Death Cab for Cutie initially appeared as a solo project created by Ben Gibbard from Bellingham. Ben wanted to become a professional musician since he was a child. Gibbard began discovering his talent as a composer at home, recording music under the pseudonym, All-Time Quarterback. The artist had a hard time gaining the attention of music lovers. Only one of his albums became popular. It was You Can Play These Songs' Chords.
Ben gained popularity on the local level. The attention inspired the musician, who decided to go further and form his own band.
In 1997, Gibbard formed Death Cab for Cutie. The initial lineup included an organ and guitar player, Cristopher Walla, a bass guitar player, Nick Harmer, and a drummer, Nathan Good. Ben borrowed the name of the song by the British rock group, The Bonzo Dog Band, which was popular back in the 1960s, as the name for the new band.
The musicians rehearsed day and night. Finally, they managed to attract the attention of other young music loves.
In 1998, Death Cab for Cutie released its debut LP, Something About Airplanes. Walla was the producer, the arranger, and the composer for the album. Together with Ben, they managed to create a top-quality pop-album with a touch of rock and amazing vocals. The artists used such musical instruments as the viola, flute, and keyboards.