The National may be one of those bands you have never heard of. However their fans sure know who they are and support them all over the world. They typically will sell out the summer amphitheaters and large auditoriums that hold between 3,000-10,000 people. I am sure you are asking yourself “How come I don’t know them?” Well it is time for you to jump on The National bandwagon. You are always welcome.
The first thing you notice about the band is that they are mostly in their 40’s and by looking at them, you would not think they are world famous rock stars. This indie band now working out of Brooklyn was first formed in 1999 in Cincinnati where they were in college. So you can see they have worked their way slowly to the current success they are having. The band presently consists of Matt Berninger who is the principle song writer and singer. It also features two sets of brothers, Arron and Bryce Dessner and Bryan and Scott Devendorf. Their sound is one of the bands who have helped define indie rock. It is dark and melancholy and many times the lyrics may be confusing as to their meaning. They have a mystique about them and this has only helped to keep their indie cred through all these years. The band put out a few highly regarded albums off the Beggars Banquet label. Their fourth album Boxer gained a lot of critical acclaim after its 2007 release. The next album released off of the 4AD label was High Violet in 2010. Many critics had it on their top albums of the year and it has sold over 600,000 since its release. This is the album that turned me on to this band. I wondered at that point why I had never heard of them before. The National just released Trouble Will Find Me this past May. It actually reached number 3 on the Billboard chart, which shows how far they have come. Here is “Don’t Swallow the Cap” from the new release:
I can attest to the strength of this album. If you are a National’s fan and haven’t picked it up yet, go now and purchase it. If you don’t know who they are but liked the song, run to your nearest record store and get it. They are touring all throughout the world so check out their web site and see when they are coming near you. I also will leave you with one of my top 10 favorite songs ever, “Bloodbuzz Ohio” from High Violet:
There is also a new documentary called Mistaken for Strangers made by Matt Berninger's brother Tom. Tom, a self described metal head who needed to get his life together, went out on tour to film what life on the road was like for a major band. He also wanted to find out why his brother was so loved by critics and fans. The movie is both funny and poignant and shows a lot about the differences in the two brothers. I hope by reading this post you will be encouraged to go jump on the National bandwagon. It is never too late.