Avett Brothers: Inside Seth Avett’s ‘Built to Last’ Style – Rolling Stone
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Avett Brothers: Inside Seth Avett’s ‘Built to Last’ Style

Singer-guitarist shows off treasured accessories, trusty road gear

My Style: Seth Avett

Avett Brothers singer-guitarist Seth Avett shows off his favorite clothes and accessories, including hand-decorated Chucks and a sewing kit from Mom.

Cole Barash for Rolling Stone

The Avett Brothers breathe new life into American roots music. So it's no surprise that singer-guitarist Seth Avett enjoys repurposing antique fashion – from his Edwardian wedding ring to his World War I–era trench watch. "I have a quasi-belief that older things have more spirit in them," Avett says. "I like pieces that are built to last for decades." On tour, Avett records songs onto a Sony digital field recorder he's used since the band's early days, and he often takes the stage in a 10-year-old pair of Dr. Martens. "The older I get," he says, "the more I appreciate that stuff." 

Scott Stallings for Rolling Stone

Sony PCM-D50 Linear Recorder

"It was the cutting edge of remote recording technology like 10 years ago, but I know how to work it and it's very convenient. If I'm looking for a higher-fidelity option for a song I'm working on, that’s what I use. When I'm on the road, when there's a day off, when there's time off and there's actually mental space within the band, I use that to document what we're working on. Otherwise it's just a tool for recording the stages of a song in development."

Cole Barash for Rolling Stone

Sewing Kit From Mom

"My mom made it for me. She's a fantastic seamstress among many other things. She taught me how to sew buttons on and to do simple patches, so on the road, I'll sew buttons on for suspenders and fix my jeans whenever I rip a hole in them. I'll fix it myself unless I'm at home – then I try my best to pawn it off on my mom."                                     

Cole Barash for Rolling Stone

Converse All Stars, Decorated by Avett With the Cover of the Band’s 2016 LP, ‘True Sadness’

"They were white and I went at them with Sharpies and watercolors and then acrylic paints. I wanted some All Stars that were the cover of the new album. My brother and I both went to college for visual art so my brother paints a lot at home. I'm still drawing regularly, but occasionally I'll grab a brush."

Scott Stallings for Rolling Stone

Schott Leather Jacket

"I'm a big fan of this company. It's more complex to be able to do something simply and well, and it seems like the more simple clothing is, the more expensive it is. I bought that jacket new at a little shop in Los Angeles. I think it's going to be a lifetime jacket. I'm really drawn to that. I like the idea of pieces that are really truly built to be with you for decades."                                     

Scott Stallings for Rolling Stone

Beat-Up Doc Martens

"I bought them Shoe Mania in New York city at a close-out, 60-percent-off kind of joint. You know, Docs are Docs. You can get 10 years out of them whether you pay $50 or $150 for them. The Docs are the go-to for me for my boots on the road. You just can't beat them. They hold up like a tennis shoe to where you can bounce around but are more durable. Those are my go-tos. Definitely sturdy but not as heavy as some of my other boots."

Scott Stallings for Rolling Stone

Sketch of Brother and Bandmate Scott Avett

"That's a caricature of my brother writing a set list. That one is actually a serious-tinged one, but they're normally really goofy. Since we were kids, we drew funny pictures of each other and for some reason, it just never ended with me. I draw ridiculous exaggerations of my brother all the time. The real test is after I finish and show them to everyone in the band, if they get a kick out of them or laugh. I'm always drawing caricatures of Scott and others, but he's the main subject matter in my scribblings."                                     

Cole Barash for Rolling Stone

Ping-Pong Paddles

"Ping-pong provides the only forum wherein my brother and I actually engage in some sort of competition. We focus on ping-pong while touring, though occasionally music gets in the way of our professional aspirations."

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