The National at Glastonbury: ‘Dave Grohl gave us a bearhug before we went on stage’

'It was either a pep talk or to psych us out'

Before The National stormed Glastonbury 2017, the band told us that received ‘bearhugs and a pep talk’ from Foo Fighters‘ frontman Dave Grohl. Watch our video interview with the band above.

The band played the prestigious pre-headline slot on the Pyramid Stage before the Foos headline – and reveal that that they had a very friendly encounter with Grohl ahead of their set.

“We feel a certain amount of pressure, it’s very exciting,” bassist Scott Devendorf. “We’ve been here a couple of times many years ago and and we’re just happy to be back and in this amazing position.”

Frontman Matt Berninger continued: “I usually just close my eyes and I’m not sure where I am most of the time.”

“Dave Grohl just came backstage and gave us all bearhugs and said ‘you’re on in 45 minutes!” said guitarist Bryce Dessner. “It was a pep talk/to psych us out, I think. He’s routing for us.”

Berninger then replied: “I didn’t get a hug. They all got bearhugs from Dave Grohl and I got zilch. Did he get inside your head? He could have scrambled me, but he stayed away.”

Glastonbury 2017 continues tonight with headline sets from Foo Fighters, Alt-J, Phoenix and many more. Check back at NME for the latest news, reviews, interviews and more from Glasto.

Meanwhile, The National will return with their seventh album, ‘Sleep Well Beast’, on September 8 – their first full-length album since 2013’s ‘Trouble Will Find Me’. The frontman hinted last year that the album contains a “very dark” sound that may surprise some fans, while the tracklist features the song ‘Turtleneck’, which was debuted at an anti-Trump show last year.

Their upcoming UK and Ireland tour dates are below. Tickets are available here.

September 16 – Cork Opera House, Cork
September 17 – Vicar Street, Dublin
September 18 – Vicar Street, Dublin
September 20 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh
September 21 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh
September 22 – O2 Apollo, Manchester
September 23 – O2 Apollo, Manchester
September 25 – Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, London
September 26 – Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, London
September 27 – Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, London
September 28 – Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, London