When Death Cab For Cutie vocalist Ben Gibbard decided he’d had enough of battling with sound issues at a gig in South Carolina last week, he ripped out his earpiece, threw his guitar down and walked off stage.
The tantrum left many wondering what precisely had been the cause of the walkout – which put an abrupt end to their track Soul Meets Body only halfway through it (though in fairness they would later return to the stage for an encore).
Now Death Cab’s bass player Nick Harmer has opened up on what caused the issue in an interview with Billboard at Firefly Music Festival on the weekend.
“There’s too much mystery surrounding it,” Harmer says in the interview. He continues that the whole incident has been blown way out of proportion for what was realistically only “the last 20 seconds of the last song” of the set.
As for what prompted Gibbard to leave the stage, “all of Ben’s equipment failed, at the exact unrelated moment there was a fight right in front of us”.
Harmer goes on to explain why the rest of the band didn’t remain on stage to play out the rest of the song. “We’re all feeling a little skittish after Orlando and things were just – we weren’t sure what was happening.
“Suddenly there was this moment… everyone was pointing at the ground and security guards were pulling people out.
“So we stop as a band, thinking someone’s hurt or something’s happening, but that just happened to coincide with the same other thing that was happening with Ben, which was all of this gear problem. So, we just left the stage, did a re-set, and then we came back out and played the encore we were gonna play anyway.
“It was just this weird freak-out moment, then it calmed back down.”
Check out the interview in full, below.
Watch: Ben Gibbard Onstage Meltdown