Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard performs in The Current studio

Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard performs "Black Sun" in The Current studio. (MPR)
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Death Cab for Cutie - Black Sun (Live on The Current)
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  • Death Cab for Cutie - Black Sun (Live on The Current) 04:58
  • Death Cab for Cutie - No Room in Frame (Live on The Current) 03:56
  • Death Cab for Cutie - Passenger Seat (Live on The Current) 03:36
  • Death Cab for Cutie perform in The Current studio (full session + interview, extended Web version) 29:33

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie stopped by The Current to record a stripped-down session and extended interview with host Bill DeVille before a sold out show at Northrop in support of their new album, Kintsugi, a nod to the Japanese technique of repairing broken ceramics with gold.

Death Cab for Cutie has gone through some changes since 2011's Codes and Keys. Founding member and producer Chris Walla left the band following the recording of Kintsugi. "Chris [Walla]'s departure is a big [change], but I really feel that the collective talent of Jason [McGerr] and Nick [Harmer] and myself and also with Zach [Rae] and Dave [Depper] is really, really deep," says Gibbard. "At the end of the day I really believe that the band can live on as long as I'm writing good songs."

And he is. "Black Sun" peaked at #3 on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart and Kintsugi made it to #1 spot on Top Rock Albums. "I do feel that when I'm doing my best work it's when I'm being very open and honest about scenarios that I think a lot of people experience in some fashion or another," says Ben.

Ben Gibbard can hardly believe Death Cab for Cutie has been around for 18 years. And the band name? No regrets (now). "I regretted the name before Google was a thing," says Gibbard. "I think we definitely found ourselves with a very unique name that we were not really in danger of anyone else having." Neil Innes of Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, who performed "Death Cab for Cutie" in the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour, has blessed their use of the name.

Listen to the full, extended interview to hear Ben Gibbard's thoughts on music streaming services, his memory of taking boat rides to Seattle to attend shows as a teenager and what career he'd pursue if he wasn't a musician.

Songs Performed

"Black Sun"
"No Room in Frame"
"Passenger Seat"

"Black Sun" and "No Room in Frame" are off Death Cab for Cutie's new album, Kintsugi, out now via Atlantic Records. "Passenger Seat" is off 2003's Transatlanticism.

Hosted by Bill DeVille
Produced by Lindsay Kimball
Engineered by Mike DeMark
Web feature by Leah Garaas

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6 Photos

  • Death Cab for Cutie
    Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard with pianist Zach Rae in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Death Cab for Cutie
    Pianist Zach Rae performing with Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Death Cab for Cutie
    Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Death Cab for Cutie
    Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard with pianist Zach Rae in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Death Cab for Cutie
    Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard with pianist Zach Rae in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Death Cab for Cutie
    Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard with pianist Zach Rae in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)