Here are a couple links to two interviews done this year with Matt that take a closer look into the process of making albums, his take on the sadness frequently associated with the band, and why The National chose to create a track for the Paul Giamatti film “Win Win”.
Here’s a sample:
How has your personal definition of success changed from the release of the first album in 2001 to now?
Matt: Back then, it was just getting anybody to notice us at all, which took a long, long time. In the beginning, all we wanted to do was have some people listen to us so we could at least know we made some tiny scratch in the history of rock and roll even if we were forgotten the next day. Our definition now is somehow trying to avoid turning horrible. Our biggest motivation is fear of writing a bad record. I think at some point we’re not going to know and my biggest fear is not being able to recognize whether your own songs are good or not. My definition of success now is to figure out a way to have the band continue, but without it ruining the rest of my life. I think all of us are trying to figure that out. It’s easy for your life to get lopsided and there are plenty of really successful, miserable musicians.
To read the rest of the articles: