Conversations with The Avett Brothers

Posted on 2012-06-05.

This Thursday Fraze Pavilion welcomes The Avett Brothers to the stage for the first time. Known for their energetic live shows, the Avett Brothers rock a banjo, an acoustic guitar and a stand up bass in a unique blend of bluegrass and punk. Their ballads are rich with harmony and profound lyrics. Fans of The Avett Brothers have been waiting in anticipation for a follow-up album to 2009’s I and Love and You. Rumors that it would come out this spring were quickly squandered. In a recent interview with Urban Tulsa Weekly, guitarist Seth Avett reveals why they are taking extra time releasing the album. Though a date still hasn’t been set, the end is in sight, and it’s something for fans to cling to.

Read an excerpt from the article below.

Day by Day
Avett Brothers take things a step at a time to let their new album evolve naturally

Urban Tulsa Weekly

When Avett Brothers last arrived in Tulsa, touring behind I and Love and You, the group was following up on a very prolific period in which the band released nine CD’s within a seven year span. Since that last studio release in 2009, the group has released a live CD/DVD entitled Live Volume 3, but no additional studio recordings. It’s not that the group hasn’t been recording, however. In fact, the group reportedly entered the studio with producer Rick Rubin again in early 2011 and Scott Avett was quoted in the June 2011 issue of Rolling Stone, stating “We’ve recorded 24 songs and there’s plenty more where that came from.”

Nevertheless, as April 2012 arrives, the album that fans have been anticipating still hasn’t arrived. Granted, the group has been busy, touring consistently in short spurts of dates while continuing to prepare the record. With a new album yet to be announced, however, the group is gearing up for the summer touring season and appearances at festivals like Wakarusa and Bonnaroo, with a spring tour bringing the band to Tulsa’s Brady Theater for a special “An evening with” concert this weekend.

I was fortunate enough to catch up with guitarist Seth Avett before the band headed out for its latest stretch of shows to discuss the current touring and impending album release. When asked about the perceived delays with the band’s forthcoming record, he commented, “There are just a lot of elements involved to getting this record out. Some of it is professional stuff and some of it is creative.”

“Previously, we pretty much did it all on our own,” Avett explained. “Even Dolphus (Ramseur, current band manager and owner of Ramseur Records, the band’s previous label) is like another part of the band, so we were used to doing everything on our own.”

While moving to American Recordings and dealing with the business aspects of a major label have changed some of the dynamics and process of getting a new record out, Avett shared, “When we got the opportunity to work with Rick Rubin, we felt very fortunate and couldn’t pass it up. It was an opportunity to work with someone on the same level both artistically and creatively.”

“I would say our writing hasn’t slowed down any,” Avett said. “The reason this record has taken a longer is more maturity on our part. Before, we would go in and record an album in a week and just pick a release date arbitrarily. We’d let Dolphus know and he’d say ‘OK, we’ll release in on Tuesday, April 24’ and pick the date because albums are released on Tuesdays.”

“We didn’t have to worry about who else was putting out records that day,” he continued. “We didn’t have anyone to notify, we could just put it out. Over time, though, our team has grown and there are more moving pieces and things to consider.

“I think we’ve also got a more refined vision of what we want our record to be and sound like,” Avett said. “And there’s also just life: we’re married now and have children. Our priorities have changed.”

Even with all the changes that have come with growing families and label changes, Avett stressed again that the group has never slowed down in the writing process, stating, “It’s really been more a matter of finding time to do the songs justice.”

“In fact, this is the first interview I’ve done that I can say the new record is finished,” Avett said. “The artwork is almost done and we’ve still got the mastering to do, so it’s still in the final stages, but we’re done with our part.”

Read more of the article and learn how the band balances being musicians on the road and family life.
Complete Article

If you’re unfamiliar with The Avett Brothers, check out some of their interviews on the Grammy’s website, and don’t miss their live show at Fraze this Thursday. It will make your heart pound like a “kick drum.”
Grammy Website