The band's Asheville, N.C. recording sessions are going well, but the guys are taking their time deciding which of the many potential tunes should be on the album.
"We used to put out an album a year, but now we are on a longer cycle," bassist Bob Crawford tells The Boot. "That means more time for the songs to mature and grow after they are written. This is just the next step for us, whatever that is."
The band's 2009 breakout album, 'I and Love and You' -- their major label debut, was a turning point for the group in many ways. The process and lessons learned in writing, recording and performing music from that album has increased the band's desire to carefully craft the new album.
"Before, I'd be like, 'We're gonna do one more session and finish this thing off,'" Scott Avett tells Billboard. "Now, we're going to listen to what we've done, we're gonna discuss it, discuss it with Rick [Rubin, who produced the 2009 album and will produce this one], take our time with it and let the relationships with the songs grow. We're really giving them time to be the best they can be and not let anything out of the gate that's not great."
Not that all of the tracks will be surprises. Bob hints that some of the songs on the new record may well be ones that the band has performed in concert during the past few years. The bottom line is that the Avett Brothers are in complete control of their sound with help from their illustrious producer.
"Rick is really on board with us playing whatever we want to do," says Bob. "His part in it is not even defined right now. It may be more, it may be less. He may be an unbiased ear. A common refrain from him is, 'Whatever you want to do, however much you want me or don't want me, I'm on board and flexible.'"
Although Bob says the music on the new album doesn't stray drastically from the band's signature style, he does indicate it will be among the more deeply textured sounds the Avetts have released.
"I don't know about new influences," he says, dismissing that notion. "We hope that the sound looks back and looks ahead at the same time. That is going to be a real subjective call for the listener, whether or not that happens."
The Avett Brothers are on tour, with their next scheduled concert February 18 in Washington, D.C. For a complete list of dates and venues, check here.