It seems like lately that Ben Gibbard has his eyes on the big screen.
The Death Cab for Cutie frontman seems to be popping up in a number of cinematic circumstances. He has a speaking-only role in John Krasinski’s adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men,” recently released.
He combined forces with Son Volt/ex-Uncle Tupelo songwriter Jay Farrar on the rootsy score and soundtrack to “One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur.” He also appears in the film, speaking on the beat icon’s novel “Big Sur.”
Gibbard will be speaking, too, in a doc on the Seattle’s hidden soul music history as a local music scene laureate in “Wheedles Groove.” The film is going to start on the festival circuit soon, with a release likely next fall, according to a rep.
Then, of course, there’s “Meet Me on the Equinox,” the Death Cab track penned specifically for the vamp flick “Twilight Saga: New Moon.”
Gibbard, who married actress Zooey Deschanel last month, hasn’t spoken much on his thespian intentions or future projects, but music clearly hasn’t taken back seat. He and Farrar are supporting today’s wide release of the movie and soundtrack to “One Fast Move” by playing two weeks of shows.
The two came together as Farrar began crafting songs around Kerouac’s writing, with the actual “Big Sur” prose as the lyrics, and Gibbard had already been asked to speak on the film. When he heard of how Farrar was doing the soundtrack, he jumped in, on more than half the tracks.
“I listened to Jay”s demos and really loved them,” Gibbard told Paste magazine. “They”re kind of like little chapters in a book, where he”s taken lines from throughout a particular passage and created a really great narrative out of the narrative that was already there without compromising it or cutting it up. Every song feels like it is a moment in time.”
You can hear the soundtrack in its entirety here.
Gibbard had previous experience composing music for film with 2006’s “About a Son”; Death Cab has also appeared on other soundtracks like “The O.C.,” “The Invisible” and “The Puffy Chair”; his former side project Postal Service had a prominently featured song on “Garden State,” “Such Great Heights.”
On “Meet Me on the Equinox,” Gibbard told MTV, “I just wanted something that kind of tonally matched the story and the scenes within the film, so they could kind of be put alongside but not be telling a narrative you’re watching on the screen… The song at its core is just about meeting another halfway, because life is very short, because there’s only a brief period of time to really connect with people, and that it’s important to recognize that.” Sounds like he’s got a handle on this whole music-for-movies thing.
Check out the video below of Gibbard’s monologue in “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men,” where he talks on lovemaking. You can read HitFix crit Dan Fienberg’s review of the film here.
Death Cab for Cutie’s last album, “Narrow Stairs,” was released last year. They have no current tour dates.
Here are Gibbard and Farrar’s tour dates:
10/22 – Largo at the Coronet – Los Angeles, CA
10/23 – El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
10/24 – Bimbo’s 365 Club – San Francisco, CA
10/26 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
10/27 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
10/28 – Webster Hall – New York, NY