|Ben Gibbard — Bandwagonesque (27 July, 2017)|
Ben Gibbard — Bandwagonesque (27 July, 2017) ★≡≡★≡→ V roce 2016 byl Ben Gibbard z Death Cab For Cutie požádán, aby se vrátil k celému albu dle svého výběru. 41 letý Ben rychle souhlasil. Téměř okamžitě věděl, kterého z nich se to bude týkat: třetí LP Teenage Fanclub, Bandwagonesque .
★≡≡★≡→ Pro Gibbarda je nahrávka Bandwagonesque, která k němu přilétla v době, kdy začal objevovat hudbu za hranicí toho, co se dozvěděl od svých rodičů. Skotsky znějící lo~fi melodie mu sedly a svou vlastní interpretaci klasiky z roku 1991 hraje s její původní tonalitou, přičemž Gibbard dělá její re~work trochu tlumenější než originál.
★≡≡★≡→ Coveralbum Bandwagonesque je technicky vzato Gibbardovo druhé sólové, (pokud nepočítáme Home Volume V (A split LP with Andrew Kenny). Jeho debut, Former Lives, vyšel v roce 2012. O osobním vlivu Teenage Fanclub, v době, kdy Death Cab for Cutie slaví 20 let, Ben mluví v tom smyslu, že si ho zamiloval, když mu bylo 14 let, přičemž uvažoval ještě o albu Emitta Rhodese z kapely The Merry~Go~Rounds, jenomže to bylo garážové, kde Emitt nahrál všechno sám a navíc Ben ho získal až ve své dospělosti. Naproti tomu Bandwagonesque přišlo v klíčovém okamžiku jeho života, kdy objevil něco, co ho definuje a je to mimo hlavní proud. Změna je v tom, že nyní objevujete vlastní kulturu — vytváříte svou vlastní kulturní mozaiku sami, která není jen tím, co vám předepisuje tradiční kultura. A v té době tradiční kulturou v Seattle, kde Ben žije, byli Nirvana a Pearl Jam a spousta undergroundu. Zdá se, stárnutím se doba zrychluje. To jeden z mnoha důvodů, proč je důležité zhodnotit věci, které jste opravdu milovali, věci, které vás opravdu inspirovaly a které z vás doopravdy dělají to, čím jste teď. Písně jsou Benovi přátelé. Jsou mu vždy k dispozici. A má pocit, že vztah, který tvoří se svými oblíbenými písněmi, je jedinečný mezi všemi ostatními uměleckými formami. Proto ke svým oblíbeným písním cítí téměř jako by to byli někteří z jeho nejlepších přátel: protože jsou všude a vždycky pro něho, v místnosti s deseti dalšími lidmi nebo v metru cestou do práce. Označují emocionální momenty v životě. Pomáhají vzpomínat na staré časy, které od té doby uplynuly, nebo někdy přijaly nový význam. Písně, které jsou staré, nějakým způsobem získají v současném životě nový význam.
•★• The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. As I have toured the UK with Death Cab for Cutie, I have always felt that Americans have more in common culturally with Scots than with the English: the sense of humour, the self~effacement, the musical references. The motivation for playing music seems to be different, too. I can’t tell you how many bands we have toured with from England who are very careerist: “Yeah, I’ll do this for a couple of years then maybe I’ll become a manager.” What the fuck — why are you doing this? If this isn’t in your heart and soul, get the fuck out of the way. I remember touring with a band from the Midlands, who will remain nameless, and I was sitting with the singer, who was like: “It’s a nice thing to do in your 20s, right? Play in a band?” No! I’m going to do this in my 50s, even if no one is paying attention. But bands from Scotland, their motivations are similar to ours as Seattleites: we love playing and we love our community and we love putting on friends’ bands.
•★• Bandwagonesque runs the gamut, from light, playful pop songs such as Sidewinder to ones where you are like: is this a cry for help? Obviously, the production sounds like 1991, but the instrument choices are two guitars, bass and drums and the lyrics don’t place the record in a particular time period. It truly could exist at any point in the past 50 years of rock music. © By the Soulcanwait
Birth name: Benjamin Gibbard
Born: August 11, 1976, Bremerton, Washington
Genres: Alternative rock, indie rock, synthpop
Location: Seattle, WA
Released: 19 November 1991
Recorded: 9 April~12 May 1991
Studio: Amazon Studios, Liverpool
Album release: 27 July, 2017
Record Label: Canvasback Music/Turntable Kitchen/Atlantic
01 The Concept 8:05
02 Satan 0:57
03 December 3:17
04 What You Do to Me 2:04
05 I Don’t Know 4:47
06 Star Sign 3:56
07 Metal Baby 3:10
08 Pet Rock 0:47
09 Sidewinder 3:02
10 Alcoholiday 4:56
11 Guiding Star 2:52
12 Is This Music 4:10
℗ 2017 Benjamin Gibbard under exclusive license to Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.
CHRIS MUGAN | July 26, 2017 |
How the whole~album tribute came back into fashion
Benjamin Gibbard has released his cover album of Teenage Fanclub’s 1991 ‘Bandwagonesque’ and Django Bates has managed a jazz makeover of ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’.
•★• It is one of the most profound, and occasionally controversial, gestures of respect from one musical act to another — covering not just a favourite number, but an entire album. The latest comes from Death Cab For Cutie bandleader Ben Gibbard, who has delved back to his formative teen years by taking on Teenage Fanclub’s acclaimed 1991 release Bandwagonesque.
•★• It follows in the wake of a more tangential tribute, British jazz artist Django Bates’s collaboration with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band to mark the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The appearance of both projects suggest a revival of the whole~album tribute after the wrong turn that was Ryan Adams’s quickfire homage to Taylor Swift’s 1989.
•★• Then again, the track~by~track tribute has always had a chequered history. One of the earliest and least impressive attempts comes from Booker T and The MGs’ horribly bland appraisal of the Fab Fours’ Abbey Road. The Stax studio band are best known for such tight grooves as “Green Onions” and playing behind the likes of Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. Their cover album McLemore Avenue, though, is a limp, essentially easy listening, effort that pales in comparison to more committed soulful takes, namely Nina Simone’s Here Comes The Sun and The Supremes’ cool Come Together.
•★• The concept only began to take off in the early Noughties, thanks partly to the genius of New York~based reggae outfit The Easy Star All Stars, who have recorded some of the most accomplished and inspired cover albums. They hit the ground running in 2003 with the Pink Floyd tribute Dub Side Of The Moon, which includes such witty touches as the sound of a bong in use to introduce “Money”. The collective followed that up with regular three~year instalments: first came Radiodread, a spacious tip of the hat to Radiohead’s OK Computer, before Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band and Thrillah — a Jamaican~infused take on Michael Jackson’s world sales~record album.
•★• Psychedelic crew The Flaming Lips joined the party in Christmas 2009 with their sinister, darker Floyd tribute titled The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon, notable for the Canadian provocateur’s ululation on “The Great Gig In The Sky”. Three years ago, Wayne Coyne’e colourful outfit gathered a disparate group of collaborators for the inevitable With A Little Help From My Fwends, a Sgt Pepper’s rerub notable for highlighting his unlikely friendship with Miley Cyrus, beguiling on “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”.
•★• Often, such projects appear as limited~runs, tying in with such initiatives as Record Store Day, suggesting one reason cover albums may have caught on. The interest in celebrating classic long players coincides with a threatened place for the form, barged out by streaming and playlists. While Flaming Lips corralled their team for Floyd, Beck embarked on his Record Club, which involved filming his carefully selected crack teams as they reprised entire albums in just one day, featuring as guests the likes of Feist, Devandra Barnhart and St Vincent. The series has ranged from INXS’s Kick to Songs of Leonard Cohen and included an intimate take on The Velvet Underground and Nico.
•★• The most successful, but also most lambasted, album tribute came in 2015 when Adams dropped his version of Swift’s mammoth 1989, itself released the year before. The prolific Americana artist’s vulnerable takes on “Blank Space” and “Shake It Off” were greeted as revelatory, his album actually charting just ahead of the original, then still in the Billboard parade 40~odd weeks after its release. Then came the backlash, one directed as much at male critics who seemingly used Adams’s authenticity to poo-poo Swift’s pop veneer. Shocked at what he saw as gross misrepresentation (he is a big Swift fan and her breakup tunes hit home as he was going through divorce himself), the male performer pledged never to cover an album ever again, though other examples continue to come thick and fast.
•★• Gibbard’s contribution to the genre appears on Seattle~based online label Turntable Kitchen, behind a series of vinyl~only cover albums, so far featuring a tremulous mirroring of a Vashti Bunyan’s Diamond Day from Mutual Benefit, Foxygen co~founder Jonathan Rado’s spirited take on Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run and Kiwi ex~pats Yumi Zouma’s coolly delivered, inspired synth~pop reboot of Oasis’s (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? The alternative rocker, by contrast, chooses to stay relatively faithful, while providing the additional gloss of his regular band’s richly textured musicality.
