Before The Avett Brothers were ever THE Avett Brothers, Seth and Scott Avett were Margo and Nemo. Margo was Seth’s high school rock band, and Nemo was Scott’s band that he formed in college. While Seth’s band would eventually merge with Scott’s to form an even bigger Nemo, it wasn’t until the two brothers self-released their debut EP, titled The Avett Bros., in 2000 that their partnership as an eclectic folk-rock outfit was realized.
More than 15 years later, The Avett Brothers are riding high after their ninth and latest studio album True Sadness debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart when it dropped back in June. The LP, which Seth describes as “a patchwork quilt, both thematically and stylistically,” drew its fair share of applause and jeers from the music media, but in the file-sharing world we live in now, selling 40,000-plus copies in an album’s first week ain’t half bad.
Currently on tour in support of True Sadness, The Avett Brothers followed up their Sunday set at KAABOO Del Mar with a private show in Los Angeles for KCRW’s Apogee Sessions the next night. Tucked away on the eastern edge of Santa Monica along an industrial stretch, Apogee Studio is a hidden gem in LA’s ever-growing music scene, a state-of-the-art recording studio that at times doubles as a petite concert venue with a maximum capacity of 200.
What you might not know, though, is that The Avett Brothers are more than just musicians. As we found out during KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley’s interview with Seth and Scott prior to their performance, both are visual artists as much as they are musicians. The sheer number of hours spent creating the album cover for True Sadness more or less proves their attention to every last detail, from the melodies they write to the stories they tell with their lyrics. Of the 14 songs they performed at Apogee Studio, eight of them were from True Sadness, and rightfully so. The Avetts have come a long way since their days as Margo and Nemo, and with legendary producer Rick Rubin at their side throughout it all, there’s no need for them to look back now.
D Bag Rag
Satan Pulls the Strings
Divorce Separation Blues
You Are Mine
Fisher Road to Hollywood
Ain’t No Man
Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise
No Hard Feelings
Stay All Night
Murder in the City