Roadrunner Records - Slipknot's hard-hitting, aggressive metal anthems are getting…
- Posted on Oct 13th 2009 4:00PM by Benjy Eisen
Gibbard has a direct -- and, in fact, even intentional -- connection to Kerouac's adventures in Big Sur. In 1960, Kerouac went to a cabin in Big Sur, a canyon on California's central coastline, by himself, as a sort of spiritual and creative retreat. That retreat (as well as his distractive exploits in nearby San Francisco) form the basis of the 1962 book 'Big Sur.'
"I wouldn't be saying this if it wasn't true," Gibbard tells Spinner preemptively. "It's not like I'm saying this because the record happens to be based on the book ... but 'Big Sur' has always been my favorite book by Kerouac." And Kerouac, it turns out, has always been Gibbard's favorite author.
Before working with Farrar on an album's worth of songs whose lyrics were actually extracted from the book, Gibbard went to Big Sur himself, rented a cabin, and essentially recreated Kerouac's journey for his own artistic pursuit. "I went down there for two weeks in September of 2007, to finish the last couple of songs -- the 'Hail Mary' songs -- on the Death Cab record, and also to do some rewriting and editing and final touch-up work on the songs I had written for that record," he says.
Looking back on it nearly two years later, Gibbard says that the experience definitely gave him insight into Kerouac's descent into near madness that he suffered during his time at Big Sur, even though Gibbard himself went through no such thing. "The cabin rests in a canyon. There's not a lot of daylight, and when you're there by yourself it's a really lonely place and you kind of feel a bit like the earth is swallowing you whole," he says. "It was a pretty depressing place. Depressing is not the right word -- a very introspective place."
It actually sounds like the perfect kind of place to write the closers for a Death Cab for Cutie album. Now we know where all that introspection comes from.