Songs To Learn And Sing - The National Interview
The National live at the Olympia, Dublin, 01/11/07
This interview with the National's Matt Berninger is from November 19, 2005. The band had just released their third album, Alligator and were back in Ireland for the first time in three years. In late 2005 the band were on a bit of a role. Having signed to Beggars Banquet they had a recording budget for the first time and as the quotes on the flyer below show, Alligator was picking up some great reviews. It would go on to be voted one of the albums of 2005 by most music magazines.
2005 Alligator Flyer
Three years of hard touring had finally paid off and when the band got to Dublin for this show they were pretty surprised to see a sold out sign at Whelan's door. In late December 2002 the band had played in the Cobblestone in Dublin and the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork at the tail end of a UK and Irish tour. The Triskel gig on December 17 was attended by about 10 people, but I think all of us that night were completely blown away by the band's performance. It was the last night of a long tour and even though there were only a few people present the band gave it their all. I think we all bought something from the merch stand that night. The stickers below are from that tour.
In the interview Matt discusses the formation of the band, how he ended up singing, the band's career to date, recording Alligator, touring and he had this to say about one of my favourite tracks off the Cherry Tree EP, Murder me Rachael: "Rachael's actually my sister, It was written at a point where she had given me a lot of advice on how to hold on to someone that I was sort of obsessed with. I did not heed her advice and the relationship did fall apart, so Murder Me Rachael is about - I didn't do what she told me to do and it ruined everything. It's one of our more angry songs, an absurd anger, there's a death involved at the end and it's all fantasy."