Picture, if you will, the Instagram account of one Mr. Matt Berninger. The singer of The National has a reputation that precedes him – a wine-swigging, weed-smoking misery guts, his time on-stage with his bandmates is often morose, as he plumbs the depths of his sadness, contorting and crying out from the stage. It’s a wonder to behold – one of modern music’s most impassioned performers, leaving it all on stage, night after night.
You’d be forgiven for picturing Berninger’s social media accounts would follow a similar thread. Glasses of red contrasted against the snow; artful photos of brutalist architecture; some of those dreadful black-and-white photos of poetry and half-rolled cigs. It’s all in-keeping with The National’s vibe. Wonderfully, though, his actual Instagram couldn’t be further from that tick-list of twattery.
In reality, Matt Berninger’s @greengloves777 Instagram account is an absurdist comedy paradise, full of skits and repeated gags that would make even SNL or Adult Swim jealous.
Take the ‘Matt Berninger School Of Music’ (above), which sees the usually po-faced frontman ‘playing guitar’ on a trampoline. And by ‘playing guitar’, we mean ‘chucking the thing through a basketball hoop’.
Over the summer, while a besuited The National were headlining festivals across the globe, Berninger was spending his downtime in flowery board shorts, body-popping to tech-house (below) or flailing about to The Stooges. Better yet, he was posting these videos completely silent beforehand, and imploring his followers to ‘Guess the song.’
It’s a wonderfully wacky insight into the man’s away-from-stage persona – a ‘dads on tour’-style dip into daft jokes and embarrassing antics. It might be the best (and most unexpected) Instagram account of any musician.
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as such a surprise. Away from The National, Berninger revealed earlier this year that he was working on a comedy show, set to feature… himself, naturally.
Turns out we had the fella wrong all along. Not simply a peddler of misery music, it turns out Matt Berninger may be the absurdist comic we need in these trying times. Never judge a book by its cover – or, rather, a bloke by his records.