The National’s Matt Berninger and Phoebe Bridgers reveal the songs they hate performing

"There’s some songs I don’t like to do"

The National frontman Matt Berninger and Phoebe Bridgers have revealed the songs they find most difficult to perform.

The pair, who interviewed each other about their song writing, admitted some of their tracks are so dark that they hate playing them.

“There’s some songs I don’t like to do, like ‘Available’, ‘Cardinal Song’,” Berninger said. “Some of them just suck. I don’t like the attitude of those. I don’t like the person I was who wrote it. I don’t like what I was saying about life in that one. I was a dick and ‘Available’ is a mean song and when I sing it I feel mean and it was real.”


He added: “We often present ourselves as the thing I know is wrong, and I’m not going to do this in real life, and I’m not like this in real life, but I kind of want to do it, and I deserve it I think, and I’m at least going to do it on stage.

“There’s so many songs I do terrible things in because it’s so cathartic. It’s like I get to write a Martin Scorsese movie about myself and play myself in this moment, in this song right now, and that’s really cathartic, so then I go home to my real life and I’m more relaxed and don’t do that.”

Bridgers referred to one of her darkest songs as ‘Halloween’ from her recent album ‘Punisher’.

One line refers to an incident in which a San Francisco Giants fans was killed by a group of Los Angeles Dodgers’ fans in the lyric “They killed a fan down by the stadium, was only visiting but they beat him to death”.

She told “I do not want to do that ever, or be that ever. That is a very dark version of myself and you let yourself go there in the songs, you’re like, ‘Look, I monetized it, I’m creating something’. Where it feels dirty and weird to have intrusive thoughts over and over that you didn’t make anything out of.”


Bridgers added: “A Giants fan was killed by a bunch of Dodger fans at Dodger Stadium years ago and I remember hearing about it as a kid and being like, ‘What the fuck’. A serial killer’s one thing, whatever, but someone being in the heat of the moment so excited about fucking baseball that they beat someone to death.”

Meanwhile, Berninger is set to release his solo album ‘Serpentine Prison’ on October 2 and recently shared new single ‘Distant Axis’.

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