Monday, September 18, 2006
In The Studio - The National: MAGNET Oct/Nov '06
Lightning can strike twice, even in a vacuum. Or at least that's the rationale behind the National's return to Bridgeport, Conn., where the Brooklyn quintet recorded parts of last year's critically acclaimed beast Alligator with producer Peter Katis (Mercury Rev, Interpol).
"The town we're in, there isn't a lot," says frontman Matt Berninger. "It's good to work in this cocoon way and kind of go crazy and be in that zone to find interesting things." Not only does the band rarely leave the porch of Katis' Tarquin Studios, the members work separately within the Victorian-style home before piecing together individual ideas at the end of the day.
"The band doesn't have a specific songwriter, and nobody claims any kind of ownership over the songs," says Berninger. "Sometimes it's for the worst, but we will usually find the song. We are right in the middle of the mess of finding the center of the song and the magical stuff."
Still, the National's lovelorn lyrics come from Berninger's brain, and he insists the new record, due in March on Beggars Banquet, won't have him dwelling on the depressed.
"I was obsessed with romantic awkward situations, and I still am to a certain extent," he says. "I feel like I don't need to write a song about that so much. But to be honest, there are a few songs going into that territory."
Southern-bred folkmaster Jim White is also in Connecticut, working with producers Joe Pernice and Michael Deming (Beachwood Sparks, Silver Jews) at the latter's CharterOak Studios. White is backed by members of New York City roots-rock collective Ollabelle, and the record should be ready for a March release on V2.
The National - Slipping Husband.mp3