September 7, 2017


#TBT 2011: The National Talk 'High Violet' Success & Avoiding 'Trying Too Hard'

In honor of The National returning with their seventh studio album, Sleep Well Beast, this Friday, take a look back at Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner's 2011 interview with Fuse, in which they discussed the success of High Violet.

"[The success] definitely feels different...With the last three records—Alligator and then Boxer—there was a big jump, and then Boxer to High Violet, there's an even bigger jump that's happening," Dessner explains. "I think we still play the same way we've always played, where we just put everything we have into it."

Berninger described the band's recording process as "sort of a lab situation, where we're tinkering and trying all kinds of different sounds and ideas," emphasizing that they definitely do not "start jamming randomly" in a room.

But the ability to discover and preserve "accidents" in the studio has helped the group find balance. "With our music, if it sounds like you're trying too hard, you ruin it," Dessner says.

Next, revisit Fuse's Lollapalooza 2013 interview with Berninger, who discussed filming "Graceless" at his parents' house and dealing with "a lot of near-deaths":