Ben Gibbard Speaks on Possible Demolition of Seattle's Legendary Showbox

“It’s really unfortunate that the city I live in is more concerned with housing for rich people, than the legacy of music”

July 26, 2018

"It's really unfortunate that the city I live in is more concerned with housing for rich people, than the legacy of music," Ben Gibbard shared at Death Cab For Cutie’s Alt Pop-Up Session inside Atlantic Records in NYC. The comment comes on the heels of the news that legendary Seattle venue, The Showbox, which has hosted everyone from DCFC themselves to Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Daft Punk, and more, is in danger of demolition to make room for a yet another downtown high-rise. 

Of course it’s a somewhat poetic situation for the Death Cab frontman, currently on a radio promo tour in support of the band's latest single, "Gold Rush," which directly addresses the aggressive gentrification happening in Seattle. "People know Seattle as much for its music as much as anything else," Gibbard continues, “And that this legendary venue would be raised so that rich people can live down by the Pike Place Market is really upsetting to me."

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Photo by Ryan Castle
Already the Seattle music community has banded together, launching a petition to declare the venue a local landmark and block the demolition of the room, which Gibbard says has "defined Seattle music for decades." Members of Soundgarden, Sub Pop Records, and more have also vocally supported the venue and a need to preserve what little remains of Seattle’s quickly dwindling cultural identity.

"We kind of connect our memories to the geography around us…" Gibbard adds, in closing, "and you know, you walk down the street in your town and you go, 'that was the place where this important thing happened in my life,' and 'the band, we used to go to this place to have beers after practice,' 'met the love of my life in that place,' and now - 'oh, thats a wine bar, and thats a Starbucks, and thats a condo.'"

The scenario draws obvious parallels to the death of New York’s famed CBGBs, and likely countless other reverential rooms across America. If you'd like to voice your support, you can sign the petition here.

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