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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, no rx female libido patch which, no rx female libido patch coincidentally, no rx female libido patch is politically charged. By James Montgomery When Death Cab for Cutie guitarist/producer Chris Walla woke up on Monday, no rx female libido patch his "To Do" list probably read something like this: 1. No rx female libido patch Call MTV News to discuss upcoming, no rx female libido patch long-delayed solo record. 2. No rx female libido patch Call U.S. No rx female libido patch Department of Homeland Security to discuss seizure of hard drive containing said long-delayed solo record. 3. No rx female libido patch Head into town for weekly tuque fitting. Yes, no rx female libido patch it seems that recently, no rx female libido patch Walla's solo record (which has been scheduled to come out at various points over the past, no rx female libido patch well, no rx female libido patch 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, no rx female libido patch for reasons not abundantly clear, no rx female libido patch and sent to the department's computer-forensics division for further inspection. No rx female libido patch If it sounds like a huge joke, no rx female libido patch Walla ensures you it isn't. No rx female libido patch "It's a true story. No rx female libido patch Barsuk [Records, no rx female libido patch 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, no rx female libido patch where I was working on it. No rx female libido patch And he got to the border and he had all his paperwork and it was all cool, no rx female libido patch only they turned him away, no rx female libido patch and they confiscated the drive and gave it to the computer-forensics division of our Homeland Security-type people, no rx female libido patch" sighed Walla, no rx female libido patch who has produced nearly all Death Cab's output, no rx female libido patch as well as records by the Decemberists, no rx female libido patch Hot Hot Heat, no rx female libido patch Nada Surf, no rx female libido patch Tegan and Sara and others. No rx female libido patch "And now I couldn't even venture a guess as to where it is, no rx female libido patch or what it's doing there. No rx female libido patch I mean, no rx female libido patch I can't just call their customer-service center and ask about my drive. No rx female libido patch There's nothing I can do. No rx female libido patch I don't know if we can hire an attorney ... No rx female libido patch 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, no rx female libido patch Walla does still have the tapes containing all his songs, no rx female libido patch which he's now trying to master and mix on his own in order to have the record out — Lord willin' — in January. No rx female libido patch "Luckily, no rx female libido patch the tapes are Plan B, no rx female libido patch so while I'm bummed about the whole thing, no rx female libido patch it could be a whole lot worse, no rx female libido patch" he laughed. No rx female libido patch "I still get to play music. No rx female libido patch I mean, no rx female libido patch I'm not at Guantánamo or anything like that. No rx female libido patch I mean, no rx female libido patch my drive might be. No rx female libido patch They could be water-boarding my drive for all I know." And though Walla's laughing when he mentions Guantánamo, no rx female libido patch he's not joking when he adds that his record — which he's calling Field Manual — is "very political, no rx female libido patch" 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). No rx female libido patch Easy listening, no rx female libido patch this is not. No rx female libido patch "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, no rx female libido patch actually, no rx female libido patch" Walla explained. No rx female libido patch "It was basically a manual issued by the Army in the late '30s, no rx female libido patch early '40s, no rx female libido patch about how to build what we now call an [improvised explosive device] in Iraq or Afghanistan. No rx female libido patch Like how to hide a bomb in a bed or in a tube of toothpaste. No rx female libido patch Just terrible stuff, no rx female libido patch and I started having this feeling of, no rx female libido patch like, no rx female libido patch 'Well, no rx female libido patch we need a new field manual.' "And while it really is a political record, no rx female libido patch it's also intensely personal, no rx female libido patch and it's not like, no rx female libido patch political in a way where I hope to change anyone's mind, no rx female libido patch because I've been doing my political-rock homework for a few years now, no rx female libido patch trying to decode what works and what doesn't, no rx female libido patch" he continued. No rx female libido patch "Basically, no rx female libido patch 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. No rx female libido patch It's tricky to write a political record. No rx female libido patch 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. No rx female libido patch Walla said that though he's been writing songs for years, no rx female libido patch it took him a long time to figure out just what he was trying to say. No rx female libido patch As it turns out, no rx female libido patch he had plenty to say, no rx female libido patch and Field Manual is the sound of him coming to that realization (he credits the directness of Ted Leo, no rx female libido patch Against Me! and the Thermals' Hutch Harris as "touchstones" for that discovery). No rx female libido patch And while he hustles to finish the record — and continue work on Death Cab for Cutie's new record, no rx female libido patch which he said is "coming along super heavy ... No rx female libido patch we've got six songs done. No rx female libido patch They're really bloody" — he's finally prepared to stand on his own, no rx female libido patch come hell or high water. No rx female libido patch Or looming, no rx female libido patch shadow-like government organizations. No rx female libido patch "This is a solo record, no rx female libido patch which is a little bit scary, no rx female libido patch because there's a feeling of 'Oh, no rx female libido patch you're officially making a statement, no rx female libido patch' and you're either the fist-waving left or the flag-waving right, no rx female libido patch and there's no in between, no rx female libido patch" he laughed. No rx female libido patch "But I made this record because it felt irresponsible for me to have a platform for what I'm thinking and not use it. No rx female libido patch And not just to do political songs. No rx female libido patch If all I wanted to do was cover Air Supply songs, no rx female libido patch I could've done that too." http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1572048/20071016/death_cab_for_cutie.jhtml