Old buddies Ben Gibbard and Mark Kozelek are also very much pen pals, something they revealed last November when they published “The Thread,” i.e., a series of email correspondences discussing things like living in California and the gentrification of San Francisco, among other things. Now the two musicians have shared another email “thread,” where they talk about life on the road, music they’re currently listening to, and how Gibbard never had a chance to meet the late Elliott Smith (he claims to have been too shy at the time). Here’s a quick look at the conversation:
Kozelek on Isaac Brock and Run the Jewels:
I met Isaac Brock in Austin, and we talked about life insurance and making albums. He thanked me for making Tiny Cities, and that made my day! I also met the Run the Jewels guys, and they were very funny and cool. Owen Ashworth sang 3 songs with us in Chicago last night. That was great. I love his music!
Gibbard on wishing he’d met Smith:
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.
Kozelek on boxing:
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.
Gibbard details a crush on Helium’s Mary Timony:
There’s a lyric on our first album that name checks Mary Timony from Helium, a person whom to this day I have never met. The song is about an old girlfriend who was a huge fan of hers (I was too). When we played Boston for the first time in August of 1999, Mary was inexplicably one of maaaaybe 50 people at the show. She was most likely there to see one of the other bands, but at the time I was too dumb to figure that out. I was so fucking nervous when we played the song in question (“Your Bruise”) that I couldn’t look at her.
Aaand Kozelek on Australia:
When I travel that far, I want to end up in a place that’s exotic and different. That’s why I’ve never been nuts about Australia. It’s so far to go to end up in a place where they drink beer and eat meat and potatoes, and look and act pretty much like everyone I grew up around in Ohio.