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Ben Gibbard


American musician who has formed several indie bands.
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Ben Gibbard
Because of my age and what I do for a living and the amount of time that Iíve spent away from my family and loved ones, Iím starting to relate more to the late-period Kerouac stuff in the way that I once related to the fun and excitement of the early material. Thereís a darkness inside of me that Iím only now starting to come to grips with and accept. And itís starting to scare me.
Gibbard quotes
I feel like there's a lot of beauty in the darkness of Narrow Stairs, but that's not really a place I'm ready to go to for a while. I'm interested in taking a different approach and having the next record be different in tone ó I'm just not interested in making another dark, dark album.
Gibbard
If you tell certain people that you like Kerouac, they assume thatís all you read, like you donít know anything else about literature. I recognize all the things that people dislike about the way he writes ó his tone and the sentimentality of it all. But those books were there for me at a very important point in my life.




Gibbard Ben quotes
I don't think there's necessarily a story, but there's definitely a theme here. One of my favorite kind of dark jokes is, "How do you make God laugh? You make a plan." Nobody ever makes a plan that they're gonna go out and get hit by a car. A plan almost always has a happy ending. Essentially, every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time. I really like the idea of a plan not being seen as having definite outcomes, but more like little wishes.
Gibbard Ben
I decided a handful of years ago that I just want to write songs that you can understand as soon as you put the record on. Thereís no need to veil whatís happening in the song the way I used to.
My goal as a songwriter now is to simply write some memorable turns of phrase.
Ben Gibbard quotes
Liking interesting things doesnít make you interesting.
Ben Gibbard
At this point in my life, I find myself obsessed with alternate paths I couldíve taken. I donít think about this with a sense of regret, but with a sense of wonder...
Gibbard Ben quotes
I pulled On The Road off the shelf and found myself reading it between classes, and at that time in my life it was exactly what I craved, exactly what I needed to hear. I thought, ďThatís the way, thatís the ideal life, thatís great. You get in a car and you drive and you see your friends and you end up in a city for a night and you go out drinking and you catch up and you share these really intense experiences. And then youíre on the road and youíre doing it again.Ē The romance of the road, particularly from Kerouacís work, encapsulated how I wanted to live. I found a way to do it by being a musician, which is what I always wanted to be. The traveling and the being on tour and being away from home set a precedent for me where I thought, ďOh yeah, this is how it works.Ē
But then in reading Big Sur, itís the end of the road. You end up with a series of failed relationships and you end up being an alcoholic and in your late 30s, and not having any kind of real grip on the lives of the people around you. Thatís the potential other end of the spectrum when youíre never tied to anybody or anything. I run the risk of losing touch with the people in my life that mean the most to me because I have made the decision to live like this.
Gibbard
Our band is very polarizing. There are people who absolutely canít stand us, and people who absolutely canít live without us. Iíd rather spark those kind of polar-opposite feelings than have people be indifferent.
Gibbard Ben
An ex-girlfriend once got upset when I told her that music is the most important thing in my life. Itís more important than anyone else could ever be. I donít want to be overly dramatic and say itís the only thing that gets me up and keeps me going. But people in your life come and go. As you go through your life, you make friendships, you break friendships, you have relationships. Music is the one thing Iíve always been able to rely on. So why wouldnít it be the most important thing in my life?
Ben Gibbard
At some point I thought that, as I got older, Iíd come to terms with a lot of things. Iíd solve some big problems, and eventually Iíd become content. Itís almost more depressing to think that the older you get, the more your problems multiply. When Iím old, Iíd like to wake up in the morning and not really do anything ó just be happy to exist. Iíd like to look at my accomplishments and sit back and revel in my own achievement. But I donít think thatíll ever happen.
Before I made a living playing music, I used to work shitty job after shitty job and think ďMan, as soon as Iím able to make a living in music, itís really going to come together then, itís really going be amazing.Ē I remember hoping thereíd be 10 people at a show in 1998 when there was an incredible write-up in the local weekly. I donít want to go back to that period of being obscure and having nobody know who I am, let alone have to struggle to get people to come to the show. I remember what it was like, and it was shitty.




Ben Gibbard quotes
I once knew a girl
In the years of my youth
With eyes like the summer
All beauty and truth
In the morning I fled
Left a note and it read
Someday you will be loved.
Ben Gibbard
Dude. You are marrying Zooey Deschanel. You have nothing, I repeat, nothing to be sad about anymore. From here on out, please only songs about emotional guys and their blind luck.
Gibbard quotes
A lot of the material is about the inevitable disappointment people feel as they move through life, and things donít feel the way they expect. No experience will ever match up to the idealized version in your mind.
Gibbard Ben
Some fans get genuinely upset if I admit that a song that they held close to their heart was not based on actual events in my life. Like ďWhat Sarah SaidĒ: I was never in a waiting room in a hospital waiting for news that somebody was going to die.
Gibbard Ben quotes
Itís amazing to have people singing a song back to you on a stage. Itís great to finish recording a song and play it for your friend, and they love it. That feels good. But nothing feels better than when youíve finished something and you know itís good, and you know that those other responses will come in time.
Ben Gibbard
I donít spend my time perusing message boards to find out what people think about me or if people think my songs are good or if people love that lyric or this or that. I just want to be happy with it myself ó and if other people like it, thatís great.
Ben Gibbard quotes
I find it very hard to accept the wonderful things in my life. My life really is great: I do exactly what I want to do for a living, I have a wonderful person to share my life with, I have a great family, I have great friends. But somehow thereís a void. Iím the last person who should be complaining or wondering why Iím perpetually unhappy. I would like to think that my lack of contentment is part of what makes my work the way it is, and for the better.
I would rather make great records than make great relationships. When Iím at odds with myself, I would rather fuck up every relationship Iíve ever been in and write great records. And not because I need a breakup to provide me with material. Not like that.
Ben Gibbard
Itís hard enough having a relationship with one person, but to have a relationship with three other bandmates that you are so intimately tied to and you spend so much time with ó and to have that actually work and function ó is just astounding. I have been in a band for more than 10 years now. I never thought Iíd be doing anything for 10 years straight, let alone a band, and I feel so fortunate for that. I have been allowed for some reason to do that. But itís even more amazing that we get along better now than we did 10 years ago.
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