Aaron Dess­ner on The Na­tional’s next move and Kodaline on be­ing the next big thing,

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FRONT PAGE -

“I re­mem­ber my par­ents, par­tic­u­larly my dad, pres­sured me at some point to fo­cus on get­ting a de­gree in busi­ness or law or some­thing em­ploy­able. My par­ents were very ner­vous that my brother and I were just twid­dling around with mu­sic. Hon­estly, we didn’t come at it think­ing we’d be suc­cess­ful and make money, but it is ironic how now I don’t think my par­ents would mind very much about the ca­reer path we took. I don’t think I would ever have achieved the same level of sat­is­fac­tion from do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent, or that I didn’t love do­ing. The fact that The Na­tional is suc­cess­ful and that we can sur­vive from it is ex­tra.”

Sur­vive? If ever there was a band to look ad­ver­sity in the face, glower at it and then take it on, it was this one. Did success, grad­ual though it may have been, come as a sur­prise?

“Well, there were al­ways lit­tle glim­mers of hope,” re­veals Dess­ner, whose voice is a lit­tle louder now as the pound­ing sleet fi­nally comes to a halt. “Even early on, I re­mem­ber cer­tain shows. Our first packed show in Whe­lan’s, in Dublin, in 2005 was one – you could feel that the en­ergy and spirit were there. So much was be­ing given to us by the au­di­ence, and with­out wish­ing to be hor­rif­i­cally cliched about it, Ire­land is def­i­nitely one of the coun­tries where we feel the most con­nected with our au­di­ence. Well, with the ex­cep­tion of the year we played Oxy­gen – that was when we played at the same time as Bey­oncé. To be hon­est, that gig of ours was a bit of a dis­as­ter.”

Time is tick­ing. Dess­ner is late for a sound­check. One more ques­tion? A nod. Any up­date on The Na­tional’s forth­com­ing al­bum? It has, af­ter all, been three years since their pre­vi­ous record, High Vi­o­let.

“We are deep into record­ing it,” says Dess­ner, now back in li­brar­ian mode. “That’s all I’m say­ing.”

❙❙❙ Aaron Dess­ner per­forms with This is the Kit and Lu­luc on Other

Voices, which will be broad­cast on RTÉ, be­gin­ning next month

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