Pitchfork managed to grab The National's frontman Matt Berninger for a brief interview late last week about all things new album-based and during, he opened up on a few interesting pieces of info.
Speaking out about the as-yet untitled, May-due long-player, Berninger explained:
"We're scheduled to master it in three weeks. I'd say it's 75 percent done. But with us, the songs often change drastically in the last couple of weeks, in the mixing. We know what songs we're trying to finish, but what exactly the songs are going to end up like is still a mystery. It's the most frustrating and exciting part of the process. So from a time perspective, we are almost done, but what the thing's going to end up like, it's hard to tell.
At this point, everybody's getting attached to certain versions or arrangements or forms of songs, and everyone's getting attached to different versions. At this point, we'll be chopping songs apart, cutting them down, and then rearranging them, just to try to figure out the magic middle ground between everybody's ideas. So it's where everybody starts to just dig their feet in the sand, and it's where all the arguments happen because we know how drastically something can change at the last minute. It's easy for us to ruin a song in the last day or two of working on it."
The subject matter then moves on to title ideas and how it differs from their older material:
"Every time we have an idea for a title, it lasts a few days and then we realize how bad it is. Not long ago, we were calling it Summer Lovin' Torture Party. Thankfully, we realized that's just a stupid title. So right now, it's still untitled.
I don't think it sounds anything like Alligator, but it's less restrained than Boxer, that's for sure. I don't quite scream my head off in the way I did with "Mr. November", but I do think it's cathartic. Boxer was all tension without a whole lot of release. This builds a lot of those same kinds of tensions, but I think there's at least a little bit of bloodletting in this one. There's a lot of yelling on this record, but not quite the guttural, psychotic screams that were on songs like "Abel" and "Mr. November". I also think this record moves faster. I think it's going to be a longer record than Boxer, but hopefully it's going to feel shorter. The songs have much more momentum, somehow. It's less stately, a little more... Catchy is not quite the word, but I think this record will be fun to drive to."
Apparently, a few of the songs to be included will be titled Love Buzz, Ohio, Romantic Comedy, L.A. Cathedral, Quiet Company and Runaway. Set our excitement to stun.
The rest of the interview is well worth the read so head on over to P4K for the full conversation. They're also heading out on their first tour of the year in late-April and May, traveling to England just once for a show at the Royal Albert Hall. Those dates can be seen HERE.