•★• When Bandwagonesque originally came out, Gibbard was in high school in Washington State and claims to have instantly fallen in love with the Fannies’ Big~Star harmonies, saying the record remains his “favourite record by my favourite band of all time”. Indeed, many of his fellow countryfolk fell for such indelible tunes as “The Concept”, “What You Do To Me” and “Star Sign”, with the album ending the year beating Nirvana’s Nevermind to Spin magazine’s best~of~year accolade. Bates, meanwhile, shows how The Beatles’ oeuvre is amenable to translation into unfamiliar genres.
•★• Following the previously mentioned reggae and southern soul Fab Four tributes, the British multi~instrumentalist has marched Sgt Pepper into the world of big~band jazz, though its a more eccentric style than might be expected. While the original masterpiece stretched contemporary studio technology to its limits, Saluting Sgt Pepper focuses on The Beatles’ melodies, while replacing their trickery and experimentalism with unexpected sounds and quirky rhythms. Bates was invited to helm the project by the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, but does wonder if the appearance of such projects has to do with the recent demise of so many influential stars, causing us to look back at their pomp and the iconic albums they produced.
•★• “Last year there was a trend of musical heroes dying, both expectedly and unexpectedly; I think there’s a connection,” he says. “The artists that were able to build enormous audiences before the fragmenting effects of YouTube and Soundcloud are reaching the end of their time on Earth, or the end of their artistic productivity. I don’t think there is the possibility for any emerging artist to become a Bowie, Elvis or Prince.” More alarmingly, he also cites the number of times Ed Sheeran — among others — has been accused of plagiarism. Could current artists be running out of the space to be original, he muses.
•★• “Pop music continues to be nearly all in 4/4 [time] and to limit itself to eight or fewer pitches of a diatonic scale. So people working in that world are running out of pleasing possibilities,” he suggests. To be fair, Adams, bounced back from the 1989 farrago with his own well~received break~up album Prisoner, but despite his experiences, the attraction of the classic album seems yet to have reached its limit. •★• http://www.independent.co.uk/Death Cab for Cutie:
• 1997: You Can Play These Songs with Chords
• 1998: Something About Airplanes
• 2000: We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes
• 2001: The Photo Album
• 2003: Transatlanticism
• 2005: Plans
• 2008: Narrow Stairs
• 2011: Codes and Keys
• 2015: Kintsugi
• 2003 Home Volume V (A split LP with Andrew Kenny)
• 2012 Former Lives
• 2017 Bandwagonesque (Cover Of Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bengibbardInterview by Ilana Kaplan / 7/27/2017
Ben Gibbard on The Importance of Teenage Fanclub, Mourning Musicians Like Chester Bennington and Death Cab’s Next Record.
•★• In 2016, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard was asked to put his twist on a full album of his choice. The 41~year~old quickly said yes, and almost immediately knew which one he’d cover: Teenage Fanclub’s landmark third LP, Bandwagonesque.
•★• For Gibbard, Bandwagonesque is a record that came to him at a time when he was starting to discover music beyond what he learned from his parents. The Scottish lo~fi band’s tunes spoke to him, and his interpretation of the 1991 classic plays with its tonality, with Gibbard making his re~work a bit more hushed than the original.
•★• The Bandwagonesque cover is technically Gibbard’s second solo album — his debut, Former Lives, came out in 2012. Before Bandwagonesque comes out this Friday, we caught up with Gibbard about the personal impact of Teenage Fanclub, celebrating 20 years of Death Cab for Cutie and the human connection of music.
Why did you decide to cover Bandwagonesque in full?
•★• I was approached about a year ago by a label based out of Seattle called Turntable Kitchen. I’ve been struggling to describe exactly what they are, which is probably what makes them so unique. They had started this series where they were contracting out bands to cover whole albums. They had reached out to me via management and I just thought the idea was fantastic.
•★• So I was contemplating a couple different records to do, until I kinda had that no~duh moment: Well, of course you would do Bandwagonesque! It’s a record that made such a massive impression on me when I was 14 years old, and Teenage Fanclub to this day is my favorite band, due in large part to that album.
What other albums were you considering covering?
•★• The one I was planning on doing initially was the first Emitt Rhodes album. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him. He’s a really amazing songwriter that was in a garage band called The Merry~Go~Rounds in the mid~60s, and made this brilliant album where he played all the instruments himself. It was a very Beatles~esque kind of pop record.
•★• But I realized he recorded the whole thing in his garage, produced it himself, and it seemed kind of counterproductive for me to do the exact same thing: to just recreate an album that somebody had done by themself. That’s an album that means a lot to me, but Bandwagonesque is a record that really changed me at a point in my life that I really needed it, you know? Not to say that Emitt Rhodes’s albums have not meant a lot to me, either. But these are records I discovered as an adult, and Bandwagonesque was a record that I fell in love with when I was 14.
