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Do you think that's something we're losing in the Spotify, i Tunes era?
A recent blog post about the Brooklynization of music argued that musicians today hear too much and have lost their connection to local scenes.
I thought I'd use something a little more formal for the solo album.
People call me Ben, but maybe go with something a little more regal. Is that what your mother calls you when she's upset with you? But I feel like naming it Benjamin was more of a formality than something people call me when they're mad at me.
Or maybe I'm kidding myself and you know nothing about him apart from the fact that he used to be married to Zooey Deschanel. Gibbard knows he's lucky to make his living writing songs, but not every song he writes fits into the gently epic Death Cab template.
Whichever category (or categories) you fall into, you're now about to discover a new side of this silver-voiced singer-songwriter, who's using the name Benjamin Gibbard for what's being billed as the first solo album of his career. Hence the need for "Former Lives," which collects tunes that don't deserve to be ignored just because they're a little bit different.
Every record that we make, there tends to be a theme that makes itself apparent as we sift through the songs, and there tend to be sonic threads we want to put together, and that unfortunately leaves a song or two along the way as a deleted scene from the record.
And I think these songs are more indicative of my dusty record collection than they are the sound of the band that I'm in.
On some of these songs, you can hear specific influences, whether it's Big Star or Teenage Fanclub.
Where do you hope to be in your career when you're their age?
I've lived my entire adult life never looking forward more than six months in the future, so that's kind of difficult to speculate on.
You might know Ben Gibbard as the frontman of Seattle alt-rock stalwarts Death Cab for Cutie.