Archive for the ‘Matt Berninger’ Category


The film was directed by Tom Berninger, Matt Berninger’s brother, who loves metal and considers indie music “pretentious bullshit.”


BELOW, read a review from PITCHFORK:
The opening film at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival was, ostensibly, “that movie about the National”. In actuality, the documentary, Mistaken for Strangers, isn’t exactly focused on the National. The band serves more as a backdrop for what may be the funniest, most meta music movie since Spinal Tap. The true leading man is National frontman Matt Berninger’s younger brother, Tom, the film’s director and subject.
Tom is a familiar character: a metalhead partier/slacker, who’s still living at home in Cincinnati and figuring things out. He’s not in awe of the National; at one point, he comments to drummer Bryan Devendorf that he seems “metal” while the other members of the band are so “coffeehouse.” Matt invites Tom to join the band’s High Violet tour as a roadie, where he gets this idea to film a documentary about the band while he’s traveling the world with them.

It’s easy to see how this will go. Tom becomes more and more invested in filming every waking hour instead of the menial tasks assigned to him. He eventually leaves the tour on not-great terms, the documentary half-baked. It’s later completed once Matt and his wife invite Tom to move into their Brooklyn home and reside in their daughter’s playroom.

Matt, whose patience throughout is admirable, loses it at a few key moments, including one scene in which he questions why cereal and milk have been spilled on the floor of a hotel bathroom. He’s serious, but it’s the stuff of buddy comedies, something characters in a Judd Apatow movie would bicker over. Scenes like this one could not have been written to be more comedic. But it doesn’t feel like Tom is playing a role, despite the fact that he’s exactly what one would expect of a rock star’s brother living in his shadow.
Mistaken for Strangers flips the narrative of the National, a band considered underdogs for years during their slow build toward success with each subsequent album. In this film, Matt is framed as the Golden Boy. From Tom’s perspective, Matt has always been his cool older brother, the type of guy who’s good at everything he tries.

Seeing the film in the context of Tribeca’s opening night, it’s as though the plotline is still in motion. This is an underdog story, so to witness Tom Berninger being introduced by Robert DeNiro at a big, famous film festival is a happy ending.

The film does not wallow in the typical brand of rock-doc inner-band turmoil. There’s not as much footage of the National in the studio recording upcoming album Trouble Will Find Me as fans might want, but there is insight into how this band functions.

At one point, one of the Dessner brothers describes Matt’s role in the band as being more demanding than the others– the weight of entertaining vs. simply performing is on him every night. Matt is, no doubt, a frontman who’s enjoyable to watch, not just to hear, but his off-stage presence is much more low-key. He’s portrayed as a generally likeable guy, as are the Dessner and Devendorf brothers, who play along amicably with Tom’s disorganized interviews that all eventually devolve into a conversation about his brother.
Those who don’t understand the moving parts that accompany a year-long international tour may find the perspective of the movie insightful, but they’re just as likely to learn about the documentary filmmaking process as they are about the music business. At its core, Mistaken for Strangers is a documentary about making a documentary, and second to that, a deeply relatable film exploring sibling dynamics.


Read Full Post »


via NME

Berninger said: “It’s a record about getting older, and all the fascinations and the headaches that go with that. But it’s not grim, honestly! It’s actually pretty fun. You go to sleep knowing you’re on a coach that has to get from France to Germany in 10 hours and you wonder, ‘What if I never wake up? I have a daughter. What’ll happen to her if something happens to me?'”

He describes the sound as influenced by the “big, visceral rock sounds” of Roy Orbison, Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan.”

Read Full Post »


The National will release their new album, Trouble Will Find Me, on May 21st.

The band collaborated with many talented musicians for this record, including Sufjan Stevens (drum machine and synths), St. Vincent’s Annie Clark (vocals), Sharon Van Etten (vocals) as well as Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, Doveman, and Nona Marie Invie from Dark Dark Dark. Richard Reed Parry contributed to High Violet (double bass, electric guitar, piano, vocals, backing vocal arrangements on “Conversation 16”).

Trouble Will Find Me was self-produced by the band and recorded at Clubhouse Studios in New York. Matt Berninger described the album as follows:

For the past 10 years we’d been chasing something, wanting to prove something. And this chase was about trying to disprove our own insecurities. After touring High Violet, I think we felt like we’d finally gotten there. Now we could relax – not in terms of our own expectations but we didn’t have to prove our identity any longer.”

Aaron Dessner added: “our ideas would immediately click with each other. It’s free-wheeling again. The songs on one level are our most complex, and on another they’re our most simple and human. It just feels like we’ve embraced the chemistry we have.”

Bryan Devendorf noted that three album tracks, “I Should Live In Salt”, “Humiliation”, and “Graceless”, were all previously debuted live under different titles.

Trouble Will Find Me Tracklist:
01. I Should Live in Salt
02. Demons
03. Don’t Swallow the Cap
04. Fireproof
05. Sea of Love
06. Heavenfaced
07. This is the Last Time
08. Graceless
09. Slipped
10. I Need My Girl
11. Humiliation
12. Pink Rabbits
13. Hard to Find

Read Full Post »

According to NME:

Matt Berninger was rightfully upset when Ohio University Students For Romney used ‘The National’s Fake Empire’   in a Romney video ad. The National have supported President Obama for years, and continue to do so (and even receive hate mail for doing so). The video has since been made “private.”

Matt posted a comment on the video saying:

“Our music was used without our permission in this ad. The song you’re using was written about the same backward, con game policies Romney is proposing. We encourage all students to educate themselves about the differences between the inclusive, pro-social, compassionate, forward-thinking policies of President Obama and the self-serving politics of the neo-conservative movement and Mitt Romney. Every single person involved in the creation of the music you’re using is voting for President Obama.”

On a related note, Romney supports a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage, while The National are playing Freedom to Love Now!, a pro-LGBT concert, on October 30 and tickets are still available HERE.

Read Full Post »

Watch Matt sing the Pixies’ classic below:

Read Full Post »

Aaron Dessner said the band has received  “hate mail on Facebook” for supporting Obama. Regardless, The National’s support for Obama has not wavered.

Matt Berninger said:

“This is more important than a rock band. I know we’ve gotten responses from people (who) don’t like the fact that we’ve taken a position on it, and I don’t actually think artists or musicians necessarily have a responsibility to do that. But in our case, the five of us … talked about it and we were like, ‘Yeah, it’s worth it, for sure.’”

read the entire Berninger interview at The Lantern

Read Full Post »

listen below:


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »