Death Cab for Cutie plays three sold-out shows at the Paramount Saturday-Monday, Oct. 3-5. The band’s new album, “Kintsugi,” which refers to repairing broken ceramics, is an apt metaphor for the band and its leader, Ben Gibbard.
This Saturday (Oct. 3), Death Cab for Cutie brings its “Kintsugi” tour to the Paramount Theatre for the first of three sold-out shows. Death Cab’s latest record is named after the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics so that they are more beautiful than they were originally.
The description works perfectly for the band, which is touring for the first time after the departure of Chris Walla. But the name could also describe lead singer Ben Gibbard on a couple of levels.
In March, while doing a 50K run, Gibbard broke his wrist. It has since been repaired, and Death Cab has been touring the world since — and Gibbard is still running. (Talking on the phone from Austin, Texas, last week, Gibbard joked that his bandmates suggested he wanted to play the Paramount so he could run home after the concert.)
Death Cab for Cutie
8 p.m. Saturday-Monday, Oct. 3-5, at the Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; sold out (877-784-4849 or stgpresents.org).
“Kintsugi” also works as a metaphor for many of Gibbard’s new songs, some of which were penned after his 2012 divorce from Zooey Deschanel. He calls that his “most painful to date thing in my life.”
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The Paramount shows are a gift to hometown fans because Death Cab could, and regularly does, play KeyArena-sized venues. They chose the hall, in part, because Gibbard loves it.
“The Paramount is a more regal environment,” he explains.
Gibbard’s songs on “Kintsugi” have other inspirations besides his ex-wife and, to be fair, the theme of finding identity within loss has always been one of his favorite subjects. His lyrics on “Kintsugi” are some of his best, though. “Black Sun” is a particularly literary gem: “There’s a dumpster in the driveway / of all the plans that came undone.”
He cites Randy Newman as an influence for how to tell an emotional story with few words.
“Maybe I have been attempting to use less language,” he says, “but make it also more forceful and powerful.”
The divorce meant Gibbard left Los Angeles and moved back to Seattle, where he’d always kept an apartment.
“I just feel so grateful that my life has taken me back, and that the Northwest has accepted me,” he says. “I’ll never leave again.”
The Paramount shows also represent a homecoming for Gibbard’s long relationship with live music itself, which has been the most consistent element of his artistic life. The Paramount was where he saw his first concert as a kid — a 1992 Mudhoney show.
“Special things happen in special venues like the Paramount,” Gibbard notes.
With Death Cab for Cutie in the Paramount, that “specialness” is assured.