Ben Gibbard

I take things a little bit more critically now, like, “What did I think I was saying in that song? What is this song about?” I thought the lyrics were incredibly descriptive, and now they sound really cryptic and weird. I’d like to also think that when I listen to songs from Something About Airplanes that I’m proud of my development as a writer. I don’t think I was doing anything poorly at that time, but I can certainly see how my writing has changed.

Everybody has a language or code that they use with their wife or their girlfriend or boyfriend or what have you. It’s a language aside from the language they have with strangers. I’ve always been maybe an abuser of alliteration, but I’ve always loved it and I like how those words sound together.

If you tell certain people that you like Kerouac, they assume that’s all you read, like you don’t know anything else about literature. I recognize all the things that people dislike about the way he writes – his tone and the sentimentality of it all. But those books were there for me at a very important point in my life.

When I listen to Airplanes record, it takes me back. I remember a lot of my thought processes when I was 20 or 21, writing those songs and recording that record. I wonder what I was thinking when I was trying to say a particular thing. I hear some of the weird little nuances in the recording; I can hear what the room sounded like. I remember what it smelled like. I can remember sitting up in guitarist Chris Walla’s bedroom and for the first time in my life having this realization like, “Maybe I can do this. Maybe I can make music that in some capacity people will enjoy and come see me play.”

Share via