If The Strokes are indie rock's leather-clad Fonzie, Death Cab For Cutie is the genre's cardigan-wearing Richie Cunningham--eminently likeable, somewhat sensitive and poetically perceptive. The 6-year-old group's fourth album, "Transatlanticism," came out yesterday and the group stops in town for a two-night stand at Metro later this week. Frontman Ben Gibbard brings us up to speed:
Q: What's been the most surreal moment of all the national attention the band's been getting?
A: One of the main characters on that Fox show, "The OC," was listening to Death Cab in the car a few weeks ago. One of the girls complained about the music and the kid goes, "Hey, don't insult Death Cab," or something like that. It's one of those things where you think you're getting a special feed to your house--you can't believe your name is actually being broadcast across the country.
Q: Does all the exposure justify your career to your folks?
A: My parents have this bad habit of reading all the interviews I do and then reading into them. I was answering this reporter's question and jokingly said, "Oh, it really depends what drugs I'm on at the time." I got an e-mail from my parents the next day saying, "If you choose to live your life that way, it's one thing. But I don't want to read that you've been doing drugs." It's like, "Mom, please ask me about stuff before you start jumping to conclusions."
Q: You've been on tour for about a week. What's the worst hotel so far?
A: We stayed in a place just outside San Francisco and I swear there must have been a smoker's convention there the night before. You got nauseous just putting your head on the pillow. Fortunately, we've never found a corpse under the mattress--just bad smells and questionable stains.
Catch Death Cab for Cutie Metro.
Matt McGuire is the bars and nightlife producer at metromix.Originally published Oct. 8, 2003.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun