The Recording Academy Texas Chapter recently played host for GRAMMYs On The Road at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, held Oct. 12–14 at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including folk/rock band the Avett Brothers and country/rock group Old 97's.
The Avett Brothers' Scott and Seth Avett discussed performing for larger crowds versus smaller audiences, their songwriting process and stories from touring, among other topics.
"It's interesting figuring out how to process the energy of so many people and to try to provide for them an energy that matches it without just collapsing," said Seth Avett on performing to larger audiences. "But I think we do that pretty well."
The Avett Brothers were formed in North Carolina by brothers Scott (vocals/banjo) and Seth Avett (vocals/guitar). In 2002 the pair, along with bassist Bob Crawford, released Country Was, followed by A Carolina Jubilee (2003), Mignonette (2004), Four Thieves Gone: The Robinsville Sessions (2006), and the EP The Gleam (2006). The band's 2007 release, Emotionalism, featured the addition of cellist Joe Kwon and garnered placement on the Billboard 200. The album also attracted the attention of GRAMMY-winning producer Rick Rubin, who subsequently signed the band to his American Recordings. The band's major label debut, I And Love And You, was released in 2009 and peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200. The band teamed with Rubin again for their latest album, 2012's The Carpenter, which peaked at No. 4, their highest-charting album to date.
Old 97's Rhett Miller and Murry Hammond discussed performing at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, memorable career moments and the band's enduring career, among other topics.
"One of the reasons I really love being a songwriter is I write songs and those songs go out and do the work for me," said Miller. "I do the work of writing it and recording it and then I let the song go out and perpetuate its own mythology."
Formed in 1993 by frontman Miller and bassist Hammond, Old 97's also include guitarist Ken Bethea and drummer Philip Peeples. They released their major label debut, Too Far To Care, in 1997, followed by 1999's Fight Songs, which peaked at No. 16 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart. The band has released additional albums since, including Satellite Rides (2001), Drag It Up (2004), Blame It On Gravity (2008), The Grand Theatre Volume One (2010), and The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 (2011), all of which gained presence on the Billboard 200. In celebration of the album's 15th anniversary, on Oct. 9 Old 97's reissued Too Far To Care as a two-disc set featuring the original album remastered plus session outtakes and demos.