Chris Walla

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Chris Walla
Chris Walla 2.jpeg
Background information
Birth name Christopher Ryan Walla
Born (1975-11-02) November 2, 1975 (age 38)
Bothell, Washington
Genres Indie rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1994–present
Labels Barsuk
Associated acts Death Cab for Cutie
Martin Youth Auxiliary

Christopher Ryan Walla (born November 2, 1975) is an American musician and music producer, most notable for being the guitarist for the band Death Cab for Cutie. He is also a former DJ of KCWU, 88.1 The Burg. Walla has also been a prolific producer in the Indie rock community, earning production credits on dozens of albums in addition to Death Cab for Cutie's discography.

Musical career[edit]


Early bands[edit]

While at Bothell High School in the early 1990s Chris started a program called Open Microphone, a noontime forum for the arts with BHS Creative Writing teacher Laura Drumheller. These noon time shows allowed any student to take the stage and perform.Chris regularly performed as well as serving as MC of the shows. One performance by Chris included a song by PJ Harvey. These early Open Microphones served as the impetus for many more. The noontime shows continued for over twenty years moving from Bothell High School to Inglemoor High School when teacher Drumheller transferred to Inglemoor.[1] Walla was in a short-lived band called The Wallflowers, not to be confused with The Wallflowers (of California). Later, in 2001, he was an early member of the Seattle, Washington band The Long Winters.

On August 13, 2014, after 17 years with Death Cab for Cutie, Chris Walla decided to part ways with the band.[2] He states that he plans to "...continue making music, producing records, and erring on the side of benevolence and beauty whenever possible."

Solo projects[edit]

Walla has recorded a lot of solo material, some of which has been released under the moniker Martin Youth Auxiliary. Most of these efforts, however, have never been intended for general release.[3] Under this name, one cassette was recorded and released in 1999 on Elsinor Records; only several dozen copies were made. Martin Youth Auxiliary shows are also very rare, but there are few that have not been recorded. In the past, Walla has stated plans to release a Martin Youth Auxiliary record, but his first solo album was eventually released under his own name.

On January 29, 2008, Walla released Field Manual on Barsuk Records. Barsuk has made the track "Sing Again" from Field Manual available for free download from their website. Before its release, it was reported that Field Manual would feature two tracks that were recorded for Death Cab for Cutie's album Plans,[4] but whether this is the case is unconfirmed.


Chris Walla founded his own recording studio located within his home in Portland, Oregon named the Alberta Court. Prior to moving to Portland, from 2000 to 2005, he was the owner/proprietor of Seattle's legendary recording studio, the Hall of Justice, where Death Cab and many NW luminaries (Nirvana, etc.) recorded over the years. In 2012, Walla began rebuilding the Hall of Justice after moving back to Seattle.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Chris married knitwear designer and illustrator Dianna Potter [6] in early 2013.[7][8]



Selected credits[edit]


  1. ^ Nystrom, Andy. "Death Cab for Cutie rocker turns up the giving volume for Northshore YMCA". Bothell Reporter. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Reed, Ryan. "Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla Leaves Band After 17 Years". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  3. ^ 'Chris Walla'. (1970-01-02). Retrieved on July 7, 2011.
  4. ^ 'Death Cab For Cutie star preps solo album'. (2007-01-25). Retrieved on July 7, 2011.
  5. ^ 'Q&A: Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla on the Obama Campaign, New Solo Album'. (2012-09-09). Retrieved on April 30, 2013.
  6. ^ "Paper Tiger". Paper Tiger. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  7. ^ Shapiro, Nina (2013-11-11). "Seattle News and Events | Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla Recruits for". Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  8. ^ "Potter - Walla - Life". 2013-03-10. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 

External links[edit]