Scott Avett Interview

The Avett BrothersThe Avett Brothers will play a Halloween Show on October 31 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The band is composed of brothers Seth and Scott Avett with Bob Crawford on bass and Joe Kwon on cello. Current touring members include Mike Marsh on drums and Bonnie Avett Rini on piano.

The Avett Brothers made mainstream waves with their 2009 major label debut, I and Love and You,” landing at No. 16 on the Billboard Top 200 while garnering critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, Paste, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Time.

On Aug. 15, the Avett Brothers revealed Closer Than Together’s album cover art during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The image depicts the bandmates’ profiles, with the upper half of their faces colored in black and beige tones. The lower half of their faces are colored in the same tones, but as a negative version.

Scott was studying radio and art at East Carolina University (he’s owned a gallery in his hometown for a decade) when he bought a banjo. The brothers began performing songs by Old and in the Way and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott at parties – a lot of speed songs, just flying bluegrass songs,” says Scott. A friend introduced them to Bob Crawford, a Deadhead who had spent his twenties drifting through odd jobs. He’d just bought a stand-up bass and, after jamming with the Avetts on Going Down the Road Feeling Bad” in a parking lot, was invited to join the band. The Avett Brothers spent the next few years on the road, crashing everywhere from campgrounds to a drug dealer’s home, playing gigs at Dairy Queens, topless bars and trailer parks. They figured they’d peaked in 2004, when they each pulled in $6,000 for the entire year.

In addition to brothers Seth and Scott, who mainly do vocals and guitar, as well as Joe Kwon on the cello and Bob Crawford on the bass, a number of other performers appear regularly on tour with the group. Paul Defiglia adds piano or sometimes another bass. The Avett Brothers also features Mike Marsh on the drums and Tania Elizabeth as the band’s first female member on the violin.

And while the North Carolina band has released five songs since October, only High Steppin,” a galloping country number underlain with synth that came out in June will definitely be on the record.

While touring for Four Thieves Gone Scott and Seth wrote and produced the six-song EP The Gleam , composed of more intimate songs than on their other records. The Gleam was released on Ramseur in September of 2006. 27 On September 7, 2006 Bob Crawford’s side project New Jersey Transient , aided by Seth Avett, Daniel Coolik, and Mike Cuzulak, released their self-titled album.

Seth Avett admits the idea of making a record that takes a political stand is not one that appealed to him. “The last thing the world needs is another piece of sociopolitical commentary,” the Avett Brothers frontman wrote to fans in July.

The Avett Brothers—consisting of Scott Avett, Seth Avett, Bob Crawford & Joe Kwon—will be releasing their tenth album, called Closer Than Together, on October 4. This album is the follow-up to their acclaimed 2016 album True Sadness, which was nominated for Best Americana Album at the Grammy Awards. Also, the making of True Sadness was documented in the HBO film, May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers.

After almost 20 years of making records, playing shows and blending his voice with his brother Scott’s to produce high harmonies sweet as honeysuckle, Seth Avett reckons he’s finally figured it out.

Although, in recent months, the Avetts have shared the unreleased songs “Neapolitan Sky” and “Roses and Sacrifice,” those tracks are not found on Closer Than Together.

Scott Avett was born in June 1976 to Susie and Jim Avett in Concord, North Carolina. Jim Avett, a welder by profession but musician by heart, raised Scott and his older sister Bonnie to play instruments and participate in music. Four years later Seth Avett was born to the same musical environment.

Their eighth studio album, Magpie and the Dandelion,” debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200. They performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, and accompanied Chris Cornell for a Pearl Jam tribute on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The band also supported The Rolling Stones in Raleigh during 2015’s Zip Code Tour.

The Avett Brothers get romantically forensic on their ninth record—and their most personal effort yet. PLUS: An exclusive look at True Sadness, featuring behind-the-scenes footage with producer Rick Rubin.

The Avett Brothers begin their political commentaries on track three with the six-minute mistake of a song, We Americans.” They open it up by establishing their love and patriotism for the U.S, and then continue with a recounting of the mistakes of the country’s past. However, their protests remain about as shallow as a local community kiddie pool, boiling down to the fact that slavery is bad. It certainly doesn’t help that the song is incredibly wordy, vague and not exactly pleasant to listen to.

2018 brought the HBO premiere of May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers,” a documentary co-directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio. Days after this debut, True Sadness launched to #1 on the Rock Albums chart and #3 on the iTunes Album chart. In October of ‘18, The Avett Brothers debuted a new song, Roses and Sacrifice,” live on Late Night with Seth Meyers and then released the track officially in November ‘18. Also, in November of ‘18, the band headlined the Concert for Hurricane Florence Relief in Greenville, NC, raising $325,000 to help those affected by Hurricane Florence. The Avett Brothers continue to be revered as one of the top folk-rock acts in the country, selling out arenas and amphitheaters coast to coast.

