-
neumu
Monday, September 25, 2017 
-
-
--archival-captured-cinematronic-continuity error-daily report-datastream-depth of field--
-
--drama-44.1 khz-gramophone-inquisitive-needle drops-picture book-twinklepop--
-
Neumu = Art + Music + Words
Search Neumu:  

illustration



edited by michael goldbergcontact


Death Cab's Transatlanticism On The Way

The fourth full-length album from Seattle-based indie-rock icons Death Cab for Cutie will be released by Barsuk Records on October 7. Titled Transatlanticism, the 11-song album, marks a distinct change in the approach the band has taken to recording. Since they've been the hard-working touring band for their entire existence, Death Cab's records have largely been documentations of songs that they've long been playing live. This time around, the band broke from their own traditions, first taking a long break, then reconvening in the studio with a bunch of half-formed ideas.

"It seems like in the past we've played songs for so long that by the time the record comes out we've already played most of the songs for, like, nine months, and then we have to go and tour them for a year, and that can be a drag," offered singer/guitarist Ben Gibbard, during a phone interview. "We've never been able to have enough restraint to not work on new songs when we got bored. For me, this time around, it was awesome to write songs, hold on to them, then hand them over to the other guys and have them put them together in a way that was very different from the original demos."

So, the band showed up to start recording with lots of their own bits and pieces, having all spent the time off constructively enough to show up with sounds or songs or tones, or even just ideas. "It seems like usually, with every record, we're sliding into home plate with just enough songs to make a record. Like, just enough," Gibbard said. "But I feel like, this time, we had enough songs to choose from that we were able to really go through them all, because I'd written a lot of songs in the last year or so, because we didn't tour for about a year."

"This is far and away the biggest batch of songs we've had to choose from," agreed guitarist/producer Chris Walla, whose role was often trying to find a consistent tone to draw all the disparate ideas together. "We had 30-odd songs that we went through. And the album just sort of distilled itself from that collection. I guess that's oversimplifying it a little bit; but, usually, from a collective of songs, an album will make itself apparent, somehow, be it either, like, musically or lyrically or whatever. There'll be a series of songs that will make sense when they get strung together, when they get put together in a particular order. It seems to happen pretty naturally. Something will feed back a certain way, and you'll see that it kinda works with the beginning of this other song, and then you start piecing things together. It's like a little puzzle."

This "batch of songs" came about entirely through the more communal, nearly experimental process of assembling tunes. "Historically," Gibbard said, referring to the band's tenure, he's brought songs in that he's written to "different levels of completion," and the band has fashioned them into songs for their live set. This time, though, "we just held onto them instead of playing them live," he explained, "and wrote and wrote and wrote, and then, when we went in the studio, we went through the batch of them, what we thought was good and what was bad, and we were able to deconstruct what we had, then build it back up into an arrangement that we had to learn to play live. Even to this day, with the record coming out in October, we haven't played more than a couple of these songs live, because we're waiting to figure out how to put it all together."

Nick Harmer, the band's bassist, said: "We wanted to construct them, and rearrange them, and fuck with them as much as possible in the studio. We wanted to really push our ideas, and let our ideas just take us in any direction that they wanted to go. We didn't want to be asking ourselves questions like 'well, how are we gonna play this live?,' and then have that censor some crazy idea we may have about a sound or a presentation of a bank of sounds. So we went into this with that notion in mind: that we didn't ever went to hem ourselves in."

Such said, "it's not like Death Cab for Cutie have gone and made a giant free-jazz record," the bassist cautioned. "In fact, it's not really a huge departure from anything that we've ever done. But I feel like this is a really realized record."

The band initially entered such an improvisational scenario with trepidation, wondering if all that they would generate would be "mounds of shit." Instead, this process ended up being "extremely liberating and inspiring," the band finding constant reassurance from the ghost of Brian Eno, which lingered over the record in a kind of comic fashion.

"We bought these 'Oblique Strategies' cards that Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt developed," Harmer laughed. "In the '70s, when Eno was recording David Bowie sessions, he was getting really frustrated because Bowie kept running into these creative and artistic walls. So, he developed this deck of cards that all have little sayings on them. The idea is that you draw a card, and whatever the sayings on the cards say, you take them as directions. Some of them say things like 'Drink more water' or 'Start completely over.' And then they get more obscure and oblique, like 'It's not so much building a wall as it's building a brick,' and you're supposed to take that as what it is.

