MOORHEAD - Shortly before the Avett Brothers made their Fargo debut in the summer of 2013, singer-guitarist Seth Avett called to talk about where the band had been and where things were going.
Where he was going that day was into the kitchen to make soups to bring on the road.
"The secret is always start by caramelizing the onions and the garlic," he said at the time.
The Avetts (Seth, his banjo-playing and singing brother Scott, bassist Bob Crawford and cellist Joe Kwon) return, bringing their mix of folk, country, rock and pop to Moorhead's Bluestem Amphitheater on Friday night, Oct. 12. We talked to Seth again and in addition to talking about what meals he brings on the road, he opened up about being a first-time father, what it was like seeing himself in the documentary "May It Last" and how he and his music remain so hopeful in troubled times.
How he'll approach the outdoor show when the temperature at start time - 7 p.m. - could be in the 30s:
In the early years, we played some festivals and state fairs and some ill-scheduled events. I'm not sure our skin is as thick as it once was. We'll get tested over there, Fargo. We're looking forward to it. We might have to get gloves and cut the fingers off. I might tell Pete the lighting guy to really crank up the hot light. Maybe that will do it.
On making his own meals on the road:
Being on the road is like being at home in that, if you're going to eat well, you're going to be the one putting the time in preparing the food. Soup weather is coming... If we're living well, we're performing well. Making food is a big part of that... I got a rice cooker I keep in the bus so I make a big container of quinoa. I do a lot of quinoa salads, quinoa on a bed of greens.
How fatherhood has changed how he lives and works:
It gets harder to leave. Once you see your days being spent contributing to the shaping of a person's life in that way, it's just awesome. That word gets overused, but in every sense of the word, it's an awesome experience. It makes me appreciate home more. It makes me take inventory of what the job is and to appreciate that more. To know that when my son sees me leave, he sees me not only working for a living but doing something I'm glad to do. I'm happy to have that as an example for him.
On being the subject of Judd Apatow's documentary, "May It Last," which followed the band as they wrote and recorded their latest album, "True Sadness":
It was a bit surreal watching it as a third party looking in at the dynamic between me and Scott. That's a very rare opportunity to see what it looks like interacting with one of the closest people in your life. They presented us with a great snapshot of something our family can look back at for many years. It was a great experience.
How he and his music remain optimistic while writing about going through a divorce ("True Sadness") and the general feeling of unease in the country:
I don't believe that these few moments we get in this visible universe are the end game. I think they're a very small part of the big picture... In terms of how contrasted and opposite and evenly split the country seems to be, I think people can find a good bit of solace in looking backwards and reading your history books, the good, the bad and the ugly of not only what we've been through as a country but what we've been through as a species... I do believe there's hope. I believe there's a lot to be proud of when you compare how we are living now to how we were living 100, 150 years ago. I think perspective is really important when things are looking bleak, and I think now, more than ever, perspective is imperative.
If you go
What: The Avett Brothers
When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12
Where: Bluestem Amphitheater, 801 50th Ave. S., Moorhead
Info: Tickets are sold out; https://jadepresents.com/
Due to recent precipitation, the unpaved parking lots at Bluestem Amphitheater is unusable for the Avett Brothers concert, limiting parking for the show. The concert's promoter, Jade Presents, urges attendees to carpool or take shuttles offered by Legend's Sports Bar & Grill, Brewtus Brickhouse and O'Leary's Irish Pub & Grill, all in south Moorhead.
Ticket-holders are also encouraged to dress warm for the show.