Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Matt & Kim

It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to the band that I am sitting with today. Giving you a definition of the word Indie, they have blown up with a new album called the Grand, and have captured my headphones with what I will consider the best song they will ever write, Good Ole Fashioned Nightmare. With a sound that is hard to compare to anything in the industry today, they have been climbing the charts. With a recent featured video on, and some national exposure they are putting themselves in the perfect position. Sit with me today as I introduce to you Matt and Kim.

So are your real names Matt and Kim?

That is us, yeah. Actually we are Mathew and Kimberly. My brother is Fletcher. I thought that as a pretty cool name. But my parents we, “Ah, Matt, that works. “ They didn’t want to think of a name again.

What made you decide to keep that as your band name?

We ended up with by accident more or less. We were convinced to play a show before we were officially a band. They just listed is as a nameless. We felt that Matt and Kim really fit. We are people as Matt and Kim. It is about putting everyone on a first name basis. There are no walls in between.

How long have you known each other?

I am thinking this fall will be like seven years. We met in the fall of 2002.

You have such a unique sound. Describe your genre in one word.

Oh gosh. One word? Sweaty. (Laughs)

Where are you originally from?

I am from Vermont. Southern Vermont. And Kim is from East Providence Rhode Island.

How did you guys meet?

The short answer is that we met at college. We went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and Kim picked me up.

Do you prefer the East coast to the West coast?

I love the states in general. Being that we both grew up in the northeast, we don’t see leaving New York any time soon. We sometimes fly to LA in the middle of winter and we are wearing a t-shirt. That is kind of nice.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would you go?

We travel a lot of places. Not that you can really judge a place after being there for 14 hours, or however long we are usually there, but we love New York. Chicago is a close second. Kim has a special spot for Rhode Island.

What are your thoughts on MySpace?

As much as everyone wants to find a problem with it, it has been nothing but ever helpful with us. Even when we first started as a band and first made our demo in our practice space, we made a MySpace page, put the songs up, and did a tour. Our first time ever in San Diego, the furthest you could get from New York, there were people signing along to our songs. The only way they could have done that was to visit our MySpace pages. It was able to make a universal listening platform. Now if you want to hear a band you go to MySpace to hear them. Like just yesterday, seventy five thousand had listened to our music. That is in just one day. For bands there has been nothing that has compared.

Are you guys on Twitter?

Yeah, that is actually one of the first things that I have gotten into that we actually update. When you travel a lot you notice a lot of things and you can do all that from your phone.

Who does all your graphic design?

Mostly by Kim and I. We both went to art school and Kim has done our album covers. We have had other friends and we have had some friends do some stuff. One of our friends is a college teacher, a design class, and one of his assignments was to design a Matt and Kim shirt. And the winner got to have their shirt made into a Matt and Kim design.

Tell me a little bit about your new album.

It is the album that we wanted to make from square one. The first album we did in a week. We had no idea what it would take to make an album. And that was all we had budgeted. On this one we went for a totally difference experience. We tried to have all the time in the world to work on whatever we wanted. We started with twenty-five songs with the plans of a ten-song album. We wanted cohesion. We really wanted to make something that felt complete from the beginning to end. It was sort of in the movie sense, with some intro, highs, lows, and finale.

Is there any song that makes it into every set?

Yeah, a lot of our songs actually. Our song Yeah Yeah, out of the hundreds of hundreds of shows, since we wrote that song, we might have skipped it on one show. There was a song called Silver Tiles that has never technically been released, and we used to close all of our shows with that. We have been closing with Daylight recently. We have some songs that we play well and then some that we don’t. We will play 14 songs at a show, then people will yell for a song. But we literally have no other songs that we can play well.

What is the biggest crowd that you have ever played for?

I don’t know. I would say at some festival that we have done. We did a festival in Norway. We did Lollapalooza. Somewhere between ten and twenty thousand.

The smallest?

We have played just for the other bands there. We did one show, on our first tour; it used to be like only the bands showed there would be. We did a show where it was just us and no one else showed.

Do you guys have jobs outside of music?

We were lucky enough that we were able to just do the band. We had low overhead and we don’t eat much. We were just able to stop our other jobs early on. But now it has been the most financially stable job I have ever had.

You guys are playing a lot of festivals this year. Do you prefer those to smaller venues?

We really liked playing them. We like both, but if you compare a festival to a support act there is no contest. When you are supporting a larger band they are just there to see the headlining band. You are just time to seeing their favorite band. So you have to work very hard to winning over people. But at a festival people go open minded to see new music. We play a pretty accessible form of music and something you can catch on to on a first lesson. We have a lot of people coming to our shows that saw us at a festival.

Who does all the song writing?

It is a combined effort. We come up with a beat to begin with. All of our songs do that. Then I will put the melody over it. It is a bizarre collaborative effort and free word associating. She just writes down sentences and stuff that comes to mind. Then I will go through and start putting them together. Then, in the end, the song will write itself.

Tell me about the video for Lessons Learned.

It was a lot of convincing to get Kim to do the video. That was a big chunk of the preparat
ion. We got a permit to shoot in Time Square. You cannot get a permit to shoot a music video; we got it to shoot an online promo. We did not let all the details out. It was February and it was damn cold. Kim was the one that thought she should get hit by a buss at the end. It was nice to have that twist at the end. It is the period at the end of the sentence.

Where can I get some Matt and Kim merchandise?

We do have a friend who has helped us for years who lives in Houston, Texas. He owns I Heart You Productions and he sells it through our website. He makes it, prints it; it’s a small, cool operation.

If you could tour with anyone in the industry today who would you pick?

(Thinks) I don’t know that we have been lucky enough to tour with good people. We like to play fun shows that people want to go out and dance. Genre aside we did a tour with Against Me. I remember when I heard their first album I was twenty and it made me feel like I was 14. I wanted to show it to everybody. We did a tour with them. I really enjoy going to see Girl Talk shows. They are fun. People go; dance, and we have done a lot of shows with them. Kim would say T.I. That’s her favorite. Warped Tour has come up but I hear that it is difficult.

Where do you see yourselves in five years?

I think something we did smart early on was we never kind of made any assumptions of anything that would happen or of anything where we would be. I never would guess that we would bed able to do this as our job. But for three years this is all we have done. Sometimes if you set goals or expectations you are setting yourself up for possible disappointment. We have just enjoyed the ride. We have enjoyed playing shows and having people like our music. If we are still playing shows and writing songs I will be happy as a clam.

What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?

I would like to be remembered for a band that was real on stage. I saw that because there are so many bands that I see, and we see infinite number of bands, which are totally fake on stage. Whether they are acting completely bored; they are just so boring. Even if we are having a bad day we let t show. People seem to respond to it. Or the bands that let out the pissed off underlying stuff in their bones. I think that I want to be remembered for being band that was real.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.

What I have learned from boring bands is that people have to be real in life. People who you talk to, and you can tell being themselves, is more engaging and exciting. I think that everyone needs to be themselves.