Matt Berninger of The National just released his first proper solo album, Serpentine Prison, and it's a magnificent, moody, and expansive collection of indie ballads. The record is filled with heart and oozes with soul, which makes perfect sense as Berninger enlisted Stax soul legend Booker T. Jones, best known as the frontman of Booker T. and the M.G.s, to produce it. Berninger initially conceived of Serpentine Prison as a covers album—inspired by Willie Nelson's Stardust that Jones also produced—but that didn't quite go as planned. (Somewhere there lies a recording of Berninger covering the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" with Jones on Hammond organ.) In this exclusive video above, Berninger and Jones chat about how the album finally played out.
This is the first in a series of "Matt Chats: Conversations with Booker T" to be released on Berninger's YouTube channel every Thursday for the next four weeks.