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The National Reveal High Violet Collaborators
Laura Snapes , April 5th, 2010 07:08

Justin Vernon, Sufjan Stevens and Richard Reed Parry guest

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The National have revealed details of the collaborators on their forthcoming record, High Violet. When Matt Berninger last discussed it in late January, he couldn't say who was guesting in case their parts got cut - they were working and whittling right down to the wire. In an interview with The Quietus this week however, he and bandmate Aaron Dessner gave us the final rundown of who's on the record, as well as talking about the in-studio battles waged over the album, how lead single 'Bloodbuzz Ohio' (which you can download for free from their website) almost didn't make the cut, and being able to actually listen to and enjoy the fruits of their labours for once.

According to Aaron Dessner:

"There are a lot of guests on it, I’ll say the non-famous ones first. Thomas Bartlett from Doveman is all over it. He’s not so much playing piano, but just because he absorbs music so easily and shapes things with very subtle keyboards and sounds. He’s a big part of a lot of the record. Padma Newsome as ever contributes, Marla Hansen who sings on Boxer also sings on a number of songs.

"Sufjan came in one day when we were struggling with ‘Afraid Of Everyone’ – that song was very difficult to make happen – and he just started playing the harmonium and singing along with it. He made up this little melody and he layered it four times – that gave the song a whole different dimension. That was his contribution.

"Richie Reed Parry from Arcade Fire is all over the record, I think he’s on six or seven songs. He played guitar and stand-up bass on ‘Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks’, and the big thing he did was that he heard me working on the music for ‘Conversation 16’, and he said, “I have an idea!” So he went in and sang – his father is a choir director so he knows multi-part singing – he sang this seven-part vocal, it’s all him layered. That’s beautiful. He’s this very lovely, unassuming person – when you see someone’s musicality inserted into the room, you’re like, “woah!” And that was great – he was just staying at my house, it wasn’t like we planned to work on it like that.

"And Justin Vernon from Bon Iver is the main harmony man on ‘Vanderlylle Crybaby Geeks’. I’m playing with him next week in Cincinnati too, he's a great guy to work with."

Matt added, "Lil’ Wayne and Lady Gaga didn’t make the cut, we had to lose their parts."

What a wag. You can read The Quietus' interview with The National very soon.