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Fifteen years down, more to come for Death Cab For Cutie

for Journal Register Newspapers

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Death Cab For Cutie is spending the first three weeks of July on the road, celebrating a successful run for its latest album, 2011's "Codes and Keys."

But this year also marks the 15th anniversary of the modern rock group's formation in Bellingham, Wash., a mark that's snuck up a bit on frontman Ben Gibbard.

My dad said to me at one point that your life seems to speed up as you get older, and I certainly feel that way in relation to the band," notes Gibbard, 35. "When I think about 'The Photo Album,' it feels like it was just yesterday but it was 11 years ago we were in the studio making that album."

And, Gibbard adds, his own notion of time has been twisted somewhat by how the music world operates.

"To me, you write songs, make a record, tour the record -- that's one year in my head, even thought it may be two actual years," he explains. "We have seven records at this point, so to me that's seven years of the band and not 15, although clearly that's chronologically incorrect. But the band has been the center of my world for my entire adult life, so it makes sense my chronology would work that way as well."

Gibbard says he's still "proud of" "Codes and Keys," which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart in May of 2011. But with the tour wrapping up July 22, Gibbard anticipates that Death Cab will take some time off before diving into it's next album.

"I've always thought that songwriting needs to come out of real life and not the insulated world of a touring rock band," says Gibbard, who divorced from actress Zooey Deschanel late last year after two years of marriage. "I don't get a lot of writing done when we're touring or on the road. I need to get home and kind of balance out and kind of live a life that's worth writing about.

"And I think that at this point now, if we don't make a record every year and a half, people aren't going to forget about us. I'd like to think if there's one thing we've done is we've proven our staying power so we can kind of go and live real life and find things to write about."

Death Cab For Cutie and City and Colour perform at the 93.9 Riverfest at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the Oakland University campus in Rochester Hills. Tickets are $39.50 pavilion, $24 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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