In a new interview for Noisey, at Mexico City's Corona Capital festival, the pair talk about a "rag-tag" record they made together a decade ago—called Blood on the 4-Tracks.
It included early versions of the Bright Eyes' Digital Ash in a Digital Urn song "Gold Mine Gutted" and Rilo Kiley's More Adventurous song "It Just Is". "We stayed up for like two days and made a weird record, which I don't think I've ever heard since then." It was the week that Elliott Smith died.“And I remember being on the flight home, going, ‘You know what? I woke up the next morning and I was like, ‘That’s it. I have lost the ability to control this.'” These days, Gibbard prefers running long distances — he recently completed the L. Marathon in under four hours — and spending time with his wife, Deschanel, whom he started dating soon after hopping on the wagon.“Quitting had been such a positive change in my life,” he says. It’s not like that.” Getting sober has had a big impact on Gibbard’s writing for the band’s new Codes and Keys (out May 31), their least mopey album yet. Whether people are along for the ride is to be determined, but I’m proud that this record is a more even emotional palette than Narrow Stairs was.His thirst for alcohol was partly borne out by the intensity of writing music for Death Cab, especially during the sessions for Narrow Stairs, which he calls the group’s most “depressing record.” “Writing is such a solitary act,” Gibbard says.“You spend hours alone, only with your thoughts, and you torture yourself.All throughout the spring and summer of 2013, Lewis performed alongside and sang backup vocals for her friends and collaborators Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello, the digi-pop project’s core members.“It was the perfect way back to myself,” the singer says.At one point, Oberst fist-bumps Lewis, offering props for her continuous hard work ethic.When Lewis says she looks forward to Oberst's new songs, he says, "I look forward to being your friend til the day we die." Lewis and Oberst both released new solo records this year: The Voyager and Upside Down Mountain.In the three years since Death Cab for Cutie released Narrow Stairs, frontman Ben Gibbard has turned his life around: He married his sweetheart, actress and singer Zooey Deschanel, began running in marathons, and overcame a serious drinking problem, the singer reveals in the June issue of SPIN.Speaking with writer John Sellers, Gibbard opens up about how he kicked the bottle in 2008 and replaced that vice with a healthier addiction to running.