But in true Avetts fashion, there’s hardly a stitch of darkness in that Nudie suit. The piano-driven song bounces on an addictive, galloping synth underneath the group’s signature uplifting harmonies. By the end of the clip, he and Death sing in duet, arm in arm, line dancing in the middle of the road as fiddle plays out over the beat.

Avett: Absolutely. Both New Woman’s World,” Bang Bang,” and all of the songs on the record are really important to us…they’re our personal relationships with things. And we were raised with nothing but admiration and respect towards any of the women in our lives—moms, sisters, wives, girlfriends—that it was a human respect that was mutual. That’s important to us.

It’s very different than writing songs and recording. You know, the writing is so not like playing live (laughs). It’s so much more of a still interaction with contemplation and meditation, and it’s just much more receiving for me, and less kinetic and explosive energy. So it’s such a different thing. And I think that’s relatable…it’s reflective. I think it’s exciting. I don’t know that for sure…I can only trust what I hear, and I can just keep trying to do what I do naturally (laughs). But it’s a blast, and to this day, we truly enjoy that interaction and that connection.

The sound of The Avett Brothers incorporates quite a mix of different styles, including indie, bluegrass, folk rock and what is commonly known as Americana. Its songs are sometimes classified as pop, folk, rock or even blues. The band’s music ranges from hauntingly soulful to highly upbeat. Concerts can last for as long as two hours with sometimes more than 20 songs in the setlist. Listeners also describe the lead vocals as incredible, partnered with stunningly loud and heartfelt accompaniment.

2018 brought the HBO premiere of May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers,” a documentary co-directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio. Days after this debut, True Sadness launched to #1 on the Rock Albums chart and #3 on the iTunes Album chart. In October of ‘18, The Avett Brothers debuted a new song, Roses and Sacrifice,” live on Late Night with Seth Meyers and then released the track officially in November ‘18. Also, in November of ‘18, the band headlined the Concert for Hurricane Florence Relief in Greenville, NC, raising $325,000 to help those affected by Hurricane Florence. The Avett Brothers continue to be revered as one of the top folk-rock acts in the country, selling out arenas and amphitheaters coast to coast.




Closer Than Together contains 13 new songs, including the single High Steppin’,” that was a hit on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs (AAA) chart. It also includes their new single Bang Bang,” which is a song about how guns are depicted in movies and media. Other key songs on the album are the more sociopolitical New Women’s World” and We America,” the gentle, heartfelt ballads Better Here” and When You Learn,” the fun, rollicking ”Sections And Railway Trestles,” and the harder-edged rock cut, Bleeding White.” Closer Than Together was produced by Scott & Seth Avett, with legendary record producer and label exec, Rick Rubin.

The Avetts are now working in yet another art form — the musical. Swept Away,” which is slated to premiere in June 2020 at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, California and uses music from the band’s catalog, particularly songs from 2004’s Mignonette” as the framework for a story, set in 1888, of a shipwrecked crew, including two brothers, struggling to survive on the Massachusetts coast.

Avett: I wrote the original draft of those lyrics, and then Seth—as it is common for us to do—I brought it to the table and Seth edited it and improved upon it. Originally, the song was much more of a conventionally country, sort of ‘70s Texas country sound. With the spoken word part, I was thinking about how Johnny Cash read Revelation (from the Bible)-I had this CD, and I listened to that and it was incredible. I kept thinking about the power and authority of that spoken word. And we’re there…we’re in a place in our lives and careers” that I feel very comfortable doing that, and Seth feels very comfortable doing that. So it’s kind of our version, dropping a little of our own personal wisdom that we put on ourselves. And then the silliness of the whole thing, to undercut it and say you know, really, that might all just be total BS.” That really, simplifying is the key. So you know, it’s meant to be silly and contradictory.

To close out the album, the Avett Brothers employ the one-two punch of Locked Up” and It’s Raining Today.” The first, with its welcome upbeat tempo, is perhaps the most accessible song on the album, while the latter is the most cathartic, melting together piano and vocals to provide a very satisfying conclusion to the album.

The Avett Brothers shared a video for the single Bang Bang” from their upcoming new studio album Closer Than Together The follow-up to 2016’s True Sadness is due on October 4.

