Matt Berninger Gives Update on Next National Album

Matt Berninger Gives Update on Next National Album
Photo: Deirdre O'Callaghan
Matt Berninger recently teamed up with former Menomena member Brent Knopf to record an album as EL VY — and while Return to the Moon just dropped, Berninger's already back to work on new material with the National.
 
The baritone-voiced frontman previously revealed that the group had met up and banked some studio time in Upstate New York, emerging with about 30 ideas for songs. Since then, Berninger and the rest of the National have done some more studio time in Venice, CA.
 
"Everybody just arrived yesterday and we are actually camping out at the studio all weekend and writing and recording," Berninger told Exclaim! on October 8.
 
Out the aforementioned set of 30 songs, Berninger says the band have been tinkering with about 15 of them. "Now, we're gonna dig into those and then write a bunch more," he says. "We're at this [point of] write, write, write, collect lots of ideas, throw everything at the wall and try it in new ways. So, we're generating lots and lots of stuff but we're still kind of at the beginning of that whole process."
 
At the time of the band's last record, 2013's Trouble Will Find Me, Berninger told Exclaim! that the band followed a formula of writing alone and sending ideas back-and-forth before setting foot in a studio.

"We don't get together and write together in a room, we never have," he explained. "Later, we craft the songs together in a room. We polish them and we develop them together, but we usually work separately for a big part of it."
 
And although the beginnings of the next album have followed the same pattern, the group are looking to mix things up a bit by road testing the work in progress.

"I think what we're gonna do is write a bunch of new songs and then actually play them live a bunch next year before we record a record, just to put them through that live setting first," Berninger says. "We've never done that before. We always write songs, record a record and then figure out how to play them live. I think we're gonna try to do it backwards this time."

While no release date is in sight still for the next National album, EL VY's Return to the Moon is out now via 4AD.