Ben Gibbard and Mark Kozelek Talk St. Vincent, The Postal Service, and "Benji" in New Email Thread | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Ben Gibbard and Mark Kozelek Talk St. Vincent, The Postal Service, and “Benji” in New Email Thread

Continuing Last Year's Conversation

Feb 03, 2015 Death Cab for Cutie
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Last fall a conversation between Death Cab For Cutie‘s Ben Gibbard and Sun Kil Moon‘s Mark Kozelek was posted online by The Thread, where the two longtime friends touched on a variety of topics from the difficulties of stage banter, to living in L.A. and San Francisco. In a newly posted installment, they continue their conversation, talking about St. Vincent, Gibbard serving as the inspiration for Kozelek’s Benji track “Ben’s My Friend,” and Modest Mouse. Scroll down below to read portions of the back and forth.

Kozelek on The Postal Service: “I just looked at our piece we did for The California Sunday Magazine today. I had no idea there was a Postal Service tour documentary. I have a clear memory of you and I having lunch in Seattle in 2003. Ghosts of the Great Highway was out that year, and you had just released The Postal Service album. I recall you handing me the CD—it had only sold a few thousand copies at the time—and you weren’t expecting much from the record. A Death Cab record was also coming out, so you were very focused on that. So, seeing you at The Greek last year with The Postal Service, 10 years after, that was really something. I told my girlfriend—THIS is a concert. It blew my mind so much that I wrote a song about it. I was so proud of you, yet bent out of shape about the whole thing at the same time! It was like a 24-hour petty jealousy virus thing. I listened to the reissue of the Postal Service record tonight. The whole album is amazing, but tracks 1 and 2—I have a chemical reaction to both of those songs. It’s no wonder that record took off like it did.”

Gibbard on Jenny Lewis: “Man, I totally get that jealousy virus thing. For me, the writing/recording process has always been the hard work, with touring being the reward. When I’m struggling to finish an album, I can get irrationally envious of my friends who are on their own personal victory laps. Thankfully it goes the opposite way, too. Midway through recording our new record and only a few days after Chris told us he was quitting, I went to see my old friend Jenny Lewis play a show with her new band. They sounded unbelievable. Hearing her new songs alongside older solo stuff, as well as a handful of Rilo Kiley tunes, was exactly what I needed at that moment. It inspired some moments on the record I was struggling with and gave me some ideas about how our band could move forward. By far, it was the most moving show I went to this year.”

Kozelek on Modest Mouse, who he eventually covered on 2005’s Tiny Cities: “I remember being on tour with the Cardigans in 1997, and our guitar tech told us Modest Mouse was at our show. I was like, ‘Who the fuck is Modest Mouse?’ I was in a fight with my girlfriend at the time—she was up there with me—and she bolted back to the hotel after the show. I left the show immediately to go make things right with her. Anyhow, after Modest Mouse got pretty famous, the guys in [Red House Painters] said, ‘Those guys were backstage in Portland back in ‘97.’ Who would have known that the band I didn’t care about in 1997 would be a band I’d dedicate an entire cover record to in 2004?”

Click here to read the entire conversation.



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