During a conversation on an episode of the Discograffiti podcast, Whelan reflects on his career and compares The Wrens to other bands – including The National, who he called their “nemesis”.
He said: “We never made it. And we knew it. Which is kind of interesting… Even when we were being appreciated, we never made it. We saw it. We saw it with Conor [Oberst] and Bright Eyes, we saw it with the Arcade Fire. ”
The interviewer then asked about The National, to which Whelan replied: “You know what’s so funny? Charles would laugh. They were always like my nemesis, The National. I was always just like, ‘How the F did they make it?’ You know what I mean? ”
“I mean, I get it… I’m not flagging on them. Like I totally get why and his voice, with these long kind of songs.
“But then you kind of get into that phase too, where it’s just like… there are just some that win the lottery ticket, and you kind of can’t be jealous of someone who wins a lottery ticket, you know what I mean? That’s the way the game goes. “
Last year, The National discussed their new songs on the Cyrano soundtrack.
In an interview with , the Dessner brothers discussed how the tracks on the Cyrano soundtrack are “National songs in a way, and have an interior, intimate feeling”.
‘Somebody Desperate’, which was the band’s first new song since 2019’s acclaimed ‘I Am Easy To Find‘, is intertwined with the plot of the film but, as Berninger told us, has common ground with his own lyricism with The National – which has seen him mine love, loss, fear and anxiety for two decades.
“I was writing a lot from my own perspective and bringing my own insecurities and my own feelings to the story,” Berninger told . “It’s easy to channel what these characters are going through, because we all have these deep insecurities when it comes to our hearts, and I’ve written about this stuff forever.”