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.

I feel like there’s a lot of beauty in the darkness of ‘Narrow Stairs,’ but that’s not really a place I’m ready to go to for a while. I’m interested in taking a different approach and having the next record be different in tone – I’m just not interested in making another dark, dark album.

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.”