Photo: Courtesy of Matt & Kim
Over the years Matt & Kim have risen from Brooklyn indie darlings to a touring band of epic proportions. Even so, the band's core sound and structure hasn't changed a bit, with the eponymous couple Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino doing what they've always done — just in bigger and better venues. We caught up with Kim (and, briefly, Matt) to talk about Lollapalooza, this weekend's Mad Decent Block Party, and their shopping habits on on the road. Along the way we hit on the joys of Bloomingdales and the unlikely similarities between great sex and a good live show (they're not as different as you'd think).
What has been your favorite spot to hit on tour this summer?
Kim: "That is so tough to say. We really judge spots on how crazy the crowd gets. I will say Houston Free Press, Bonnaroo, and Firefly have been some crazy shows/ favorite spots!"
Where haven't you played yet that you've always wanted to go?
Kim: "North Dakota or New Hampshire! Those are the only two states in all of the US that we haven't played. I know what you are thinking....New Hampshire — it's so close to New York. Yeah I don't know why we haven't played there but I really want to knock them off the list so we can say 'we've played everywhere in the US.'"
What was your experience like at Lollapalooza?
Kim: "For us we treat all shows the same. Whether its a small private show or a gigantic festival. We have played Lollapalooza three times now and everytime they ask us back we say yes cause it's a great festival. We did have some technical difficulties at the end of our set but I think we managed to get through it. I always say if you aren't breaking shit then you aren't doing it right! Well that goes along with almost everything. I adjust it for sex....if you aren't sore you aren't doing it right!"
What song have you played live over the years that never gets old?
Kim: "There are older songs that we don't really want to practice but when we are at a show its different. The crowd gives you a fresh take on it. It might be a ridiculous amount of people or if they sing along extra loud or a totem pole going up! (I get stoked when I see people doing the totem pole!)"
Now that Lightning has been out for a while, what tracks have been the most fun to play for fans?
Kim: "I love playing 'Overexposed' or 'Now' for fans cause they are fast and I can hit hard. For fans it depends on what they connect with — and the nice thing is it varies from show to show."
How did you hook up with Mad Decent for the Mad Decent Block Party?
Kim: "They asked us and it sounded like a good time so we said yes!"
Are you happy to be returning to Brooklyn?
Kim: "I always get nervous for our Brooklyn shows. A hometown show is when your friends come out and your friends are the ones who will point out every time you fuck up!"
Matt, could you define Kim's style in five words or less?
Matt: "Black, white, red and grey"
Kim, could you do the same for Matt?
Kim: "The hottest guy you'll see! (I am biased though.)"
Do either of you get to do much shopping on tour? What's the last cool clothing item that you grabbed on tour and where did you get it?
Kim: "Matt just picked up a super sweet leather man jacket — Marc by Marc Jacobs — and I just picked up some Marc Jacobs glasses. The black and white striped ones. When it comes to shopping it is really tough 'cause we are never home and always jumping from town to town with very little time. I do a lot of my shopping online. I am always on Gilt or Rue La La. I also do a lot of shopping on Nasty Gal or ASOS. I will say I get very excited if we have a hotel room across from Bloomingdales. I'll wake up early for that!"
What makes for the perfect outfit when performing live?
Kim: "For Matt and I we need to focus on what we can really move in. For two people who sit down to play our instruments we are surprisingly all over that stage. I would love to play in a dress but I've had the drum stick caught in a skirt too many times during sound check to know it won't work during the show. I will say when I do the booty dance on top of the crowd, a dress might take it to new levels."
What would your go-to outfit be if you had to wear the same thing every day for the rest of your life?
Kim: "If I had to wear the same thing everyday for the rest of my life I would take the comfort route. Black pants rolled up, black and white tank top, black hoodie or sweater and a pair of Converse. It is very easy to fall into comfort so I try to stick to the rule of thumb that at least twice a week you should wear something that you would normally never wear. Push what you are comfortable in and take a chance cause life is too fucking short and you don't want to go out boring!"
Matt & Kim are on tour now. For tickets and dates, head to the band's website.