Seattle indie rockers Death Cab for Cutie have never worn their politics on their sleeves, but this year the quartet decided to come out of the leftist closet. Frontman Ben Gibbard talked to us about the group's involvement in the Vote for Change concert series.

Some people roll their eyes when they see rock musicians getting involved in political causes …

Yeah. I mean, for some people music is just purely entertainment and they want to keep it that way. They don't want performers or artists or actors to have opinions about anything. And while in some respects I can go along with that – I mean, there's people who've definitely gone overboard – for myself and this band, we just can't agree with that this time out. This election is way too important. We have a responsibility to ourselves and the world to remove this administration.

Are you concerned that a tour like this can come off too preachy?

Believe me, we're not making our set a series of political diatribes. As much as he's one of my heroes, we're not turning into Billy Bragg! We're taking literally two minutes out of every show just to tell people to vote. But if you truly want us to shut up about this stuff, vote for John Kerry. Then we'll go right back to playing the pop songs. All of this can stop if we get Kerry in in November. The world won't become a better … actually, I take that back – the world will become a better place overnight.

Bush seems to be doing pretty well in the polls right now. Do you think Kerry has a chance?

Well, I'm concerned, let's put it that way. But I also feel that because it's such a relatively close race and since it's polarized people in such an intense way, I'm hoping we'll see a far larger turnout than we did in 2000. And then who knows what'll happen. Of course I wanna see Bush the fuck out of office, but at least if he wins, on Nov. 3 we can all curse his name together because we all actually voted.


More by Michael Alan Goldberg


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