Nick Harmer of Death Cab for Cutie expresses doubt about a lot of things. But, in a life and career where nothing is certain, what’s one thing he knows? That NBC’s "Law & Order: SVU" is as addicting as crack.

The ever-polite and humble bassist admits to a guilty pleasure in crime shows such as the aforementioned ("I can’t stop watching whenever it’s on!" he exclaims, expounding on Ice-T’s acting skills). But, truthfully, he’s rarely content, or even allowed, to be a couch potato, given the pressure that has come with Death Cab’s ever-increasing fame and the release of the highly-anticipated new record, Plans.

Coming from a band whose frontman Ben Gibbard once said, bluntly, "I don’t think we have any mainstream crossover potential" – and rightfully so, as Death Cab spent years flying under popular music’s radar – expectations of the band are now astronomically high. Harmer, though, insists of Ben’s statement, "I think we still believe it!"

Death Cab, who had only seen moderate success on indie label Barsuk, shot to fame with its fourth record, 2003’s Transatlanticism. The band received glowing reviews across the board and legions of new fans, not to mention some semi-awkward, but welcome, exposure by way of Fox’s hit show "The OC" (they performed at the fictional "Bait Shop" after receiving multiple shout-outs from Seth Cohen, the show’s resident nerd-hottie).

On what it feels like to have "made it" with Death Cab, Harmer hedges at the term, explaining, "When someone says that you’ve ‘made it,’ it sounds like you’ve … reached the place where you can sort of sit back and coast, and have this fun ride and everything’s great. For us, you know – I worry ten times more, and have ten times more sleepless nights."

Despite early qualms with moving to a major label (even now, a wary Harmer confesses, "We certainly have our guard up"), the band has just unleashed Plans through music giant Atlantic Records. It continues the tradition of Transatlanticism with its rich, impeccable production by guitarist Chris Walla and introspective lyrics from Gibbard, also of the side-project the Postal Service – not to leave out drummer Jason McGerr, who brings the same tight beats to his second album with Death Cab.

Harmer initially speaks of Plans with confidence, saying he’s "extraordinarily happy with it. I think it’s our best record. I really feel like we put a lot into this record, and we played our hearts out and wrote some really great lyrics, and I’m very proud of it."

So the fans should love it, right? "Whether or not the world does, well, that’s a whole other story," he says wryly, laughing.

Despite his worries about maintaining their success, Harmer, who in the early stages of Death Cab gave up pursuing a doctorate in English to "chase the ghost" of being a successful musician, is in near disbelief about their level of recognition. He recalls, "When we played our first show outside of Bellingham, where we formed in Seattle … there were people that showed up to watch our band play and I was like, ‘Yeah, we’ve made it! Someone in a different city knows who we are!’ So everything, really, has been sort of icing on the top."

That additional icing has surprised everyone, including Harmer and his bandmates. But Harmer says they all possess the same mixed emotions toward their current popularity.

"It takes a lot to have a sort of creative life. … You wonder, at any point, is it going to end? Rock ’n’ roll has a shelf life, when will it happen to us? I don’t know! I don’t know!" Harmer says, his voice rising in mock-hysteria, only half-kidding.

Harmer’s parting words exhibit his tendency toward apprehension, but also the down-to-earth Death Cab way: "I hope people like the record. I hope they get it."

Plans is currently available. Death Cab for Cutie will play the Wiltern LG Nov. 11, in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.deathcabforcutie.com.