With a new album (“Trouble Will Find Me”) and documentary (“Mistaken For Strangers”) in 2013, indie veterans the National traveled to the 2013 Bonnaroo festival with a ton of new material to promote. Along with performing a 90-minute main stage set rife with “Trouble” music and presenting “Mistaken For Strangers” at the Cinema Tent on Sunday morning, the group also chatted with Billboard about “Dead Hot,” their long-in-the-works Grateful Dead tribute compilation album that they hope to release next year.
“We’re doing a tribute record with a bunch of bands to the Grateful Dead,” guitarist Bryce Dessner, who was joined by frontman Matt Berninger, told Billboard backstage at Bonnaroo. The compilation will be released as a compilation from the Red Hot Organization charity, which issued the all-star “Dark Was The Night” compilation in 2009. According to Berninger, Dessner and brother Aaron Dessner (who co-produced “Dark Was The Night” together) approached the remaining members of the Dead about the project, and were granted full rights to their catalog.
The National first announced plans for the Grateful Dead compilation in 2011, but hope to finally make some headway on the project soon for a 2014 release. “We’re just getting going this summer, probably,” Dessner added, “and a bunch of friends in bands, and then some surprising guests, are gonna hang out and smoke a lot of pot and record Grateful Dead songs.”
Check out the video above for more with the National — including some insight into the making of “Mistaken For Strangers” and their experience headlining Brooklyn’s Barclays Center earlier this month — and click hereto see what the group said about their “Game of Thrones” song, “The Rains of Castamere.”