Guitarist Aaron Dessner recalled to Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke in a recent interview that R.E.M. front man Michael Stipe gave The National some sage advice when the two bands toured together in 2011.
"Michael Stipe, who was very supportive of us, he told us, 'Either you need no hits or lots of hits," Dessner recalls. "So we stayed with the 'no hits' (laughs)..."
While The National's new album, I Am Easy to Find, and the accompanying short film of the same name don't fit the profile of an album with hit songs, The National can take heart in the fact that R.E.M. routinely had hit songs in its career that didn't necessarily fit the usual mold.
You can watch the full Out of the Box interview with The National in the player above.