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