Ben Gibbard Announces Solo AlbumPosted by Rob Hedberg
Ben Gibbard has announced plans for a solo album.
The perpetually busy musician has helmed a number of bands since the formation of Death Cab For Cutie. Gibbard formed All-Time Quarterback! and The Postal Service just to name two.
As a solo musician Gibbard collaborated with Andrew Kenney for Home Volume V, and summoned his nostalgia for Jack Kerouac when he recorded the soundtrack with Son Volt‘s Jay Farrar for “One Fast Move and I’m gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur“. Adding to this the countless tours with Death Cab, and performing solo as well, it’s hard to imagine why Gibbard has not taken a break.
This Fall, Gibbard will release his debut solo album entitled Former Lives. This collection of songs will feature unreleased tracks that have been reconfigured or heard live before.
In a recent interview with Stereogum Gibbard commented that he never fully planned to release a solo album, stating: “It wasn’t a goal and it certainly wasn’t a reaction to any sort of dissatisfaction to recording with Death Cab or anything like that. It certainly doesn’t come out of like I have all these songs to record and I’m not getting my fix with the band. It was never anything like that and I never really had this idea that “Oh someday I’ll make a solo record, and that I’ll go solo, which is definitely not what this is. In the past whenever I’ve put out any solo recordings it’s just been of a function of the time in which I was in. I’m a songwriter and that’s my job, and with every record that we’ve made there would always be a couple of tunes that just didn’t seem to fit in with the band. If people wanted to be dismissive of the record, they could just say Oh these are leftovers, but they’re really not. They’re not songs that weren’t good enough to make Death Cab records as much as they were things that … well, there’s not really place on a Death Cab record for a song that sounds like Big Star or Teenage Fanclub. It’s kind of not what we do, you know.”
When asked if it felt liberating to record songs that do not have to have a cohesive context, Gibbard responded by saying: “Yeah, I definitely approached it on a song-by-song basis. It really comes down to a matter of personal preference, but I kind of like that the record is something of a mixed bag. The songs themselves are not all of a particular mode — they’re not all about one subject — and they’re not from one definitive era of my life. They don’t exist in the time between record five and record six. So I think in that sense, I think as we were recording all these tunes, number one we didn’t necessarily know we were making a record, and two I think that to kind of put the record together and sequence it and everything else, I had kind of recognized that all of these tunes are kind of very different from each other and it’s only my voice and songwriting that ties them all together. And some people will find that to be a flaw of the record, but other people will really like it. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to go about constructing an album. As much as I like to hope that people think the songs are good and like the tunes, I think that people will kind of see past the fact that one song has a mariachi band, the next song is acoustic — it’s all over the map — but I’m really proud of the tunes and how they came together in the studio, and I’d like to hope that that’s enough to carry and justify the record.”
Ben Gibbard’s solo album will be released on October 16th 2012, for now watch a video of Gibbard and Jay Farrar performing “Big Sur”.