The National’s Matt Berninger Opens Up About Mental Health Struggles and ‘Laugh Track’ Album in Candid Interview with David Letterman

'Laugh Track' Album

The National acclaimed for their emotional lyrics and haunting melodies, took a turn with their tenth album, “Laugh Track”.

In an intimate half-hour video on The National’s official YouTube channel, frontman Matt Berninger sat down with veteran interviewer David Letterman for a candid discussion about the album’s genesis.

In revealing his struggle with depression, Berninger unveiled the heavy effect of lockdown and subsequent periods on their latest record.

Fans and reviewers were surprised by September’s unexpected release of “Laugh Track” a few days after April’s acclaimed “First Two Pages of Frankenstein”.

Berninger’s admission to this point in his conversation with Letterman highlighted the dilemma he has faced to keep a public image separate from his personal life.

He admitted that while he was not writing, they kept sending music. They didn’t really know how bad I was. They just didn’t understand how bad it got.

A Journey through Personal Turmoil Leading to Artistic Creation

Moreover, this front man also brought out the cyclical nature of his battles with mental health; recognizing that those struggles can be some of the most important moments in one’s artistry.

Matt Berninger reflected on a lasting presence within him, acknowledging the cyclical nature of an inner conflict. This was something he said he had always known because it kept happening.

According to Berninger, this recognition meant more—a realization that, in the process, using such woes as a base for creative expression has healing properties.

He noted the initiative was relieving and indicated that this is what marks starting out the process of making sense from it; showing how one can change personal difficulties into art which helps people understand, heal and grow.

Moreover, Berninger described the difficult dichotomy presented by performing—juggling between being an intense public performer and wanting peace as a private individual.

Besides explaining that he is expected to be lively on stage yet remain calm off stage; he further illustrated that such expectations often come from someone who has no idea what he or she is doing.

Letterman’s Empathy and Understanding

As a seasoned talk show host, David Letterman related with Berninger’s predicaments while comparing them to his experience in keeping up appearances during his famous late-night show.

He acknowledged how burdensome such requirements might feel emotionally, and he understood what it was like to switch between the two sides.

Critical Reception: “Laugh Track” as a Bold Manifestation of Renewed Faith

The release of “Laugh Track” surprised both fans and critics, who marveled at its depth and audacity.

In September’s Far Out review, the album earned three and a half stars as ‘First Two Pages of Frankenstein’ symbolized The National’s slow rebirth.

However, ‘Laugh Track’ emerged as a vibrant exploratory outpouring of renewed faith thus underlining their new sense of purpose.

The album was met with reception that also reflected numerous listeners that realized growth and resilience in The National’s music.

It showed how the band could use their personal struggles to make an influential declaration through art.

The National’s Ongoing Journey of Resilience and Musical Evolution

In conclusion, the National’s reveal of personal struggles, their creative process in the face of adversity and critical acclaim for “Laugh Track” all demonstrated not just the band’s musicality but also showed how transformative art can be in navigating life’s challenges.

While Berninger and the band go on with their journey, their conversations about depression have been some of the most heartfelt and honest words a musician has ever spoken to his fans, so far the band’s name has been synonymous with hope in an industry that is changing rapidly.

The National in “Laugh Track” demonstrated both their musical genius and proved once again that music can turn pain into beautiful art that heals artists as well as listeners.


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  • The National's Matt Berninger Opens Up About Mental Health Struggles and 'Laugh Track' Album in Candid Interview with David Letterman