"So, a lot of times we would be recording something, and we'd say 'Let's see what the Oblique Strategies think we should do!' So we would [pick a] card, and whatever it said to do, we'd do it," Harmer continued. "If it said 'Scrap everything but keep the kick-drum,' we'd do it. We'd erase everything we'd done that day, and keep the kick-drum. It was very fun to go along that process, and we kinda felt like we were being guided by some extra force. I don't want to sound all hippy-dippy — 'It was spiritual, man, Jah was in the studio!' — but when we pulled these cards, it felt like there was really an extra voice in the band, a fifth member telling us to do things the four of us would've never thought of." — Anthony Carew [Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003]


Alejandro Escovedo's Joyous Rebirth

John Vanderslice Kicks Genre

Paul Duncan's Elusive Pop

Stephen Yerkey's Wandering Songs

French Kicks Complete 'Two Thousand'

Spazzy Romanticism: Love Story In Blood Red

Brain Surgeons NYC Rock The Big Questions

Jarboe's 'Men' Charts Turbulent Emotions

Delta 5's Edgy Post-Punk Resurrected

Blitzen Trapper Spiff Things Up

Minus Five: Booze, Betrayal, Bibles and Guns

New Compilation Spotlights Forgotten Folk Guitar Heroes

Chris Brokaw's Experiment In Pop

Old And New With Death Vessel

Silver Jews: Salvation And Redemption

Jana Hunter's Beautiful Doom

Vashti Bunyan Finds Her Voice Again

Nick Castro's Turkish Folk Delight

Katrina Hits New Orleans Musicians Hard

Paula Frazer's Eerie Beauty

The National Find Emotional Balance

Death Cab For Cutie's New Album, Tour

Heavy Trash's Rockabilly Rampage

Help The Wrens Get Their Albums Released!

Devendra Banhart, Andy Cabic Launch Label

Lydia Lunch's Noir Seductions

Bosque Brown's The Real Deal

PDX Pop Now! Fest Announces Lineup

Sarah Dougher Starts Women-Focused Label

Jennifer Gentle's Joyful Psyche

Mountain Goat Darnielle Gets Autobiographical With 'Sunset Tree'

Mia Doi Todd's Beautiful Collaboration

Return of the Gang of Four

Martha Wainwright Finds Her Voice

Brian Jonestown Massacre's Acid Joyride

Solo Disc Due From Pixies' Frank Black

Heartless Bastards' Big-Hearted Rock

Mike Watt's Midlife Journey

The Black Swans Balance Old And New

Nicolai Dunger's Swedish Blues

The Insomniacs' Hard-Edged Pop

Yo La Tengo Collection Due

Juana Molina's 'Homemade' Sound

Beans Evolves

Earlimart's Songs Of Loss

Devendra Banhart's 'Mosquito Drawings'

Negativland Rerelease 'Helter Stupid'

Alina Simone Transforms The Ordinary

Sounds From Nature: Laura Veirs

Octet's Fractured Electric Pop

Sleater-Kinney Working With Lips Producer

The Cult Of Silkworm

The Evolution Of The Concretes

Devendra Banhart's Exuberant New Songs

Catching Up With The Incredible String Band

Gram Rabbit's Desert Visions

Three Indie-Rock Stars Unite As Maritime

Remembering Johnny Ramone

Jarboe's Many Voices

Phil Elvrum's Long Hard Winter

First U.S. Release For Vashti Bunyan Album

Incredible String Band To Tour U.S.

New Music From Lydia Lunch

Le Tigre Protest The Bush War Presidency

Joel RL Phelps: Bleak Songs Rock Hard

Time Tripping With Galaxie 500

Patti Smith Wants Bush Out!

Sharron Kraus: A New Kind Of Folk Music

The Fiery Furnaces' Psychedelic Theater

Harder, Heavier Burning Brides

Sonic Youth's Ongoing Experiment

The Dt's Do It Their Way

Poster Children Cover Political Rock

Rare Thelonious Monk Recordings Due

Uneasy Pop From dios

Beck, Lips, Waits Cover Daniel Johnston

Understanding Franz Ferdinand

The Truly Amazing Joanna Newsom

Mylab's Boundary-Crossing Experiments In Sound

Have You Heard Jolie Holland Whistle?

The 'Magical Realism' Of Vetiver

The Restless, Rootsy Songs Of Eszter Balint

The Sun Sets On The Blasters

Devendra Banhart To Tour U.S.

The East/West Fusion Sounds Of Macha

Destroyer Gets Mellow For Your Blues

TV On The Radio Get Political

Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse To Play Lollapalooza 2004

New Music From The Fall

Apocalyptic Sound From The Intelligence

Fast And Rude With The Casual Dots

'Rejoicing' With Devendra Banhart

New Album, Tour From The Polyphonic Spree

Shearwater Take Wing

Sleater-Kinney To Tour East/West Coasts

Resurrecting Rocket From The Tombs

Visqueen Want To Get A Riot Goin' On

Lloyd Cole Makes A Commotion

Funkstörung's 'Cut-Up' Theory

Waiting For Mirah's C'mon Miracle

Electrelane Find Their Voice

The Television Is Still On!

