December 19, 2005 11:34 ET
Death Cab for Cutie Unveil "DIRECTIONS"; 12 Original Short Films Inspired by the Band's Grammy-Nominated Album "PLANS"
Band Confirmed for "Saturday Night Live" January 14, 2006
NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 19, 2005 -- Atlantic Records' Death Cab for Cutie has
announced details of their upcoming "DIRECTIONS," an innovative anthology
of 12 short films inspired by each song on the band's acclaimed album
"PLANS." Every song, including the hit single, "Soul Meets Body," and the
upcoming follow-up "Crooked Teeth," will be delivered by a different
director. The videos will be unveiled one by one on the band's website
www.deathcabforcutie.com in early January.
The unprecedented collection came about as the brainchild of otaku-house,
the production company owned and run by childhood friends Nick Harmer,
bassist for Death Cab for Cutie, and video director Aaron Stewart-Ahn.
They saw the opportunity to enlist a variety of talented young artists to
each make a short film set to a Death Cab song, without the constraints of
the traditional music video -- no arbitrary performance footage, the band
themselves would not appear in the films. Though the budgets would be
small, there would be no creative limits placed upon the filmmakers'
imaginations. The ultimate goal was to create a series of small films that
worked together as both individual pieces of art and as a unified whole.
Stewart-Ahn and the band compiled a list of directors, including
superstars, up-and-coming new talents, and even a graphic novelist who had
never had his work animated before. "We named the project 'DIRECTIONS,'"
says Stewart-Ahn, "because it's a pun on 'PLANS,' obviously, but ultimately
because we feel this project is about unique directorial visions more than
anything else. We wanted to create a situation where that would be the
emphasis, and I feel the list of directors alone proves that."
Among the filmmakers contributing to "DIRECTIONS" are Lance Bangs, famed
for his work alongside Spike Jonze, as well as his videos for such artists
as R.E.M. and Green Day; P.R. Brown, who has directed videos for Billy
Corgan, Matisyahu and Motley Crue; Ace Norton, a stop-frame animation
maestro; acclaimed graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown ("Clumsy"); the
Cincinnati-based motion design collective, Lightborne; longtime Death Cab
photographer Autumn de Wilde; writer/director Rob Schrab, the mind behind
the legendary never-aired Jack Black pilot, "Heat Vision and Jack," and
co-founder of the Channel 101 website; acclaimed music video directors
Laurent Briet and Monkmus, as well as Stewart-Ahn himself, following up his
critically hailed video debut, the Decemberists' "16 Military Wives."
"Each interpretation is phenomenal and our hats go off to everyone
involved," says Death Cab's Ben Gibbard. "It's our hope that this project
serves as a model to both labels and bands as a way to grant the directors
the type and amount of freedom we've enjoyed in the creation of the music
"We have truly been blessed to have met so many creative and energetic
artists over the years of being a band," says Harmer. "It just seemed so
appropriate to build a project that so many artists that we admire could be
a part of and it's so inspiring to stand back and watch them work."
"It's thrilling to have so many enthusiastic artists involved," comments
guitarist Chris Walla, "and better still that they're such a varied bunch:
Some are heroes; some are exceptionally talented friends; some are
brilliant people none of us had heard of. I don't know of any projects
quite like this one, and it's a testament to Atlantic's commitment to our
artistic vision (and partial lunacy) that they've gotten behind us
completely to ensure that it happens."
"They're all so good," concludes drummer Jason McGerr. "The first rough
cut I saw blew my expectations out of the water. To read about someone
else's interpretation of your song simply isn't enough. To be given an
opportunity to see it through their eyes is astonishing."
In other Death Cab news, "PLANS" recently received a Grammy Award
nomination in the "Best Alternative Album" category, alongside fellow
nominees the Arcade Fire, Beck, Franz Ferdinand, and the White Stripes.
Other recent honors include a 2005 MTVu Best Video Woodie in the "Live
Action" category for their "Title and Registration" video (from 2003's
breakthrough "TRANSATLANTICISM.") The band has also been tapped as the
musical guest for the January 14, 2006 episode of "Saturday Night Live"
with host Scarlett Johansson.
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE -- "DIRECTIONS"
1. "Marching Bands Of Manhattan"
Director: P.R. Brown
2. "Soul Meets Body"
Director: Cat Solen
3. "Summer Skin"
4. "Different Names For The Same Thing"
Director: Autumn de Wilde
5. "I Will Follow You Into The Dark"
6. "Your Heart Is An Empty Room"
Director: Jeffrey Brown; Animated by Eliza Kinkz
7. "Someday You Will Be Loved"
Director: Ace Norton
8. "Crooked Teeth"
Director: Rob Schrab
9. "What Sarah Said"
Director: Laurent Briet
10. "Brothers On A Hotel Bed"
Director: Chris Grismer
11. "Stable Song"
Director: Aaron Stewart-Ahn
12. "Talking Like Turnstiles" (Bonus Track)
Director: Lance Bangs