What’s your first memory of this record? You said it came to you at a pivotal point in your life. What was happening at that time for you?
•★• In 1991, I was 14 or 15 years old. I think a lot of people who become music fans have that moment where they break from their parents’ music, they break from the radio and MTV — at least in my generation, they did, and MTV isn’t really a thing anymore. And you discover something that defines you, that is outside of the mainstream. You are now discovering your own culture — you’re creating your own cultural mosaic of yourself that is not just what has been prescribed to you by mainstream culture.
You’re from Seattle. What are your memories of the music scene at the time, when grunge was getting ready to explode?
•★• [There were] not only the big bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam — that was just starting to happen at that point — but also a lot of the underground things. Bands that never became household names, but bands I loved nonetheless, be it Treepeople — which is Doug Martsch’s first band, from Built to Spill — or Hazel or Hammerbox.
•★• And I felt like Teenage Fanclub was timeless in the sense that the music reminded me how great the music my dad listened to was, and it was cool to like that music. In this very nuanced modernization of that music, in Don Fleming’s production of Bandwagonesque, this music could be contemporary — and not only contemporary, but it could be timeless. But Teenage Fanclub felt like something that wasn’t cool to like, but it wasn’t uncool to like either. I didn’t feel like a cooler person for listening to it. I just felt like it spoke to me.
It’s also been 20 years since you started Death Cab for Cutie. How have you seen yourself evolve?
•★• It really wasn’t until five years ago that I was kind of thinking, “Maybe this is what I do now. Maybe this isn’t a prequel to grad school. Maybe this is actually what I do. Maybe I’m not going back to get an advanced degree and entering the job force — this is actually my job.” When I think about the fact that we were recording that first tape literally 20 years ago, it just feels like a month has gone by.
•★• I guess that’s just how life is: It seems like it speeds up the older you get. I think that’s one of the many reasons why it’s important to take stock in the things you truly loved and the things that truly inspired you and that really made you who you are. And thankfully, for me, not only is Teenage Fanclub my favorite band, Norman [Blake], one of the singers in the band, has become a friend of mine. And they’re still a band — they’re still putting out great albums.
Death Cab typically releases a new album every three or four years. Where are you at with the follow~up to 2015’s Kintsugi?
•★• I feel like I’ve got 80 percent of the record written. I’ve written a lot of songs in the last couple years, but writing a lot of songs doesn’t always mean writing good songs.
•★• I think that we’re getting really close. The plan is to be in the studio in the fall. That’s really as much information as I have at this point, even being the frontperson of the band. I think as we move into our ninth album, a large part of what I want out of our albums moving forward is that we can contribute to this body of work, and hopefully bring the perspective that I have as a 41~year~old man, musically and personally, but also have those songs exist along the songs I wrote when I was 20.
Last week, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington passed away. People had a deep connection to his songs, because they made them feel less alone or feel like they fit in more, and Death Cab’s music often has the same effect. How often do you reflect on that quality of your music?
•★• Well, I would remove that question from my music specifically, and just speak about music in more general terms. I think that the wonderful thing about music and about songs is that you can listen to a three~minute song whenever you feel you need it. If you’re going through a difficult time, and there’s a piece of music that speaks to you — be it musically or lyrically or both — you are almost always able to access that music. You’re always able to sit down with it. You’re able to put it on in a room with 10 other people or just have it in your headphones on the subway on your way to work. It’s always available to you. And I feel that the relationship we form with our favorite songs is unique amongst all other art forms, and it’s why my favorite songs feel almost like some of my best friends: Because they’re always there for me.
•★• I think that’s one of the main reasons why we mourn — and I don’t say this to be self~serving, by any stretch of imagination — musicians so much. We’re sad when an actor dies. We’re sad when a beloved politician or public figure dies. We mourn those people. Their lives are not any less or more important than you or mine or Joe Blow on the street. But I think that when a musician dies, who’s put music into the world that is very comforting to people, it’s not only that that music has comforted people — but just until a couple days ago, if Linkin Park’s music meant a lot to you, you could go see Chester sing those songs in almost any city in the world when they came to you. You’re not only listening to that music when it makes you feel sad, but then you have the ability to actually see the person perform the song that means so much to you.
•★• It’s one of the reasons I’m so thankful that, in this case, Teenage Fanclub are still making records. I can go see them play these songs, not only on Bandwagonesque, but also throughout their entire career. They mark emotional moments in my life. They help me reminisce about times in my life that have now since passed, or sometimes they take on new meaning. Songs that are old somehow gain new relevance in my life.
|Ben Gibbard — Bandwagonesque (27 July, 2017)|