Founded by Scott and Seth Avett and Bob Crawford in 2001, The Avett Brothers have gone from obscurity to critical acclaim and sold-out tours, experiencing profound heartbreak and exceptional joy along the way.
Filmed with extensive access over more than two years, MAY IT LAST: A PORTRAIT OF THE AVETT BROTHERS is an inside look at the North Carolina band, from its origins to a recent collaboration with legendary record producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Jay Z, Beastie Boys, Dixie Chicks) on the Grammy-nominated album “True Sadness.” The film depicts a lifelong bond and unique creative partnership, as band members experience marriage, divorce, parenthood, illness and the challenges of the music business, offering a meditation on family, love and the passage of time. An Apatow Production (HBO’s “Crashing” and “Girls”) in association with RadicalMedia (HBO’s “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”), MAY IT LAST was produced and directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio, and debuts MONDAY, JAN. 29 (8:00-9:45 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
Featuring a wealth of original footage of the Avetts in the studio, on the road and at home, previously unseen family photographs and home movies, never-before-heard original songs and rousing concert performances, the intimate film includes revealing interviews with Scott (banjo, lead vocals) and Seth (guitar, lead vocals) Avett, band members Bob Crawford (bass), Joe Kwon (cello), Tania Elizabeth (fiddle), Paul Defiglia (keyboards) and Mike Marsh (drums), Rick Rubin and friends and family. MAY IT LAST shows how the ties between Scott and Seth help shape their creative process as musicians and songwriters.
In 2008, after several independent releases, the band signed with Rubin, who says he recognized something special about the Avetts at their very first encounter. “In the first 30 seconds of meeting them, I knew they were people that I wanted to work with, and it seemed like being around them would make life better,” he recalls, noting they differ from other sibling musical acts because “they actually like each other” and have the ability to collaborate on deeply personal lyrics. Between touring constantly and selling out arenas around the world, MAY IT LAST finds the brothers working on new songs at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, NC and Rubin’s Shangri La Studio in Malibu, Calif. for their latest album, “True Sadness.”
The grandsons of a minister, Scott and Seth live down the road from each other in their Concord, NC hometown, not far from their parents’ house. Four years Scott’s junior, Seth took up guitar as a kid to back up his brother, who showed an early enthusiasm for singing and performing. As teens, they rejected country music and the “country things” of their surroundings like cowboy boots and tractors, gravitating instead to artists like Hall & Oates, Prince and Nirvana.