Zoe likes beeps.
Sophie likes strums.
They both like the Decemberists.
Two best friends on a mission to make the world a better place for music.


DCFC Interview (8.12.06)

The Squad saw Death Cab for Cutie when they played at the Greek Theater at UC Berkeley a little over a year ago. At the time, Zoe was interning at a radio station, a position which landed her an interview with Nick Harmer, the band's bassist. Sophie came along for moral and technical support. Here's what happened:

We're from northern California, about an hour north of here. Not many people where we live listen to Death Cab. But you've just sold out the Greek Theatre twice over. Do you think you've really made it?

I haven’t really had a big realization yet. But you have little moments. Like it’s nice to make a living off playing music, it's nice to be able to pay my cell phone bill from playing rock shows. Those kinds of things make me feel as successful as I want to be.

Do people ever come up to you on the street and say "Hey, you're in Death Cab for Cutie!"

Sometimes. Certainly it happens more in other cities than it does in Seattle. Because of the whole explosion of music in Seattle in the early 90s, theres sort of this anti-cult of celebrity, or a cult of anti-celebrity I guess is the better way to word it, so that you can walk around and its kind of looked down upon to make a big deal about it. You're not supposed to freak out because everyones sort of just a normal person at the end of the day. I'll get recognized and people are usually really polite. It certainly happens to Ben [Gibbard] more frequently than me, which is nice. I live a comfortably anonymous life.

As evidenced by the Directions DVD, it seems like you guys have really managed to keep a good relationship with your fans. Is that something that happens consciously?

It is conscious, in the sense that it’s important to us. There are a lot of creative and interesting people who also happen to like our band and that’s always interesting for me. Directions was very much an extension of us knowing a lot of really creative people and wanting to find a way to work with them and make our two worlds coincide for a little while. It turned out well, and I certainly think were going to be doing a lot more fun things like that in the future. We wanted a nice formal and official place to collect all those wonderful ideas and projects. It'll be fun to see.

Speaking of wonderful ideas, we have this burning question: were you in the video for [the Decemberists] "Sixteen Military Wives"?

I was indeed, doing the slow clap. (Laughs) In fact, Chris [Walla] is also in it.

Really? Where?

He's the news reporter. It was really funny because all we did was put him in a hat and this really, just terrible black mustache. For all intents and purposes, to us it just looks like Chris wearing this really bad black mustache. But that was just enough of a disguise that people argued about that, whether it's Chris or not, time and time again. And so we say, "You know, Chris, apparently all you have to do is tape a black mustache to your face and you'll fool everybody." It's not like we went and changed his hair color or that sort of thing, all we did was put on a cheap Halloween disguise and everybody's fooled. And I'm one of the students that does the slow clap. There's a lot of people in that video that you can pick out. It's funny. It's a good video. It was really fun to be a part of.

Sometimes we think that Colin [Meloy] bears a resemblance to Ben.

Oh certainly, they're brothers from another mother. We note that as well. It's very funny because when we played shows with the Decemberists, those two guys would be standing next to each other and people would walk by and go "Aren't you in...." and they have this moment of "I don't know!" (Laughs) And we always think it would be really funny for them to run out into a crowd and then run in separate directions and see what happens-you know, is that two Gibbards or two Meloys?


So where is it exactly that you're from?

This small town called Sebastopol. It's about an hour north of here. It’s a lot of wine country, pretty boring. Where you grew up, was it a small-town atmosphere, was there anything? What did you do when you were just sitting around as a teenager?

I read comic books and I played guitar and started bands with friends. I always think that growing up in a small town is kind of a blessing and a curse at the same time. Its definitely a curse, because you feel like theres nothing exciting going on and you're always looking to the outside world. But it's also a blessing because you have to create your own fun, you have to come up with your own things, and I think it kind of makes people more proactive and more creative in coming up with things to do that are other than your average "Lets all go to a party and drink beer!" Its like, "C'mon, man, thats boring as fuck." Nobody wants to do that, so let's all strap on some guitars and make music for the people at the party drinking beer. Or something like that.

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