The boys of DCFC are gearing up for a busy festival season — Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Pemberton — where they’ll be playing songs from the forthcoming Narrow Stairs, which hasn’t leaked yet. Spin recently sat down with them at Ahmet Ertegun’s old office to talk about life on the road and Billy Corgan.
SPIN: You’re playing the big-time sunset slot at Coachella just before Narrow Stairs comes out. Is there a different approach you take playing to a big crowd that most likely won’t have heard the new songs yet?
BEN GIBBARD: I think we’ll have an hour; we’ll probably play three new songs. I feel like we have a responsibility to kind of make sure we’re playing material that the wealth of the audience is excited about hearing, and the more shows you play, the more you realize which songs fall into that category and which don’t.
NICK HARMER: We’re going to do Dark Side Of The Moon … but with David Gilmour.
CHRIS WALLA: “We got a new record coming out in a week and a half, but we’re gonna try something a little different this time…”
BEN GIBBARD: Roger Waters doing Dark Side of the Moon would be like Ringo performing Sgt. Pepper’s.
CHRIS WALLA: I had the same thought. All the parts of that album I love most are Gilmour’s.
And looking back to Lollapalooza ’94…
CHRIS WALLA: I sold my copy of Siamese Dream the day after seeing Smashing Pumpkins at Lollapalooza because Billy Corgan yelled at D’Arcy onstage.
They played right after the Beastie Boys, who were awesome; they were the Beastie Boys, they ruled it. And when the Smashing Pumpkins came on, the reception was a little icy, so Corgan said, “You guys want the Beastie Boys to come back out?” and everybody went crazy. He spent the rest of the night yelling at people. The next day, I sold my Siamese Dream and bought the Breeders’ Last Splash and a Shudder to Think record and Mars Audiac Quintet by Stereolab. All because of the experiences I had that day.
Death Cab play the Coachella Stage at 6:30 PM tomorrow. You won’t be able to sell your copy of Narrow Stairs the next day, because the album’s not out for another few weeks. Read more of DCFC’s thoughts on festival season (and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Vampire Weekend, and Arcade Fire) in the new Spin (MMJ cover).