The National: 'Our track title was 'too dark' for Hunger Games'

The band have contributed a new song to the hit US film

The National: 'Our track title was 'too dark' for Hunger Games'

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

The National have revealed that they have written a new song for a forthcoming The Hunger Games soundtrack.

Speaking to NME, the band's frontman Matt Berninger said that the track was originally titled 'Dying Is Easy', but it was deemed "too dark" by the film's makers so the band were forced to change it to 'Lean'.

"The song almost didn't make it because it was too dark for The Hunger Games soundtrack, which I thought was sort of funny because It's about killing kids, I don’t know how a song can be darker than that?" he says. "So we had to change the name of the song; I actually like the name 'Lean'."

He added: "The song was originally called 'Dying Is Easy' and I think that they thought it was a little too dark. But, you know, I get it. It was a really fun project…It was a cool change from how we normally work on things – to write something for something else. It was kind of a pressure release thing and it was fun, we really enjoyed it."

Berninger also recently contributed a track to Volume Two of the soundtrack to hit HBO show Boardwalk Empire along with Patti Smith and St Vincent. Released on September 3, the compilation follows Volume One, which won a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack. The new release sees artists tackling songs from the 1920s.

The National are planning on recording a Grateful Dead covers album in collaboration with the likes of Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver and Kurt Vile. The band's Aaron and Bryce Dessner have also recruited members from The War On Drugs and The Walkmen for the project and hope to convince more high-profile musicians to take part, too, including Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo and Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan. Although no tracklisting or release date has been revealed for the LP yet, proceeds from the album will be given to the not-for-profit organisation Red Hot, which is focused on raising AIDS-awareness.

The band recently released their sixth album 'Trouble Will Find Me', which debuted at Number Three in both the UK and the US. They are set to tour the UK this November, when they will play shows in Belfast, Manchester and London as well as Dublin, Ireland.

The National will play:

Belfast Odyssey Arena (November 9)
Dublin O2 Arena (10)
Manchester O2 Apollo (11, 12)
London Alexandra Palace (13, 14)


To check the availability of The National tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0844 858 6765.

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