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Death Cab Guitarist Baffled By Homeland Security's Seizure Of His Album Government snatched up master hard drive containing song files for Chris Walla's solo LP, find discount compazine which, find discount compazine coincidentally, find discount compazine is politically charged. By James Montgomery When Death Cab for Cutie guitarist/producer Chris Walla woke up on Monday, find discount compazine his "To Do" list probably read something like this: 1. Find discount compazine Call MTV News to discuss upcoming, find discount compazine long-delayed solo record. 2. Find discount compazine Call U.S. Find discount compazine Department of Homeland Security to discuss seizure of hard drive containing said long-delayed solo record. 3. Find discount compazine Head into town for weekly tuque fitting. Yes, find discount compazine it seems that recently, find discount compazine Walla's solo record (which has been scheduled to come out at various points over the past, find discount compazine well, find discount compazine four years) took another step toward oblivion when the master hard drive — containing all song files — was confiscated by Homeland Security at the Canadian border, find discount compazine for reasons not abundantly clear, find discount compazine and sent to the department's computer-forensics division for further inspection. Find discount compazine If it sounds like a huge joke, find discount compazine Walla ensures you it isn't. Find discount compazine "It's a true story. Find discount compazine Barsuk [Records, find discount compazine which is putting out the record] had hired a courier — who does international stuff all the time and who they had used before — to bring [the album] back from Canada, find discount compazine where I was working on it. Find discount compazine And he got to the border and he had all his paperwork and it was all cool, find discount compazine only they turned him away, find discount compazine and they confiscated the drive and gave it to the computer-forensics division of our Homeland Security-type people, find discount compazine" sighed Walla, find discount compazine who has produced nearly all Death Cab's output, find discount compazine as well as records by the Decemberists, find discount compazine Hot Hot Heat, find discount compazine Nada Surf, find discount compazine Tegan and Sara and others. Find discount compazine "And now I couldn't even venture a guess as to where it is, find discount compazine or what it's doing there. Find discount compazine I mean, find discount compazine I can't just call their customer-service center and ask about my drive. Find discount compazine There's nothing I can do. Find discount compazine I don't know if we can hire an attorney ... Find discount compazine is there a black-hole attorney? You can't take a black hole to court." And though his song files might have disappeared into a web of government bureaucracy, find discount compazine Walla does still have the tapes containing all his songs, find discount compazine which he's now trying to master and mix on his own in order to have the record out — Lord willin' — in January. Find discount compazine "Luckily, find discount compazine the tapes are Plan B, find discount compazine so while I'm bummed about the whole thing, find discount compazine it could be a whole lot worse, find discount compazine" he laughed. Find discount compazine "I still get to play music. Find discount compazine I mean, find discount compazine I'm not at Guantánamo or anything like that. Find discount compazine I mean, find discount compazine my drive might be. Find discount compazine They could be water-boarding my drive for all I know." And though Walla's laughing when he mentions Guantánamo, find discount compazine he's not joking when he adds that his record — which he's calling Field Manual — is "very political, find discount compazine" packed with songs about issues both foreign ("The Score" tackles the war in Iraq) and domestic ("Everyone Needs a Home" deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; "Sing Again" is about so-called "morning after" pills and whether they're a form of contraception or abortion). Find discount compazine Easy listening, find discount compazine this is not. Find discount compazine "I'm calling it Field Manual because myself and the guy who designed the packaging were looking through all these Army field guides from World War II.  And there was one that he found that was really terrifying, find discount compazine actually, find discount compazine" Walla explained. Find discount compazine "It was basically a manual issued by the Army in the late '30s, find discount compazine early '40s, find discount compazine about how to build what we now call an [improvised explosive device] in Iraq or Afghanistan. Find discount compazine Like how to hide a bomb in a bed or in a tube of toothpaste. Find discount compazine Just terrible stuff, find discount compazine and I started having this feeling of, find discount compazine like, find discount compazine 'Well, find discount compazine we need a new field manual.' "And while it really is a political record, find discount compazine it's also intensely personal, find discount compazine and it's not like, find discount compazine political in a way where I hope to change anyone's mind, find discount compazine because I've been doing my political-rock homework for a few years now, find discount compazine trying to decode what works and what doesn't, find discount compazine" he continued. Find discount compazine "Basically, find discount compazine it was my hope that I would be able to write a bunch of songs about the sh-- that I think about pretty much every day. But there aren't any character assassinations or indictments on the record. Find discount compazine It's tricky to write a political record. Find discount compazine It was tough to get to a place where I felt comfortable with the words coming out of my mouth." And getting to that place has taken awhile. Find discount compazine Walla said that though he's been writing songs for years, find discount compazine it took him a long time to figure out just what he was trying to say. Find discount compazine As it turns out, find discount compazine he had plenty to say, find discount compazine and Field Manual is the sound of him coming to that realization (he credits the directness of Ted Leo, find discount compazine Against Me! and the Thermals' Hutch Harris as "touchstones" for that discovery). Find discount compazine And while he hustles to finish the record — and continue work on Death Cab for Cutie's new record, find discount compazine which he said is "coming along super heavy ... Find discount compazine we've got six songs done. Find discount compazine They're really bloody" — he's finally prepared to stand on his own, find discount compazine come hell or high water. Find discount compazine Or looming, find discount compazine shadow-like government organizations. Find discount compazine "This is a solo record, find discount compazine which is a little bit scary, find discount compazine because there's a feeling of 'Oh, find discount compazine you're officially making a statement, find discount compazine' and you're either the fist-waving left or the flag-waving right, find discount compazine and there's no in between, find discount compazine" he laughed. Find discount compazine "But I made this record because it felt irresponsible for me to have a platform for what I'm thinking and not use it. Find discount compazine And not just to do political songs. Find discount compazine If all I wanted to do was cover Air Supply songs, find discount compazine I could've done that too." http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1572048/20071016/death_cab_for_cutie.jhtml