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Death Cab for Cutie: Breaking the 'Codes'

Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie Photo Credit: Getty

After a two-year respite from touring, Death Cab for Cutie is back with a new album, “Codes & Keys.”

And although the album’s music is not as guitar-driven as past efforts, guitarist Chris Walla, 35, said it retains the same unconventional take on pop/rock that has won over fans’ hearts since the first cassette tape.

The mature, subtle songs on “Codes & Keys” focus on the theme of home — a reflection on the personal lives of the band members, who are either already settled down or trying to find a place to call their own.

amNY got the news on the Death Cab tour from Walla.

How does it feel to tour again?
We’re still trying to shake the cobwebs off a little bit. I hope by the time we get to Bowery, it’ll be a well-oiled machine again.

Why the title “Codes & Keys”?
The idea of “Codes & Keys” is that everything we deal with in this life seems to involve a keypad of some sort these days. More and more, you enter a string of five numbers and you hit the pound key, and that’s the thing that gets you home.

How is this album different from previous ones?
The differences are more in process terms than they are in anything else. The idea was to not start songs with the guitar as a harmonic foundation. … The idea was to treat the guitar much more as the last piece of the puzzle whenever it made sense.

Would you ever call New York your home?
Unless you’ve grown up there and you’re born with the pace of the city somewhere in your blood, I feel like moving to New York requires giving up a piece of your identity […] and I don’t think I could do that.

You wrote more music on this album than before. Will this trend continue?
I think I will do more writing of music and pitching of music to Ben [Gibbard, the band’s frontman]. I think it worked out really well.

If you go: Death Cab for Cutie is at the Bowery Ballroom Wednesday night at 9. 6 Delancey St., 212-533-2111, sold out.

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