Experimental Sounds From Hannah Marcus

The Ponys Play With Rayguns

Ex-Mono Men Leader Returns With The Dt's

Mountain Goats' Darnielle Adopts A More Hi-Fi Sound

Sun Kil Moon To Tour U.S., Europe

Nothin' But The Truth From The Von Bondies

Sultans Survive 'Shipwreck'

Sebadoh Reunite For Spring Tour

Xiu Xiu's 'Reality' Rock

Meet The Patients

Beth Orton, M. Ward Make Sadness Taste Sweet

Oneida's Pathway To Ecstasy

Radiohead, Pixies, Dizzee Rascal To Play Coachella

Young People Tour Behind War Prayers

Pixies Tour Dates Announced

Ani DiFranco Tells It Like It Is

Deerhoof Back For 2004 With Milkman

McLusky Set To 'Bring On The Big Guitars' Again

Pixies Reunite For U.S., European Tours

American Music Club, Decemberists To Play NoisePop 2004

Damien Rice Set To Tour U.S.

The Frames Accept Your Love

Punk Rock's A-Frames To Re-Record Third Album

Finally! Mission Of Burma Record New Album

A Solo Detour For Ladybug Transistor's Sasha Bell

Return Of The Old 97's

Spending The Night With Damien Rice

Tindersticks Reissues Due This Spring

The Evolution Of 'A Silver Mt. Zion'

Neil Young Rocks Australia With 'Greendale'

Poster Children Back In Action

'The Great Cat Power Disaster Of 2003'

Chicks On Speed's Subversive Strategies

Oranger At A Crossroad

Peaches On Tour And In Control

Jawbreaker's Complete Dear You Sessions To Be Released

Belle & Sebastian + Trevor Horn = Sunny Pop Nirvana

Von Bondies' Pawn Shoppe Heart

Descendents Are Back!

Modest Mouse Touring; Album Due in 2004

London Suede Take A (Permanent?) Break

Saul Williams Wants You To Think For Yourself

The 'Zen' Sound Of Calexico

Elliott Smith Dead AT 34

Debut Due From Mark Kozelek's Sun Kil Moon

The Hunches: Music That'll 'Fucking Live Forever'

Vic Chesnutt Speaks His Mind

90 Day Men Cancel Tour

Keith Jarrett, Cecil Taylor Highlight SF Jazz Festival

For My Morning Jacket, It's The Music That Matters

EP Due From The Polyphonic Spree

Bright Eyes, Neva Dinova Collaborate On EP

The Rise & Fall & Rise Of Ben Lee

Catching Up With Cheerfully Defiant Tricky

Hanging Around With The Polyphonic Spree

Sophomore Album Due From The Shins

Noise Rock From Iceland's Singapore Sling

Death Cab To Tour U.S.

Rufus Wainwright's Want One Is 'Family Affair'

Death Cab's Transatlanticism On The Way

Heartfelt Rock From Sweden's Last Days Of April

The Minus 5 Get Down With Wilco

Tywanna Jo Baskette's Southern-Gothic Rock

Xiu Xiu's Stewart Takes On 'Gay-bashing'

Portishead Producer Resurfaces Behind New Diva

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wire, Primal Scream On Buddyhead Comp

Yeah Yeah Yeahs To Tour West Coast

Sonic Youth, Erase Errata Kick Off 'Buddy Series'

The Locust Are One Scary Band

Damien Rice In The 'Here And Now'

Remembering Karp's Scott Jernigan

ATP-NY Postponed 'Til At Least 2004

The Soul Of Chris Lee

Gits' Frenching The Bully To See Re-Release

Stephen Malkmus Is In Control

Superchunk To Release Rarities Set; Teenage Girls To Swoon As A Result

Summer Touring For The Gossip

Babbling On About Deerhoof

Irish Song Poet Damien Rice's O Released In U.S.

Chatting With ATP's Barry Hogan

Former Digable Planets Frontman Surfaces With Cherrywine

ATP L.A. Festival Rescheduled For Fall

Freakwater's Janet Bean Takes A Solo Turn

Lee's 'Cool Rock'

Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Highlight YES NEW YORK

Mark Romanek's 'Hurt' Revives Johnny Cash's Career

The Rapture's Post-Punk, Post-Dance Sound

R.E.M., Wilco, Modest Mouse Highlight Bumbershoot Fest

Set Fires To Flames' Sleep-Deprivation Sound

Southern Gothic Past Shadows Verbena's La Musica Negra

The Subtle Evolution Of Yo La Tengo

Spring Tour For Jolie Holland (Plus A Live Album)

Liz Phair Still Pushing The Limits

Gold Chains Wants You To Dance And Think

Young People's War Prayers On The Way



peruse archival
 



-
-snippetcontactsnippetcontributorssnippetvisionsnippethelpsnippetcopyrightsnippetlegalsnippetterms of usesnippetThis site is Copyright © 2003 Insider One LLC
-