HOME SOUNDcheck GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore


  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

The National expands its sound, image on new album

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013

» See more SOUND CHECK

Confidence is the defining factor for "Trouble Will Find Me," the sixth album by Ohio-formed indie rockers The National -- at least as far as frontman Matt Berninger is concerned.

"There are some songs here that we might not have put on other records, but this time we had the confidence to chase them," Berninger says of the set, which debuted at a career-high No. 3 on the Billboard 200 after its mid-May release. "Songs like 'I Need My Girl' or 'Pink Rabbits' -- a long, melodically piano-driven thing. We'd never written a song like that, and now we're playing these shows and these songs are rising to the top and being, like, fan favorite.

"So there's a huge, really interesting evolution or just shift in our sort of confidence in terms of what kind of songs to try. Whereas before what we thought were the safest songs were always the rocking, uptempo, drum-driven songs, which still connect, but now we can do other stuff, and that's been great. We feel like we've kind of grown in some different ways on this record."

Berninger and his bandmates -- who were also the subject of a new documentary, "Mistaken For Strangers," by Berninger's brother Tom -- also hope that the greater diversity of material will expand the audience's perception of The National, which has said has been an issue since the group came together during 1999 in Cincinnati, subsequently relocating to Brooklyn.

"Over the years there have been different labels that have been stuck on us that we didn't really like," says Berninger, 42, who now lives in Venice, Calif. "First it was Americana, then it was 'gloomy' or 'miserabilists.' All those were things we were definitely trying to shake off, and a lot of our thoughts going into making records over the years were attempts to try to avoid certain things because we didn't want people to call us that anymore.

"With this record we stopped worrying about our 'brands' as a band and stopped worrying about what sort of labels people might attach to us and just stopped being self-conscious. We realized we are who we are and we just pursued the songs, which was better all the way around."

The National closes Laneway at 9:40 p.m. on the Derrick Stage. The St. Jerome's Laneway Festival Detroit takes place Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester Hills. Gates open at 11 a.m. and music starts at 12:40 p.m. Tickets are $79.50 general admission, $199 VIP. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com or www.detroit.lanewayfestival.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.

© Copyright MediaNews Group, Inc. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Arbitration