New York Minute w/ The Avett Brothers

Catching The Avett Brothers in between recordings and a sound check, I got to talk with a member of the Avett Brothers, cellist Joe Kwan. The genre-hopping troupe have been producing albums since 2000, often releasing two albums per year. Combining classic genres like ragtime with contemporary methods and honest lyrics is their forte. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as having the “heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of the Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones.”

DH: All of your discography is very unique from the very honest The Avett Bros. in 2000 to the breakthrough album Emotionalism. What is unique about this album?
AB: In terms of inspiration, it comes from real life experience. In terms of an actual event… more like a combination of several events. The song as the opening track (“January Wedding”) has to do with an actual wedding that happened in January.

DH: Since 2002, you have released a new album every year sometimes releasing two albums in the same year. Have you been eagerly working on your next album?
AB: We always work on new tracks even before I and Love and You was released, we were already working on several new tracks, but its kind of hard to continuously have new stuff coming out. There is always new material to work on… it keeps it fresh in our heads. The older stuff becomes new again, next thing you know you forgot how to play the song you’ve played since 2005. It becomes a new song.

DH: Does performing live help the band to grow?
AB: I would say that it’s a constant evolution. I’m not talking from day to day basis, but it is such a refreshing thing to play songs in many different ways. The introduction of a lot of insturments help us to play a completely different way nearly every time.

DH: And how does performing live help your music grow?
AB: Obviously it’s a totally different song. You can change up the tempo, change a few chords, it’s one of those things you always want to do. You are on the road you have to change yourself constantly.

DH: Are you excited to play through Chicago?
AB: Well, we’ve been through Chicago before. Four or five times… The one thing I remember: Chicago has a lot of good places to eat.

DH: What’s good to eat in Chicago according to you?
AB: Really good Thai or veggie burgers. Deep dish pizza.

DH: What can the average concert goer expect for this upcoming tour?
AB: More drums. [We] really enjoy playing drums. A little bit more of a punchier feel to the whole sound. You’ll start seeing a little bit more set designing for the tour.

In terms of the actual show it will still be a raucous high energy show. Everyone’s ready to give it their all.

The Chicago show at the House of Blues on March 7th is currently sold out, but you can still catch them in Milwaukee, WI on March 6th or Ann Arbor, MI on March 9th. They will also be rocking the Coachella festival this year. Check out all their upcoming tour dates across the globe!

Written by: Blake Russell

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