Avett: Perhaps. I think music is a tool like anything else. I think that it can be very useful and we need to listen to and watch things that help us. I’m almost 40 years old, this is a more recent development in my mind, but to reference a song on the record, the “Bang Bang” song, it’s never been more clear to me it’s important to take good things in. There’s a reason Mr. Rogers is worthwhile. There’s a reason that when you watch something that gives you calm and hope and knowledge without playing to the darkness that we all have a sick attraction to, it’s good. I want to make music that helps. I don’t want to just make music that exemplifies my darkness or my sadness or shows that we exist. We got it, we all know that it exists. But I hope that we’re making music and I hope I am able to continue to make music for my whole life that at the bottom line is helpful rather than harmful.The Avett Brothers

Scott Avett was born in Cheyenne on June 19, 1976. He is best known for being a folk singer. He earned a fine arts degree from East Carolina University in 2000. He played with a variety of bands while in college, like Nemo. He helped The Avett Brothers earn a top ten indie album with The Second Gleam in 2008. According to Celebrity Couples , Scott has not been previously engaged. His song Famous Flower of Manhattan” was about singer Regina Spektor. He married Sarah Avett in 2003 and the couple welcomed a daughter named Eleanor. Education details are not available at this time. Please check back soon for updates.

I love it for a lot of reasons, but it makes me feel like a cheerleader, which is fun. It’s just a beat and a bassline. It’s a very fun song to perform and to just dance and just throw it down with everybody. But I also really loved it because it’s a pretty equal input between me and Scott. And it was one of those lightning bolt ideas. We’re in Asheville, North Carolina , and it’s winter and it’s cold. And I get to the studio a little bit before Scott. He comes walking in and he’s just like, Man, listen, we got this thing, it’s like this.” And he just starts singing it. And then we’re just off and running. In that May It Last film, you can see just a little of the end of that. But it was a two-hour, sparks flying, synapses firing, kind of thing. The fun of that song lingers. Every time I play it, that initial excitement sticks around, and that’s what really makes me love it so much.

THE AVETT BROTHERS made mainstream waves with their 2009 major label debut, I and Love and You, landing at #16 on the Billboard Top 200 and garnering critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, Paste, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Time. 2012 saw The Carpenter hit #4 on the Billboard Top 200, while People, USA Today, and American Songwriter lauded the album. The group appeared on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! twice in a few months’ time. During their second performance, the Brooklyn Philharmonic joined to pay homage to Brooklyn with “I and Love and You” at Mr. Kimmel’s request. Their eighth studio album, Magpie and the Dandelion, debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200. They performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, and accompanied Chris Cornell for a Pearl Jam Tribute on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The band supported The Rolling Stones in Raleigh during 2015’s Zip Code Tour.

If you’re ever in Malibu wanting to get fish tacos and a Mexican beer, The Reel Inn is just the best place. I love it to death. There’s also an upper-echelon juice bar that’s close to the studio, Sunlife Organics, which is really wonderful. That said, Shangri-La has been custom outfitted by Rick to be a place where you don’t feel all that much urge to leave. You can relax and get work done at the same time, which is a unique dichotomy. The way the backyard is set up makes it feel like you can get away without getting away, which is really nice.

Joining the Avett Brothers in Bend this summer is Lake Street Dive. After forming in 2004, while all the band members were studying at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Lake Street Dive assiduously built a following through a series of independent album releases, countless club tours, and a few lucky breaks.

Avett: Exactly. When we were working on the album artwork, I spent many hours thinking about the concepts of the songs. I spent a lot of time with images, and I knew that I wanted to make an image that had some group of us, some number of us within our group, blended, and I would hope, as I do with our songwriting, that whatever we do is reflective of our beliefs, our lifestyle, our love. And I kept coming back to these blended images of Seth and Bob and I. And when I did, I was thinking about being close, like we are all one body. If we see that, which is something that I’ve gathered from my own spiritual readings…if we live that way, we can’t go wrong, we can’t lose. I kept thinking…What’s closer than together? What’s better than together? That’s when I thought…Closer Than Together. So Seth and I threw it around, and it’s like you said—it’s about the unification of us, of all of us, which is our general mission. Our mission is to love and be part of something that is not divisive.

The growing popularity of the band made me self conscious of how I live my life,” Avett said. I’m not going to create a Twitter account. I’m not going on Facebook. I’m not going to share pictures of my son.

Just in Cincinnati the evening prior, the band played a completely different set, packed with all the hits (or what constitutes as a “hit” for the Avett Brothers anyway, with “I and Love and You” and “Kick Drum Heart”), deep cuts and also brand new tunes from their soon-to-be-out 10th studio album Closer Than Together.

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