how you wrote your music and what inspires you.
12. What’s one gift you will never forget?
Zach: I actually played baseball at UGA and when I was done playing, I got one of my old jerseys. It was just sitting in the closet and I had kind of forgotten about it. Allison put it in a shadow box and gave it to me on our wedding day, and now it’s hanging right here in our apartment! Go Dawgs! Allison: When I was growing up my parents gave me the Garth Brooks Scarecrow CD for my birthday (it was my very first CD) and I listened to that thing over and over and over. The CD had a booklet in it with all the lyrics to all of the songs, and that was the first time I really started paying attention to lyrics and song form and I just fell completely in love with country music because of that gift.
13. What current event has your eyes and ears? What are you doing about it?
Cancer is such a terrible disease that has affected almost everyone. One of the most important things about diseases like this (other than awareness) is having a supportive community to keep up morale when you are fighting and undergoing treatment. I think this has been brought even further to light with the passing of Joey Feek from Joey + Rory and seeing her beautiful story unfold even though it ended tragically. We are actually involved in an event right now where we are cowriting a song with another Athens artist, Emily McCannon Joiner, to write a song that will go on a compilation CD for the American Cancer Society. The CD will be recorded in Athens and it’s called the Players of the Lyre, and it’s purpose is to give hope and support to those fighting cancer.
14. How do you think songwriters play a vital role in music today?
Songwriters play the most vital role in music, period. Their ideas and trends dictate what we hear on the airwaves. Even more importantly, cowrites between writers help form better relationships and even stronger songs. Writers are absolutely the foundation of the business.
15. What’s one super power you wish you had?
As much as we are on the road, we desperately wish that we could just fly. Life would be so much easier. And we would save SO much money in gas!
16. You’re making your favorite sandwich, what’s on it?
Allison: We are both kind of wimps when it comes to our sandwiches. We get the good old Turkey, Cheese (maybe bacon) some mayo and mustard (spicy of course). Done. Zach: I was always told, “eat safe, use condiments.”
17. Name one artist of any genre besides country that you are a fan of and tell us why?
Zach: Unfortunately, I hate to say this but I love the new Justin Bieber album. That kid can really sing. And “Love Yourself” is so strong lyrically. Every song on the album is strong. Allison: I have always loved Paramore. I got the chance to see them live years ago and Hayley Williams is just even more incredible in person if that’s possible. She just has this huge energy and knows exactly who she is. It comes out in her songs and in her live performance.
18. What makes you laugh out loud?
Zach: Old movie quotes usually get me pretty good. Whether that’s an old Anchorman or Happy Gilmore reference. Some Joe Dirt quotes will work too! Allison: As cheesy as it sounds, Zach does have a really good sense of humor. On the road, he is great at changing words to songs on the radio (usually making them highly inappropriate) and that gets me laughing!
19. Fill in the blank: It’s not a party until…
…the DJ plays N*SYNC!
20. Fill in the blank: Country music has made me…
…into the person I am today. It offers a song for every mood and time in your life. Growing up, it taught you what was truly important, what it means to be in love, what being from the South really means…everything. We owe it all to Country Music!