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via NME

Berninger said: “It’s a record about getting older, and all the fascinations and the headaches that go with that. But it’s not grim, honestly! It’s actually pretty fun. You go to sleep knowing you’re on a coach that has to get from France to Germany in 10 hours and you wonder, ‘What if I never wake up? I have a daughter. What’ll happen to her if something happens to me?'”

He describes the sound as influenced by the “big, visceral rock sounds” of Roy Orbison, Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan.”

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Aaron Dessner said the band has received  “hate mail on Facebook” for supporting Obama. Regardless, The National’s support for Obama has not wavered.

Matt Berninger said:

“This is more important than a rock band. I know we’ve gotten responses from people (who) don’t like the fact that we’ve taken a position on it, and I don’t actually think artists or musicians necessarily have a responsibility to do that. But in our case, the five of us … talked about it and we were like, ‘Yeah, it’s worth it, for sure.’”

read the entire Berninger interview at The Lantern

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listen below:

 

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Q: Doing a political event like this, has there been any worry amongst the band that you might be alienating a segment of your fans by putting yourselves out there for a specific candidate?

No. I think to us it’s a very clear choice between President Obama and Mitt Romney. There’s really no equivocation for us towards considerations like that, as far as alienating fans who might be Republicans or not agree with our politics. We’re not interested in telling anyone what to think and we’re not a heavy-handed political band as far as our songwriting. It’s in there, but often it’s a backdrop to other issues.

But we all feel that 2008 was a  historic, positive change for the country. There’s been some political gridlock and issues that come with the recession lasting, but we really feel there’s been a lot of positive movement and change that we can be really proud of. We’re very proud to be American and to have a president like President Obama. For us it’s really a no-brainer as far as supporting campaign and we’re terrified of going backwards towards the policies of the Bush era.

(The Bush Era) had a lot to do with the formation of “Alligator” and “Boxer” and even “Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers.” All those albums were written in the Bush Era and I think our fans are quite aware of that. Most people who are fans of The National would be more Democratic, hopefully.

 

read the entire interview HERE

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via

YANP: So this will be the seventh year of music now, what are the biggest lessons that you’ve learned what do you wish you would have known?

B: When I started out I was over idealistic about it. I didn’t work through booking agents and managers you know? I went directly to artists and it turned out I could only really book friends, I guess. A lot of artist are willing to take that risk.  And I was on to something with that on some level but as the festival grew I had to book artist I didn’t know and then I can have those relations ships. But the festival is this organic, home grown, intimate event and then the reputation is that a place where you come and take risk and hang out and feel the pressure. Big festivals can be a lot of pressure because you’re playing in front of a large crowd and the media is there. People always ask me if we will move it to a bigger city and I say no because it definitely wouldn’t function in the same way. And I’ve been burned by that, by occasionally having an artist who doesn’t get it. There on tour and their tired and that’s unfortuante/ But in seven years that’s happened to me once or maybe twice.

read the entire thing by clicking below:

(more…)

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I was watching a video interview with him about The Long Count which was interesting – he said that for him, it also extended to ideas of games and combat, conflict and play in every day life. Was that of significance to you too?

AD: Yeah, definitely. I remember… early on, it was very much about games and play and tests, and we tried to affect that in the music. A lot of the music involves these chases, or mirroring – my brother and I can play guitar in really unique ways together because of how we grew up. Literally I can look at his hand and play the exact same thing or the exact opposite thing, or a key off. What usually happens is that I’m playing something and he plays a mirror or echo of it, and a lot of music is like that, and it’s extended into the ensemble also, so it’s like twins also. That extends into the film as well – you see the film, the two diamond shape films, and then they reflect down off of this mirror floor, so everything is doubled or quadrupled, so this has this interesting effect where it’s all very playful.

You must both be acutely aware of the ways in which you and Bryce work together and apart.

AD: I think we have this instinctive feeling that if we hit a wall at some point, that the other will be able to break through it. We have different tendencies: he’s much more academic about music than I am, and I’m more visceral or spontaneous. It’s probably easier for me to generate lots of new ideas, a constant stream, and in a way it’s easier for him to finish those ideas, and maybe elevate them beyond a simple idea. But then he’ll do some work and I’ll take it further. There are very few times where either of us is working on something where the either isn’t in some way part of it. Bryce is writing more orchestral work now, and some of that I’m not involved in it, some of that I am, and in some ways that’s a different exercise when you’re writing in a more traditional way, as opposed to collaborating. We’re always finishing each other’s ideas, and it works really well in The National, and in some ways it works even better in these more expansive, experimental ways. There aren’t these restraints. With The Long Count, there are a lot more musicians to bounce things out of and draw on, different voices and things. It’s liberating.

read the rest HERE

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From Uncut.com,

The National’s Bryce Dessner has revealed that the band wouldn’t have formed without REM.
In the new issue of Uncut, in stores on January 31, the guitarist explains that the legacy of the Athens, Georgia band, especially the influence of singer Michael Stipe, has allowed groups like his to flourish.
“For American musicians especially,” he says, ”they opened up a door in terms of what they symbolised.
“They provided an alternative to the mainstream, especially Michael as a frontman. The National wouldn’t have existed if REM hadn’t.”
Dessner goes on to reveal that his most treasured REM album is 1986’s ‘Lifes Rich Pageant’.
For more of Bryce Dessner on the most important albums of his life, check out the new March issue of Uncut, out January 31.

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