Losanjealous Interview: Matt from Matt and Kim
Matt & Kim @ El Rey Thu Aug 27 (tonight!)
Interview with Matt from Matt and Kim
By The Experience Gallery
They only intended to play in the privacy of their own bedroom until a friend made them play in front of others. They have since developed a reputation for putting on energy-packed live shows that get everyone on their feet and bouncing to the music. We caught up with Matt on the road heading towards Los Angeles for tonight’s show at the El Rey and their first appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in support of Grand, their second album released earlier this year.
Hi, how are you?
Do you prefer performing in smaller venues or larger ones?
I think there is something about both that makes it desirable to go back and forth. You play a festival where thousands of people are there you have a certain energy there; where there are so many people cheering and singing. But it is difficult to see a person in the mix. It becomes more abstract. Whereas you play a small show where there are less than 500 people there you start picking out faces and seeing individual reactions. It is a different sort of feeling. You kind of want to do both and we are in the position to do that right now.
You have so much energy on stage and you don’t need a lot of space. Even your “Daylight” music video has you playing in a small space. How do you bring so much energy wherever you play?
Everything comes from the crowd’s feedback. We feed off each other. The more Kim and I get into it the more the crowd can get into it. The more they get into it the more we do… and it sort of becomes this chain reaction that builds on each other.
But if you play at some bizarre event where everyone is dreary you can feel the lack of energy in the room. It’s a real give and take thing and it’s something we firmly believe in. The show is way more than the band performing; its the collective effort of all the people that are there.
So you don’t drink a dozen Monster energy drinks to get hyped up?
Well… (laughs) only when we are running on absolutely no sleep and need to keep our heads, hands, fingers functioning.
Listening to your last album, Grand, it seems like you were able to bring the live energy of your shows into making that album… how did you do that?
What I feel like is, generally it is difficult to put live energy into a record. Everyone is really concerned with putting that live energy into an album but you have to do it in a different way. That’s what we didn’t understand before. You can’t just play louder and expect it to be louder… it’s not like it makes someone turn up their stereo. You can’t be sweatier and think that it will translate. You have use different instrumentations and things like that, that add a spike of energy somewhere that is sagging. Whereas at a show you may just play louder, faster, stronger. It was a learning experience for us in that way.
Is it true you recorded your album at your parents’ house in Vermont?
Yeah, in the bedroom I shared with my brother for seventeen years.
Was it weird going back to a familiar place?
No, we liked it. Except for the fact that there wasn’t really any heat up there. We were there in the winter too!
The freedom of making the album there was great. It was great to be able to try and do what we wanted. Our first album we recorded in about a week because we didn’t have the time or the money. This time we gave ourselves all the time we could ask for. Which is also enough rope to hang yourself with as they say. It ended up taking a really long time. There was a lot of discovery about what Matt and Kim could do.
Even though Grand has more texture and things going on it still has that raw quality to it; the human element is still there… is that important?
Yeah definitely. To get a little techie on you, a good way to keep things more human and real is that when you put a mic really close to a drum set it sounds a lot different than if you put the mic on the other side of the room. When people hear you play it’s not like they have their ear two inches away from the snare drum.
Hearing it from a distance they are hearing the whole room involved and things like that. I think we kind of engineered things to give the album a very human, right there, kind of sound. Part of the things of doing it yourself is that if you wanted to sound shittier you can do that yourself.
Your video for “Lessons Learned” featured you and Kim running through Times Square in the nude, what was it like filming that video?
It was liberating! Soon afterward I bought a Speedo swimsuit because I felt like if I could run through Times Square naked I could do anything. It was very weird and it took a lot of convincing Kim to do it. She really didn’t want to do it. I thought it was the perfect idea for the song but when it came time to do the take it was tunnel vision because you block everything out and just do the scene.
What is Kim’s workout regimen like? How does she keep in shape?
I saw her this morning and she was on the bus on all fours stretching one leg up kind of like a dog about to pee on a fire hydrant and she continued to do that over and over. I think that’s how she gets her booty lift going. Initially it was from being a runner for many years and she went to college on a running scholarship.
Now the drumming right?
Yeah the drumming gives her the biceps for me to be scared of.
How does the crowd differ from town to town, like from Brooklyn to Los Angeles?
It used to be very different from town to town, now because we have some sort of reputation about our shows, it seems like everyone is coming ready to dance and have fun. Initially when we played New York it would be a dancing kind of party thing because we played it so much but when we went somewhere else they would just bob their heads… We were in Norman, Oklahoma last night, somewhere I’ve never been before, and we played in this seated theater at a college there. We didn’t know what it was going to be like, if it would be like giving a lecture to some students… but everyone was just getting on their chairs and getting sweaty.
How do you like playing outside America in places like Australia and Barcelona?
I really liked going to Australia and South America for the first time. We’ve been to Europe maybe three or four times. We are going back this December. We have built up enough here in the States that we’ve gotten used to expecting certain things from shows. Now going to Europe it’s like taking a couple of steps back.
You have to sort of start building again. There’s a healthy desire to move forward but it is a bit more difficult there.
Check out their music at http://www.mattandkimmusic.com/.
More interviews from The Experience Gallery at www.TheExperienceGallery.com.
» Matt & Kim @ El Rey Thu Aug 27 (tonight!)