In an excerpt from his 2020 Guardian interview, Matt explained:
"Because Morrissey was one of the voices, writers, performers that made me - maybe more than almost any, at this phase in my life when I was 15, 16, 17. When you just feel like a misfit. But I was a misfit with a lot of confidence. I had a lot of chips on my shoulders, small chips. And then to hear this other person from a place that I'd never heard of, didn't know anything about Manchester, didn't know anything about England, really, and then here was this band and this singer singing about all these emotional, hugely dramatic grievances - the Boy With the Thorn in His Side, Please Please Please let me get what I want, these raw pleas to the universe to be understood. And so funny. Morrissey, the thing that's hardest to square now, is how a person with such empathy for himself and for the misfits and those around him, writing so beautifully about that, now seeming to have very little empathy for other perspectives. It's a hard thing. I listen to the Smiths a lot still, and I listen to Morrissey a lot, and then I do pay attention to the things that he says and it's heartbreaking. I feel like fear and the anxiety of the world has maybe kinda overtaken him a little bit, and I guess it makes me try to keep my mind open and keep listening to everyone. At some point, the older you get, you can close your brain off. I feel like Morrissey became very frustrated because he wanted the world to be a very specific way. When festivals have to change their rules because he's there, I understand that when he's making sure the entire festival is vegan because he believes in that. But I think at a certain point you can't control everything, you get bitter and angry and that's happened to a lot of people. The world is chaotic and out of control and people retreat to a very small corner when they feel they cannot control the world, and I feel he's retreated to a very small corner that doesn't have the empathy that he used to have. I think about it a lot. I wish I had a better answer."
Matthew Donald Berninger (born February 13, 1971) is an American singer-songwriter, primarily known as the frontman and lyricist of indie rock band The National. In 2014, he also formed the EL VY project with Brent Knopf of Ramona Falls and Menomena. In May 2020, Berninger shared the title track from his solo debut album, Serpentine Prison, which was released in October 2020.
Matthew Donald Berninger (, born February 13, 1971) is an American singer-songwriter, primarily known as the frontman and lyricist of indie rock band The National, and being the only member who doesn't any family relation with the other band members. In 2014, he also formed the EL VY project with Brent Knopf of Ramona Falls and Menomena, They released the album Return to the Moon in November 2015. In May 2020, Berninger issued the title track from his solo debut album, Serpentine Prison, released in October 2020.Berninger is known for his classic baritone voice.
Related Forum Threads
- Far Out: "The National’s Matt Berninger explains why he no longer listens to Morrissey" (April 21, 2023) - Morrissey-solo (Apr 21, 2023)
- The Guardian: "Matt Berninger webchat: your questions answered on Morrissey, Taylor Swift and infinite creativity" (October 13, 2020) - Morrissey-solo (Oct 14, 2020)
- Matt Berninger (The National) on The Queen is Dead - Morrissey-solo (Sep 19, 2020)