.

Death Cab for Cutie's Walla Battles Homeland Security, Discovers Krautrock

October 19, 2007 1:46 PM ET

Death Cab for Cutie can be forgiven for taking an abnormally long time working on the follow-up to 2005's Plans. The usually prolific band maybe needed to take a breath after pumping out five studio albums in seven years. Or maybe the tardiness can be blamed on the U.S. government. More on that in the next paragraph. In an entry on his official blog, Death Cab guitarist Chris Walla says that the band is six songs into the new, Jack Kerouac-inspired album and "it's pretty weird and pretty spectacular." Walla cites one song as a "ten minute long Can jam," a reference to the Krautrock pioneers, which does sound pretty weird and pretty spectacular. There might have been even more progress on the new album, however, had it not been for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

For those who didn't know, Walla recorded his upcoming solo album Field Manual in Vancouver. On September 19th, an employee at the British Columbian studio was to drive down to Seattle with the songs in order to get them mixed. The truncated version of a long, long story is that U.S. Customs seized the hard drive containing Walla's songs because they were improperly declared at the border near Blaine, Washington. Evidently, hard drives give border cops the woolies. The hard drive underwent intense computer forensic scrutiny before being returned to the border checkpoint from whence it came (Walla has made water-boarding jokes about it), and has been sitting on a shelf at Peace Arch station for over a month. Walla says no government officials notified his people in that time (even though Homeland Security insists they made three phone calls to pick up the device).

If the drive is in a customs office in Washington State, how can the album still come out in January, you ask? Thank the miracle that is the mail. Hippowest, the studio handling the sessions, shipped Walla the mixes, giving him adequate time to listen to the tapes. It also made the hard drive sitting in the customs station unnecessary, unless some gutsy DCFC fan wants to bust in there and get a first listen to the unmixed solo songs of Chris Walla.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com