The National have spoken out against the rise of the far-right in America, blaming the conservatives for neo-Nazism and the ‘creation’ of ‘twisted, mangled child’ Donald Trump.
As the band release their acclaimed new album ‘Sleep Well Beast‘ today, NME caught up with The National to discuss the state of politics in the US.
While frontman Matt Berninger said that the album is more personal than political, the current state of affairs overshadowed everything. However, he added that as divisive as things had become, he, the band and their peers felt a sense of unity to fight for a greater good.
“Now with a fucking Nazi sympathiser for a President, we’re all on the same team,” Berninger told NME. “That’s the opposite of bravery and kindness. Those Nazis are terrified, twisted boys – Donald Trump too is a twisted, mangled child.
“The conservative base has been working on this for 20 or 30 years. The corporate right has been using racism, sexism, hatred and religious intolerance for a long time. Donald Trump is just the monster they made. The Nazis marching in the streets were taught to be this way. Not just by their parents, but by a certain underground sympathy that they’ve been receiving from the Republican Party for 20 or 30 years. Let’s not pretend that Donald Trump is an outlier. He is their creation and they own him – well, we all do.”
While admitting the ‘shock’ of seeing citizens “literally fighting Nazis in the streets” in 2017, Berninger said that he still had hope for reason and decency.
“I’m going on blind faith that kindness, bravery and love will prevail,” Berninger continued. “You see it happening. Our politicians are showing a lack of backbone, character, bravery and soul. Anybody who is not fighting this is supporting them, and by extension supporting white supremacy. It is what it is – and I’m pissed.”
Guitarist Bryce Dessner added: “I think on some level Europeans are in a state of shock as well. For years I would come to France and people would have stereotypes of Americans and I would always resist and say, ‘No it’s not that bad.’ Now it’s actually the reality and it’s a thousand times worse than the stereotypes that they used to have.
“I’ve been hassled a couple of times on the street but for the most part I think people understand that more than half the country is in a state of shock.
- Check back at NME.com soon for more of our interview with The National
‘Sleep Well Beast’ by The National is out now. 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