nirvanna the band the show

Matt Johnson, Jay McCarrol
Kanada 2016
76 min

NIRVANNA THE BAND THE SHOW is a scripted series on Viceland Channel that follows a band called Nirvanna the Band (no relation), made of piano genius Jay McCarrol and musically untalented Matt Johnson. The band has never played a show, they’ve never really rehearsed, and when they get turned down by the first venue they call, they spend the rest of the ten-episode show trying to trick the place into letting them play. In between they fight, try to pick up girls, and commit arson. The whackiness of the plot is tempered by naturalistic performances and a unique production style that helps even the silliest parts feel real. When I interviewed them, Jay, who mostly plays the straight man, explained: “We’d try to be real with each other, but then the cameras would keep rolling and the camera would be on my face while Matt’s explaining [an idea] to me. No acting, I’m completely out of my head just listening to Matt. But you get this visceral presence, a listening look. And you get that little piece, and you put it in the most unfamiliar area.” Matt says, “We just didn’t want to ever have bad acting. Any acting! So we would just change everything.” (Nick Douglas)

In the presence of Matt Johnson.

  • Matt Johnson - Matt
  • Jay McCarrol
  • Jared Raab
  • Andrew Appelle
  • Matt Johnson
  • Jay McCarrol
Vice Media

Vice Media

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