Ben Gibbard & Mark Kozelek Discuss St. Vincent, Modest Mouse, & Elliott Smith In Another Published Email Thread
Last November, Ben Gibbard and Mark Kozelek shared a chain of email exchanges about alienating their fans, living in California, and the gentrification of San Francisco. In the latest installment of The Thread, Ben Gibbard and Kozelek correspond about their lives on the road and the difficulties of touring (Kozelek claims to be “Europed the fuck out”) along with a slew of other topics. They spend a good deal of their word count complimenting other musicians, from the majesty of St. Vincent and Modest Mouse’s live performances, to their adoration for Mary Timony (Helium, Ex-Hex). Gibbard also bemoans never meeting Elliott Smith, claiming that he was too shy when the opportunity initially presented itself.
I’m very sad to say I never met Elliott Smith. Back in 1998, he and Janet Weiss came to a show we were playing at EJ’s in Portland. I was way too anxious to introduce myself to either of them. I always thought I’d get another chance to meet him, but I never did. Very sad.
The most engaging part of the conversation is when the duo discuss sports. We already know that Gibbard is really, really into running, a fact that Kozelek admires though he claims to be more of a walking type. According to Gibbard, Jenny Lewis is a boxing fan, which Kozelek says he identifies with.
I identify with boxing because of the loner aspect. If you lose, it’s on you, not the guys in your corner. No matter what, the loss falls on your shoulders. And when the win is big, even though others were involved, it’s still something you feel largely responsible for, and the victory is yours.
You can read the entire exchange here and check out a recently uploaded video of Sun Kil Moon performing at the Troubadour in L.A. back in 2006 below.