The Independent Minds of Death Cab For Cutie
Published Jan 01, 2006For Ben Gibbard, the idea of "indie rock" will always be a part of the music, no matter what label is releasing his band's records. "We grew up on indie rock and there's so much about it that I love, like the idea behind the culture and how much it's progressed," admits the songwriting/singing guitarist for Seattle's Death Cab For Cutie. "So many things have happened over the last few years surrounding the culture of music that we come from. There have been so many changing tides in pop culture and how it relates to traditionally indie rock music."
Spending most of his life in the independent music community, Gibbard and his band-mates decided, for their fifth album, to jump to a major. "I feel wherever anybody places it, whether it's their favourite or least favourite record, or in between, it's a reassuring record," he proudly declares.
Plans doesn't stray from the emotive guitar-led passion Death Cab have been patenting in the underground over the years. There is no suspect glossy sugar-coating, but guitarist Chris Walla's Midas touch production and the band's continuing progression, like on the billowing epic jam "Different Names for the Same Thing," has lifted the O.C.-approved band to another sonic level without any radical transformation.
Like some of his peers who maintained their independent fortitude, Gibbard feels the spirit of indie music is still alive in the band, regardless of the logo on their disc. "I always kind of catch myself when I start talking about this band's relation to indie rock because I'm not sure where people define the line," Gibbard says. "Every time I see something about Modest Mouse or Built To Spill it always mentions indie rock, and Built To Spill's been on a major for ten years," he says. "Indie rock is a lifestyle, a style of music and a spirit that kind of transcends whether it's on a major label or not."