Posts Tagged ‘interview’

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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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St Vincent goes into the crowd and goes wild. well worth watching.

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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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In an interview with London Free Press, Matt discusses how the band has been working on their new material, and he also looks to how far they’ve come and the modest success they’ve achieved.

Click on the link above to read the entire interview, here are a couple of snippets:

How does the new material you’ve been working on compare with your older songs?
Aaron has given me about 10 ideas so far. He seems to be in some sort of really weird creative space. He recently had a baby, so maybe it’s a lack of sleep. He’s wired differently. The songs he’s given me are much less cerebral and academic and much more immediate and visceral than usual. I’m in love with them. I just spent all night listening over and over to some things he sent. I think they’re some of the best things he’s ever written. And I think it might be because he’s not thinking about it that much. He isn’t putting everything through the filter of Important Music as he has in the past. The music just seems to be working on a pure gut level.

Slowly but surely, you’ve been getting more popular and successful with every album. How are you dealing with the approach of fame?
You mean, with not turning into rich a–holes? (Laughs) I don’t think we’ve changed that much. I know I’ve gotten grumpier. But that’s just from spending so much time on a bus with a bunch of grown men.
Everybody gets a little grumpy. But when we started the band I was already 30, so I never fell into any of the traps or pitfalls that can happen to young people when they’re in a successful rock band. We’ve done shows with The Strokes and seen the crazy world that surrounds them. It’s great and exciting — your fantasy of what an awesome rock band is. But we’ve always felt like we never will be that big, you know. And that’s OK. I know I’m not going to be an astronaut either.

The band will play a sold-out show at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom tomorrow night. I am so excited to see them again.

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It’s more like a conversation than an interview. Aaron talks a lot about The National:

It feels like your music is more organic on record than our music. There’s more of an alchemy going on, with accidents and more interactive experiments happening. It feels more live to me. Our recordings, you feel that it’s been, not labored, but you feel that it’s been constructed in a way where sometimes it’s hard for us to create the feeling that this was done in a room. Because the music is written long before any vocals are written, or any vocal melodies. Like “Terrible Love,” what’s on the record is my demo, and Matt sang over it. And for a long time he sang some Nirvana lyrics over it. I liked how shitty it sounded; it’s just this weird, muffled, hazy thing. And I think I was probably overly attached to the sound. The electric guitar sounds there, I think I had on a bunch of different pedals, and I was looping myself as I played, and got this woofy drone beneath it that was hard to make sound that good. And Bryan drummed to it, and there was only one mic up, and he only drummed for 30 seconds or something. It was hard to convince him to play again, so we just ended up using it, and we all liked it. It was either going to be first on the record, or it wasn’t going to be on the record, because it’s this weird, harsh thing.

We played it on the Jimmy Fallon show, and it was the first time we’d ever played it. And actually the label was like, “Don’t play that song. Play ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio,’ the single.” And we were like, “No, we’re going to play this song.” And we played it, and we were like, “Uh-oh, we might have fucked up here.” Because we realized then it was going to be this live rager, and we play it really well. Eventually we did re-record it for use in Europe on the radio, but I kind of hate doing that. I still much prefer the recorded version that’s on the record, because it reminds me of originally doing it. Like you were saying with “Brothers,” I like that it feels more spontaneous than other stuff we do sounds. I think it’s great that bands have lots of different versions, and especially doing things live take on a new dynamic.

read the entire thing HERE

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Matt gets vetoed a lot during the band’s songwriting process

via Popmatters,

“The National have difficulty crafting their albums because the members are like ‘different countries’ where Beringer claims he is ‘Iran’. As Gawande succinctly put it, ‘It doesn’t sound like any fun at all’. Asked what they enjoy, the band suggested that few of the members enjoy the performance. ‘In front of people under the lights’ isn’t a natural setting but they appreciate it when they sink ‘into the songs’ and create a connection with the audience.”

Watch the band perform “Terrible love” at the New Yorker Festival HERE

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