ZAK: If you're working on a creative project...it's so important to pay attention to your boredom.
MATT: If you're bored, you're not making art.
ZAK: Do you have like a boredom defense strategy?
MATT: If I'm working on something and I'm not excited. If I'm working on a song and I don't jump up and high five myself or cry then I don't know what I'm doing.
ZAK: Matt Berninger is the lead singer of The National, which, if you don't know, is an incredible band. To Matt, the art part of, in his case songwriting, but it can apply to any creative form. To him, the art comes in when he notices the emergence an idea that he's genuinely moved by.
MATT: It's like the seeds have to be exciting. The seeds are the ideas. If the seeds of the idea at first aren't exciting and you're planting it in soil that's rocky and you're not in the mood to do it. You're not gonna want to raise that tree. You're not gonna want to go back to it. You're not gonna want to keep watering this idea that you weren't even sure if the seed...you don't even want to eat that plant. You know? Maybe it's poisonous or something. And so, I find just go back, find new seeds and go find a new place to plant them and then you'll be excited about raising that plant and pruning it and doing the craft part of it and selling, taking it to market, you know? But the seeds have to be exciting, yeah.
ZAK: So it's not like you're crying or high-fiving yourself through the whole process. You're feeling those big feelings at the start of the thing.
MATT: Yeah, then you get to work.
ZAK: Matt Berniger's new solo album is called Serpentine Prison. It's produced by the great Booker T. Jones. And it's out October, 2nd. You're listening to the title track. This is The Best Advice Show. I'm Zak Rosen. I want to hear your advice. Call me on the hotline at 844-935-BEST.