For a band whose latest single is called "The Sound of Settling," Death Cab for Cutie are doing anything but resting on their indie-pop laurels.
In fact, the band's been popping up on mainstream radar with surprising frequency of late: Its lovelorn songs have been prominently featured on "The O.C." (see "Death Cab For Cutie's 'Sound' Travels Farther Thanks To TV") and "Six Feet Under," and it'll be sharing stages with Pearl Jam on the Vote for Change Tour next month. The Seattle-based outfit will then plunge right into a headlining tour of North America.
Consisting of 23 dates, Death Cab for Cutie's solo trip begins on October 11 in Tampa, Florida, shortly after the Vote for Change grand finale in Miami (Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, Springsteen, Others Join Vote For Change Tour), and will end on November 8 at Chico State University in California. More dates are expected to be added.
While he's excited about the tours, Death Cab frontman/guitarist Ben Gibbard is still reeling from being in the presence of rock legends like Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven and Bonnie Raitt at the Vote for Change artist conference, which made him feel like part of a "One of These Things Doesn't Belong" segment on "Sesame Street."
"It was the most surreal day of my life," he exclaimed. But thankfully, he quickly discovered he wasn't in the company of divas or prima donnas.
"Everyone was super friendly," he said. "Bruce Springsteen and his wife Patti [Scialfa] sat down right next to me. He asked, 'Hey man, is this seat taken?', and I'm like, 'No dude, it's cool.' He's like, 'Hi, I'm Bruce,' and I'm, 'Uh, yeah, you're the Boss.' "
"So by the next day, we're just shooting the sh-- with Bruce Springsteen, standing on the patio. I mean, we're not friends or anything like that, but it was pretty incredible to have these interactions with people who I've grown up listening to and admiring. When you get to have a career like one of those [artists], you really have nothing to prove anymore."
While the band has never been particularly outspoken, Death Cab — who recently contributed a track to the politically motivated Future Soundtrack for America compilation — feel the upcoming election is pivotal. "We cannot afford another four years of Bush," Gibbard said forcefully. "I cannot even imagine the damage that will be done to this world with another four years of this administration."
The Vote for Change trek is just one of the many developments keeping DCFC busy. The quartet recently released the Studio X Sessions, an iTunes only four-song EP, and have a plum spot on the indie-friendly soundtrack to the upcoming Josh Hartnett film, "Wicker Park."
The group is also readying its newest single, "Title & Registration." A nostalgic love song set within the confines of a road trip and memories hidden away in a glove compartment, Gibbard said the song is an account from true life. "You stash Polaroids away somewhere, and then you find them four years later and you're like, 'Holy sh--!,' " the singer said. "It conjures up all those images and memories from a person that you lost touch with."
While no video concept is in place as of yet, Gibbard certainly knows the kind of visually maudlin metaphors he doesn't want. "The last thing we'd ever want to see in a video is me and a girl and a broken heart in between. I'd rather commit suicide."
On a similar note, Gibbard said the band's next album is shaping up to be more introspective than romantic. "I'm finding a lot more philosophical questions that exist around the questions of life and death," said the frontman, who said his relationship woes have mended in recent years. "I don't think the next record will be as heavily romantic; mostly because my life has changed dramatically in the last few years.
"What's exciting, going forward, is that for a lot of people, [Transatlanticism] is our first record, because they haven't heard our older stuff. And I feel that is really invigorating."
Death Cab for Cutie tour dates, according to their publicist:
- 9/28 - Boston, MA @ Fleet Center*
- 10/1 - Reading, PA @ Sovereign Center *
- 10/2 - Toledo, OH @ Sports Arena *
- 10/3 - Grand Rapids, MI @ DeltaPlex *
- 10/5 - St. Louis, MO @ Fox Theatre *
- 10/6 - Asheville, NC @ Civic Center *
- 10/8 - Kissimmee, FL @ Silver Spurs Arena *
- 10/10 - Miami, FL @ TBA*
- 10/11 - Tampa, FL @ Masquerade
- 10/12 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
- 10/13 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
- 10/14 - Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
- 10/15 - Kansas City, MO @ Beaumont Club
- 10/16 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
- 10/17 - Pontiac, MI @ Clutch Cargo's
- 10/20 - Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
- 10/21 - Providence, RI @ Lupo's at the Strand
- 10/22 - New York, NY @ Roseland Ballroom
- 10/23 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
- 10/24 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle
- 10/25 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle
- 10/26 - Nashville, TN @ RCKTWN
- 10/28 - New Orleans, LA @ Tipitina's
- 10/29 - Houston, TX @ Numbers
- 10/30 - Austin, TX @ Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheatre
- 10/31 - Ft. Worth, TX @ Ridglea Theater
- 11/02 - Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues at Mandalay Bay
- 11/03 - San Diego, CA @ SOMA
- 11/06 - San Francisco, CA @ Warfield Theater
- 11/07 - Sparks, NV @ New Oasis
- 11/08 - Chico, CA @ Chico State University
*with Pearl Jam on the Vote for Change Tour