“If I had been Jay Z, I would have brought out ten artists that were underground or independent and said, ‘These are the people who are struggling to make a living in today’s music industry. Whereas this competitor streaming site pays this person 15 cents for X amount of streams, that same amount of streams on my site, on Tidal, will pay that artist this much,’” Gibbard says. “I think they totally blew it by bringing out a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and propping them up onstage and then having them all complain about not being paid.”
In the following Thread, the two friends swap stories about how much they love (and fret about) their respective hometowns, the daily routines of rock musicians, and the perils of pissing off their fans.
For me, seeing bands not only being great but also humble and acceptable – that's something that's always been built into the ethic and aesthetic of this city. It doesn't matter how famous you get outside of Seattle; you can't come back and act like an asshole "rock star." If you move to New York or Los Angeles or maybe Nashville, you could go out and be like, "That's a super famous rock star. That's just how he acts." But Seattle doesn't play that shit.
When we finished the last record he had actually suggested that maybe we work with an outside person the next time, just as a way to shake things up. He’s produced all of our albums, so he’s always kind of had the right of first refusal anyway. When we got started on this record he just sort of resumed the producer role, but as we got a little further into the process he was like, “Well, maybe I’m not the best guy for this record,” and that was really fine. It wasn’t like we suddenly had the rug pulled out from under us or anything. We weren’t suddenly in a state of free fall.
Short version: I’m leaving Death Cab for Cutie. My last show with the band will be September 13, 2014, at the Rifflandia Festival in Victoria, BC. I hope you guys can make it. Longer version: I think I long for the unknown. It might be that simple. I will miss being a quarter of this band, and will support whatever course Death Cab for Cutie chooses from here. I am profoundly grateful to Ben, Nick, and Jason, for the experiences that define my adult life. Truly grateful, beyond words. Thank you.
Hit the replies to watch a video for Budweiser and Jay Z's "Made in America" video series that spotlights Seattle. The video features Ben Gibbard, Tacocat, La Luz, and the staff of Sub Pop talking abot their city. More episodes will be airing leading up to the Made in America Festival later this year.