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Avett Brothers Interview Part 2: Scott Explores Emotions in Songs on ‘The Carpenter,’ Shares Mainstream Country Influences

Avett Brothers
Mike Lawrie, Getty Images

(Continued From Part 1)

It’s tough for one to wrap their head around the concept of ‘February Seven.’ Can you explain it a little more?

The chorus is kind of the core or nucleus of the song and it’s to me self-explanatory, but… If there’s something that can be potentially abstract or something that people need liberty to define themselves, I’m so careful of that because I don’t wanna lock it in. But it’s kind of one of my multiple takes on the age-old material chase that we all have, or just the material chase that I have. I would have to say ‘Down With the Shine,’ as well as this song have that theme within them, about being conscious and aware and cautious of the material chase that the more that I travel, the more that I see, the more I start seeing this infinite circle.

Another that is striking is ‘Winter in My Heart.’ It feels so much like a song that could have been cut by George Jones.

Thank you, that’s a great honor. I think it probably could be because it’s just a song about… you could say sadness, you could say depression. You could say anxiety, you could say bipolar, or lots of things it could work as. The mystery of sadness that I have experienced, some with friends and in my own life.

Can you bring your family on the road with you?

I can some. And I will. As we enter this release season and this tour season, the only way that I can be emotionally sane will be bringing them on some of the tours. And that will just mean employing a bus for them live on and ask them to live like gypsies for a little bit.

Has there been an act or an artist that you’ve opened for that has been a really good example of how to treat fans or other opening acts?

Yep, absolutely. This was early on, this was in 2006. The first serious tour we did was with BR549 and we did a two van tour where we were in a van and they were in a van. It was the first time that we left home and just stayed gone for close to two months. We had been touring just nonstop, but we had never just given ourselves to the road like that.

BR549… those guys showed us how to enjoy what you do. They showed us how to be appreciative of what you do — this was on the road. They showed us how to speak with fans and how to really carry yourself like an old country artist does. That goes the same in NASCAR. I think country music and NASCAR fan relationships are what we base our philosophy on by default.

And now are you conscious of sharing that same information with bands you meet along the way?

Very much so. I think there’s nothing more dangerous than artists compartmentalizing himself or herself or removing themselves from the real world. I’ve learned the hard way that the less time I give the fans, the more out of touch I get with what I do. And actually socializing with the fans and friends we’ve met along the way is a huge part of my happiness. It keeps me… up, it keeps me elevated.

I share that with young blood as much as I can, because I do believe that people like people like Bruce Springsteen and all the old artists. I read Charlie Louvin’s book recently, and the way Charlie Louvin describes how you treat fans is — I almost feel like you shouldn’t even use the word “fans” too much because that’s almost a degrading thing — and I really feel like we’ve become such admirers of them for their perception of us and they way they can hold up something we do as art that they are the lifeline of us so in a lot of ways we become the same to them as they are to us.

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