"I’m a happy guy, that’s why our songs are so mean and sad."
"I loved the names like, “The The” and “The Smiths and “The Clean”—those were the kind of names that were just so boring they were great. And that was what was amazing about them. I didn’t want a name like “The Arctic Monkeys” or something clever, you know? So, “The National” seemed as boring as I could come up with. Turned out to be a problem because it’s really hard to Google…"
"I think we’ll probably lose to a Muppets song, but you know, there’s no shame in that. It was really fun to see our names associated with the Academy Awards in any capacity. If we are in fact nominated that would be a blast, but none of us are crossing our fingers on that. Win Win was just a really fun project to work on. Tom McCarthy asked us to write a song for the end of the film. The whole thing was just a really good experience. So yeah, if it gets any more recognition, that would be just icing."
Matt Berninger told Rolling Stone on being shortlisted for an Oscar for best original song for Think You Can Wait
(Source: Rolling Stone)
"What I love about The National is how you can listen to a song a hundred times while truly enjoying it. And then, all of a sudden, it dawns on you, you make a connection, you discover something small or big, you have the right emotional state or experienced the right kind of experience, the lyrics describe something you can truly relate to or the melody is brilliant and you get goose bumps all over your body and for a moment everything falls together and it is overwhelming. This one song just hit the spot and will never be the same to you, and they made countless of these songs during their whole existence."
Niels de Wit (via mywhitecape)
I never write lyrics out of context with the music. I never sit with a notebook and just start writing lyrics. I do it just with my headphones on, listening to whatever music sketches they’ve sent me, singing along. Most of the time, I’m looking for rhythm and melody, and by not worrying about lyrics I’ll free associate with whatever comes to mind. I think sometimes the mood of the music that I’m singing to will pull me in directions lyrically. Often, I’ve gotten the credit or blame for the band being thought of as a dark, moody, miserablist band, or whatever we’ve been called over the years, but I think a lot of that comes from the music, and I’m just reacting to it. I will admit that I easily and happily go to some of the sentimental and melodramatic, dark places in my head and heart, but I’m reacting to the music most of the time.(x)
Matt Berninger of The National
"I don’t think of it as being a sad song, but it’s a song about someone’s relationship with their own sadness or sorrow and they, they love it, you know. There’s something about it that they’re attached to, and they value it, and need it, and so the song sort of, the ‘I don’t want to get over you’ part is not about a person, it’s about sorrow itself … ‘I don’t want to lose my sorrow.’"
Matt Berninger, The National on the song “Sorrow”
(via eggseggseggs) This explains exactly how I feel about my ‘sadness’ in a way I’ve never been able to articulate. If I’ve been happy for a long time then I start to miss that feeling of being sad. Sadness is where I am most comfortable. (via royalrokk)
"For years The National has been labeled as a gloomy kind of rock band…I think mostly because of Matt’s deep baritone voice, which even if he is singing about unicorns and butterflies, he just sounds sad most of the time."
Bryce Dessner (via putonyourbathingsuits)
"We’ve been a family of brothers and friends practically our whole lives, and a band for more than 14 years, working, touring, traveling, and playing together in clubs, small venues and, in more recent years, larger theaters and venues. Our group and whole team are very much a family — one that has worked hard and enjoyed and endured together all the ups and downs along the way."
Scott Devendorf on the bands Grammy Award Nomination
"She’s also seen me perform onstage, which I was worried about. I lose my shit and flail around like a gorilla, but she totally got it. She thought it was funny. She’s a massive Spongebob fan, so I think she sees some of him in what I do."
Matt Berninger talking about his daughter (via heartfullofliquor)
Bryce: Matt is not afraid to be emotional. There is like a certain amount of heart in them. That is part of why we were really drawn to him, initially.
Matt: I will say for the record that I only write lyrics listening to the music. So, I blame them for whatever emotional torment that they infect me with… I’m reacting. I mean, writing lyrics and writing melodies, I’m reacting to the music. I don’t have lyrics lying around that I’m waiting for music to… I only write when I’m listening to the music.
"I certainly feel a kinship with The National. I adore their music and I adore them personally. I think Matt Berninger is one of my favourite lyricists. His lyrics have a sort of self-effacing, melancholy, black humour thing going on. But are also really poignant, with these images that really resonate, that a lot of people can relate to. That line from the song England is my favourite: Famous angels never come through England."
- St Vincent