When last we saw Death Gab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard on late night television, he was backed by the mariachi band Trio Ellas for an appearance on Conan. Gibbard returned to TV last night on The Colbert Report with an entirely different supporting cast: a star-studded ensemble featuring Ted Leo, Aimee Man, Superchunk’s Jon Wurster, and keyboardist Jamie Edwards. Together they performed Gibbard’s Former Lives single “Bigger Than Love” for the show proper before Gibbard churned out a solo acoustic performance of “I’m Building a Fire” for the web. Replay both performances below.
Hovering beneath a comedic air surrounding the Q&A, in which Colbert played the ever-condescending straight man to Gibbard’s elegantly disheveled creative type, the pair of showmen did get down to discussing the state of Death Cab For Cutie and the frontman’s reasoning for his inaugural solo LP. “Death Cab is doing fine, we’re not broken up,” replied Gibbard. “I wrote the solo album because I’m a songwriter that has more songs than the band could record.” When Colbert inquired further about the individual compositions and whether any of them were obsolete, as the record was written over a coarse of eight years, Gibbard replied, “I write songs with universal themes, with the hope they’ll resonate at any point in your life.”
Oh, and no, Gibbard did not discuss the rumored Postal Service reunion for Coachella.