The Avett Brothers have enjoyed a trajectory of success since the indie-Americana crowd picked up on their album, Emotionalism in 2007. Known for energetic live shows and musical versatility, the brothers from North Carolina and their band of ace players can incite the audience into a frothing mosh in one song, and then break their heart with a lullaby in the next.
Seth and Scott Avett sat down with C-VILLE Weekly before their show at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion on October 19.
C-VILLE Weekly: Welcome back to Charlottesville. What do you like about performing here?
Seth: Avett “The people are really nice. I guess as we’ve grown, Charlottesville’s been a stop on the way the whole time.”
Do you miss the small shows?
Seth: “I don’t know that we miss anything necessarily. Once you do something, to go back and try to re-live it is impossible. We’ve tried that. Really terrific memories can only be lived once.”
What can you tell us about the Cheerwine partnership?
Seth: “It started back in 1998 when I was in college…no 1996, I was flunking out of East Carolina University. I started as a student and turned into more of an alcoholic musician. In my lost way, I got into radio broadcasting which led me to old-style radio broadcasting and I studied radio broadcasting performance, before going on to finish my art degree.”
“Cheerwine approached us with an idea for narration of their legendary tales ad campaign. I said ‘wow this really sounds like old radio.’ But, I can’t be a spokesperson for a product without a long relationship…and I went and did these spots and a relationship was born. So when Cheerwine brought this idea to us, we jumped on it. It’s a family organization. One of family well-being and family goodness.”
Can you talk about your family and your father’s influence on your work?
Seth: “Well, it means a lot. I think that’s pretty obvious in our a lot of our lyrics. Clearly we’ve been at it for a number of years. Scott and I apparently get along with each other. Our family was very tight growing up and still is very tight. That’s proven to be our most obvious set of allies, our family members.“
“Our dad gave us a lot of lessons growing up and we’ve applied a lot of them to touring, to meeting folks and how we treat people. I couldn’t overstate the affect both of our parents have had on who we are and how we’ve approached this whole band thing.”
Do you have any family traditions that you keep?
Seth: “We do a family reunion, in a different family members house every year.”
There’s a lot of love in the new record. Can you reflect on that for us? Is there a change in your songwriting?
Seth: “I don’t know that there is a conscious change in our songwriting, or at least in the compilation of songs for a record.”
Scott Avett: “We really try hard not to let our songwriting be dictated by conscious thought. “
A lot has changed in your lives.
Seth: “A lot has. I mean more things than we can count. Even since the record was finished. More life changing things have happened since then. It has also made some things that we wrote about, and recorded, more relevant. In foresight, we were setting ourselves up to understand something that we didn’t yet, in our writing.
Scott: “We are much more into the ‘now’ perspective than we’ve ever been.”