Truth to Power

Death Cab for Cutie v. Homeland Security?

Death Cab For Cutie 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, which, coincidentally, is politically charged.

Yes, it seems that recently, Walla’s solo record (which has been scheduled to come out at various points over the past, well, 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, for reasons not abundantly clear, and sent to the department’s computer-forensics division for further inspection.

If it sounds like a huge joke, Walla ensures you it isn’t.

“It’s a true story. Barsuk [Records, 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, where I was working on it. And he got to the border and he had all his paperwork and it was all cool, only they turned him away, and they confiscated the drive and gave it to the computer-forensics division of our Homeland Security-type people,” sighed Walla, who has produced nearly all Death Cab’s output, as well as records by the Decemberists, Hot Hot Heat, Nada Surf, Tegan and Sara and others. “And now I couldn’t even venture a guess as to where it is, or what it’s doing there. I mean, I can’t just call their customer-service center and ask about my drive. There’s nothing I can do. I don’t know if we can hire an attorney … is there a black-hole attorney? You can’t take a black hole to court.” </em>


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