Skip to content

EXCLUSIVE: Death Cab’s Chris Walla Covers Led Zep!


On the upcoming compilation From the Land of Ice and Snow — The Songs of Led Zeppelin, 52 musicians from Portland and the Pacific Northwest offer covers of Zep’s huge catalogue, including everything from “Stairway to Heaven” and “Tangerine” to “Dazed and Confused” and “Moby Dick.” Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla is one of the biggest names to contribute to the three-disc set — which comes out on October 9 — and SPIN has an exclusive stream of Walla’s take on “In the Evening.” Check it out below!

Walla tells SPIN he preferred tackling a deeper Led Zep cut like “In the Evening” over a classic like “Stairway.” “I am definitely a late Led Zep apologist,” he says, referring to Zep fans’ cold response to the band’s later records like In Through the Out Door, on which “Evening” appears.

For his cover, Walla offers an awesome reinterpretation of Zep’s version: a dazzling ballad instead of a heavy, synth-laden groove. Walla also eliminated one verse and the entire bridge.

“It’s already really slow and long and I didn’t think anyone was going to go for it,” says Walla. “I also played everything myself and I think if I called myself a meat-and-potatoes drummer, that would be really generous. I wanted my version to be simple enough that I could actually put it together. I like slow and small.”

Check out Walla’s take on “In the Evening” below and pre-order From the Land of Ice and Snow — which also features M. Ward and Laura Veirs — here.

LISTEN: Chris Walla, “In the Evening”