For years The National has been labeled as a gloomy kind of rock bandI think mostly because of Matt’s deep baritone voice, which even if he is singing about unicorns and butterflies, he just sounds sad most of the time.
It’s important to me that people hear my music on its own merit and not in relation to another project I’ve done. Ultimately, the music has its own energy and message and stands on its own.
Most of my favourite guitarists are self-taught, because in a way there's less of a reverence for the instrument itself, so you end up finding and inventing however you want to play it.
There are famous examples of people who just had really strange ways - [Jimi] Hendrix being the biggest example of that. Or someone like Keith Richards, he just has a really idiosyncratic style.
Obviously there are pieces of classical music that are some of the most beautiful music ever written, for me anyway is a lot of classical or contemporary music, so it's a different kind of space that you enter when you're listening to it.
In a way it's the emotional feeling that you get in a good rock song or folk song, there's just nothing that rivals that.
American politics are important because it affects the entire world in often negative ways.
A good song is a nice set of chords and some good lyrics; a great song is a song that reinvents itself over time. That you can always find something interesting in the more you listen to it - it keeps revealing something to you.
A great painting is something that you can come back to again and again.
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