Death Cab for Cutie’s open-hearted pop has earned a large and devoted audience. Photographer and close friend to the band
Autumn de Wilde has spent years documenting them, with unique access to their recording sessions, tours, and down-time.
This book collects 200 of her candid and compelling images, including the recording of their Grammy-nominated breakthrough
album Plans in a farmhouse turned studio in upstate New York. Also including conversations with and personal ephemera from
the band, this is an intimate, must-have portrait for fans.
AUTUMN DE WILDE is the author of Elliott Smith and The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights. She has worked
with and photographed numerous bands and musicians, including Beck, Spoon, Jenny Lewis, the Raconteurs, and many others.
She lives in Los Angeles.
$29.95 US • £19.99 UK
HC • 978-0-8118-6951-5
8.5 x 11 in, 192 pp, 200 color
and b/w photographs
Rights: W
Music/Photography • DECEMBER
April Whitney: 415-537-4253
[email protected]
Please contact your sales
representative or Chronicle Books
Tel: 800-759-0190
Fax: 800-286-9471
[email protected]
Over the course of six albums—from celebrated indie releases to #1 on the Billboard charts—
Autumn: I wanted to ask about the history of the hall of
justice, and which records were made there.
Chris: The hall of justice is wherever it decides to be
Autumn: Ok so the first hall of justice was where?
Chris: It was at 1138 Ellis Street in Bellingham
Autumn: Which was where you and Ben lived?
Chris: All 4 of us lived there at different points
Ben: I was in a band called Pinwheel and one of my
bandmates lived there with Justin’s sister’s fiancé. When
they left that house, I took over the lease with you and
who was the 3rd roommate?
Nick: It was Armand
Ben: No it was Aaron Davis
Autumn: Did you say our mom?
Nick: Yeah, (laughing) our mom moved in with us first
Ben: Then you moved in?
Autumn: How old were you?
Nick: 20?
Autumn: Are you guys all the same age?
Nick: No, im 2 years older.
Chris: I’m somewhere in between
Autumn: You’re somewhere in between?
Ben: I moved in there when I was 19.
Nick: We lived together and we did Indian street and
then Ellis street and then I moved out.
Autumn: is it true that Walla threw out all the dishes?
Ben: No that would’ve been Ben
Nick: You didn’t throw them away, you hid them.
Chris: That was a particularly toxic group of people
Ben: It was a group house. Over the course of 5 years
people brought in coffee cups and dishes whenever they
moved in and never took them out.
Chris: There were probably a good 20 to 30 complete
place settings.
Ben: There were 20 to 30 place settings, and there
were 3 people living there. There was no dining room.
Basically, nobody had to do dishes ever so it got to
the point where there were fucking shitloads of dishes
coming out of the sink. So I boxed up all of the dishes
except for 3 of each type and put them in the garage.
“Now we’ll only have to wash these 3 sets of dishes.”
Then Enzlo came back “What if we have a dinner
“When have we ever had a dinner guest here?!”
Enzlo was really pissed. (To Chris) I think you were
pissed about it too but didn’t say much about it.
Chris: I was pissed. I just didn’t say much about it.
Ben: So I brought them back in the house and the
problem persisted.
Chris: That was a bad house but it sounded really
good. (to Autumn) That was the first Hall of Justice
Autumn: Were you called Death Cab for Cutie yet?
Chris: Well yes, but Pinwheel was still going strong.
Ben: We would just record while Armand was still in the
house. You guys were very rarely around at that time.
Ben: Chris had songs, and I had songs and I would
play drums or whatever… We would do covers and stuff.
Autumn: How long after that did your first release
come out?
Chris: That stuff we recorded? There were 8 songs. I
think that only 4 of them came out. Those are on “You
Can Play These Songs With Chords” The re-issue that
came out in 2002.
Autumn: What were you recording on?
Chris: Most of that stuff got done on a cassette 8 track
Ben: When did we started calling stuff Death Cab?
Chris: It was pretty shortly after I moved to Bellingham
Ben: We were mixing the cassette around my 21st
Autumn: So for those who don’t know, what is the
reason you called yourselves Death Cab For Cutie?
Ben: Well, at the time, it wasn’t meant to be more than
a side project that I was doing away from Pinwheel. I
had all these songs, I had just met Chris in Bellingham
amongst our friends…
Chris: My other band was Martin Youth Auxiliary.
Ben: … had this kind of insular indie scene… releasing
side projects on cassette. I had done, like a 7”. Everyone
had their own side projects. It just fell in line with that
kind of aesthetic.
Chris: Ben was watching the Magical Mystery Tour. I
remember you making a grand proclamation, standing
up and making the grand statement “My next band will
be called Death Cab For Cutie”
Autumn: -and it came from…
Chris: -yes, a scene in the Magical Mystery Tour.
Nick: You know that band with John Lennon, Ringo
Starr, George Harrison,
Chris: Paul McCartney (Laughing) theres a scene
towards the end of the film, The Beatles are high out of
their minds, a burlesque show is going on and the band
that’s on the stage is playing a song called Death Cab
For Cutie. Those are the initial beginnings
Jason: Meanwhile, Nick and I were across town in a
tiny little practice space working on prog rock together.
Chris: You guys had my dat machine.
Autumn: Alright its 4 o’clock you guys gotta go to
sound check.

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