An Interview With The National (2003)

The National

  The National est Matt Berninger, Bryan Devendorf, Scott Devendorf, Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner, deux paires de frères et un lead singer originaire de cininatti, et délocalisés sur New York City. Le groupe a déja quelques années d'activité derrière lui, même si il a été fortemenent remarqué cet automne pour la sortie de leur dernier ep Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers.
  C'est un disque d'une grande maturité musicale, enregistré par Peter Katis, déja derrière les manettes de Turn on the Bright Lights des fameux Interpol. The National ne révolutionne pas le rock, il en maîtrise tous les rouages. Rock classique et grande classe.

Sur scène, violence nerveuse et esthétique punk, le tout emmené par son charismatique chanteur Matt Berninger. Bref, Un groupe de passionnés... et pour moi une révélation de l'année.

The National

The National
Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers

Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers

Quelques liens :

  • Le officiel du Groupe.
  • Le Label Bordelais Talitres.
  • Le Label U.S.A. Brassland.
  • Le projet parallèle d'un guitariste de The National, Bryce Dessner et du violoniste Padma Newsome, The Clogs.
  • The National en concert au Ragtime à Toulouse, Les photos sont disponibles ici.

First, What is your relationship with music ?

Music is a very close friend who sticks around and watches your back when you get in trouble.

Your first musical emotion ?

The first time I remember being moved emotionally by music was hearing Olivia Newton John sing "Hopelessly Devoted." I wanted to take her away from her sadness.

A largest public will know you by your last opus "Sad songs for dirty lovers", but the band had a life before, can you tell us more about your encounter and the way you did together ?

We made a record before "Sad Songs..." that got a great deal of underground music praise but very few people could get their hands on a copy. At that time we played mostly in New York and we very far under the radar. Our fans were loyal but few. This was just as The Strokes were being discovered and soon everyone was focused on the retro-pop rebellion. We just kept writing songs and recorded "Sad Songs..." during the NYC band frenzy. Both Strokes records are brilliant, they have a very unique magical alchemy but most of the bands riding their coattails have been disappointing.

What's yours personnal musical experience/musical education (other band, other style ...) and your influences (major lp, strongest sensation, good production ...) ?

We all have very different backgrounds and influences so this question is impossible to answer. We all love Songs:Ohio (Magnolia Electric Company).

How do you work together, what is your way to make a song born ?

Many different ways. Sometimes we all tinker together until something starts to sound like a song. Other times someone will come to rehearsal with a guitar part or I'll show up with a few words and a melody. All the songs start with a small peice and we collaborate from there.

If the couple melody/lyrics seems to be mélancolic in a first approach, but yours songs are not sordidly realistic, they forge you ahead, are you optimistic or do you believe in fight ?

The record has some very bleak dark moments but it does not wallow in sadness or bitterness. There are many lights along the way to find your way out.

How is your actual tour, did you enjoy to play live ?

We loved it. Playing live is an entirely different thing than making a record. Its a nerve-rattling exhilarating experience. I occasionally lose my mind on stage. After 35 nights in a row get we get a little bit weird.

You come from NYC and before Cincinatti, so musical medias fix one's eyes on the "NYC musical place", what's your vision about this hype ?

Some of the bands are great and deserve the attention. Others are lucky. I think the focus on the New York retro scene is over. It's a relief.

Is a good place to live/create for a band ?

Yes. Finding space to rehearse is not easy but there are so many places to play so there's no excuse for not playing shows. It forces you to get off your ass and out there into the game.

What's your ambition for The National?

We want to keep making songs and try not to let our lives fall apart around us.

Matt, i heard somewhere that you lived in France, is it true and what do you think about your européan experience ?

I have not lived in France but have considered it. Being away from the US too long I start to miss things, certain foods, murder.

How the connection with the French label Talitres Records is happened ?

Our friend's Elk City recommended we send our record to Sean at Talitres. Working with Sean was good decision.

Whitch other art forms do you appreciate?

All other art forms expect sculpture. We detest sculpture. The National wants to crush all sculptures.

Do you have any current projects ?

We're recording another record in February.

Thank to the Band and Sean from Talitres

The NationalThe National©Carcassonne France