Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On the 5th of November, Matt and Kim played a dance-tronic show in the company of musical gems Best Fwends and Eric Hnatow. It was a magical night and there might as well have been confetti falling from the sky. Alyssa Pluss and Laura Galu had the chance to interview Matt and Kim beforehand, here is what they got:

We’ve both seen Matt and Kim perform a few times, and we totally agree with what people say about them – that their music is party music, and their show is a PARTY!!! What we found out is that even interviewing them is a party – during the interview, we chatted about crazy responses to Obama being elected, the bad-tasting burritos that they were both eating during the interview, stink bombs, and they even let us give them some listening advice (re: Fleetwood Mac). We also found out the secret behind Kim’s smile – Matt’s goofy face (aw, isn’t that cute?). Later that night, they put on a great show. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that rowdy of a crowd at the Iron Horse. What more could we ask for both of our first interviews? Pretty much nothing.

DIRT: [We’re] interviewing Matt and Kim, the day after Obama got elected.

KIM: I’m gonna say, this could have been a really bad tour. Not to think selfishly, but in life, it would have been really bad.

MATT: Well, tonight, for me, it’s a celebration party. It could have been really depressing.

KIM: Yeah, it’ll be a good night. Last night, we took the night off, of course. We were in Brattleborough, it’s close to where Matt grew up, in VT. It was amazing just to go out in the streets afterwards, and everyone was just so excited, it was amazing. Matt got up on the table, did a little dance.

DIRT: People at Smith were going crazy too. People were screaming, getting naked-

KIM: Really?

DIRT: A lot of running. People at Smith always want to get naked. Any opportunity. One of the questions we wanted to ask you is, how do you deal with it when the crowd isn’t giving you good vibes?

MATT: Well, first step is to try to get people into it. There’s a couple of techniques I try. One is to turn out all the lights in the venue, and see if you can do it in the dark. For some reason, it makes people less self-conscious, and that’s one area of defense. Another one is just to make fun of yourself, you know, if you make fun of yourself, you all get on the same ground. But sometimes nothing works, and sometimes people don’t get into it and it sucks.

KIM: Well, it’s tough, the way we work – we work off the crowd.

MATT: There’s nothing that’s like we’re the band, you’re the crowd, it’s not that kind of thing. With some bands, it doesn’t matter, they’re just doing the same thing.

KIM: So yeah, if the crowd’s going crazy, we get more excited and more energized, and that I feel like that goes back to the crowd. It’s just kind us playing off of each other.

MATT: And then sometimes, in a worst-case scenario, in a bad turn-out, and people aren’t that into - whatever – with Kim there, that’s where I do have to start blocking out the crowd.

KIM: And then we just play to each other.

MATT: And then it’s just us, and if I just make a stupid face, and then that makes you smile, and that just makes me more psyched.

KIM: So that happens a lot, cause Matt makes a lot of stupid faces.

DIRT: That’s why you’re always smiling.

KIM: Yeah, I’m just up there laughing at Matt.

DIRT: Do you guys have a routine you go through to get ready to perform? Do you distinguish between performing onstage and not performing off-stage?

KIM: No, you basically get us the same way either way.

MATT: Well, it does make a difference-

KIM: If it’s hip-hop-

MATT: We put on music we like before we play. If we can do that, and when we set up gear, we just dance when we do it, I get so much more psyched up. But sometimes you have no control and the sound guy is into something that I would consider really awful, or it’s something super-mellow, and I just start out not psyched.

KIM: I think it’s that, and if we have time to chill. Sometimes tour gets pretty stressful, and you’re just kind of running around a lot, and then they’re like, you gotta go on.

MATT: And also the bands you play with. Our show – how the whole show is to someone going – it’s an accumulation of the night. If the bouncers are shitty, that makes you have a worse night, which makes us have a worse set. If the club just is a place you wouldn’t want to be- remember that time, [with] Against Me – all the stink bombs? You just didn’t want to be there.

KIM: Even though, I really love the smell of stink bombs. It’s kind of like that egg smell that you sometimes get when you’re driving. I like hard-boiled eggs a lot, and it’s kind of like that, so I’m like, yeah, I’m getting hungry.

MATT: Also, the bands you play with. Like this band we have with us right now, Best Fwends, is just a total riot, and they make me get psyched and laugh, and just put me in a good mood.

DIRT: How did you get hooked up with them?

KIM: We were friends with them for a while.

MATT: They’ve been playing longer than we’ve been playing. I remember going and seeing them before we had ever started.

KIM: They just kind of toured – basically, a lot of the bands we tour with are friends. Because now we’ve gotten to the point where we can take friends with us, which is really nice, just to kind of have your posse roll into town, instead of just the two of us. So, we, through mutual friends, kind of were introduced to them and have been friends with them for the past 6, 7 years. So now we’re able to take them on the road with us, which is good. They’re very entertaining.

DIRT: So one good thing about being more well known is being able to take people on the road. Is there anything else that comes along with that?

KIM: Venue people are nicer to you.

MATT: Sometimes.

KIM: Sometimes (laughs).

MATT: You have to be moving in some direction. I have bands that have – there’s a certain DIY circuit that you can do in this country, and are just committed to that, that’s what they do. Things have to change. I could change and do a support tour for a bigger band and do these bigger venues where everything’s really boring, and then I could go back and do some of those shows, but I have to switch around. I guess if you have more popularity, you have more options. Not that you have to do one or the other. Some bands look like they can’t go back to gallery shows or warehouse shows, or things that they used to do. But I think having more options keeps things more exciting because if you want to do a better place – but then there’s also more expectations. That’s kind of been killing us on this tour.

KIM: It’s kind of like this: if you have a party at your house, and it’s early, and you’re kind of nervous that no one’s going to show up, you get that every night.

MATT: Does anyone like me? You start worrying about these things, and it’s totally the same, you take it to heart, as if it’s not about your band, it’s about you. So we’re in Boston, where we had played at a little art gallery to like 70 kids before, and it was awesome, and now we play the Middle East to over a couple hundred. And they’re all going crazy, and it should be fun, but because the venue’s that much bigger, it’s like, well it should be more full than this. Even though it was an awesome show and there were hundreds of people there, and they were going wild, it still had this undertone of depressing because there was this other expectation.

DIRT: What were you setting up with the projector?

MATT: Well, we had this idea – we were going to venues that people had been to a bunch of times, and we just wanted to make it somehow more specifically a MATT & KIM show. You’ve been here a million times, seen a million shows – what can we do to make it feel like it’s its own thing? We could make big art on sheets and stuff but that would be really hard, so we thought just to use a couple projectors on the walls and try to make them big. We have Shaun of the Dead in there, which is one of my favorite movies, right now. I made this animation, but we didn’t get it on DVD in time. But to start it – I can’t get through the menu, but it has previews for such awful movies as The Real Cancun, which I think was the only attempt at a reality movie that ever existed. I’m projecting this ten feet high.

DIRT: Is there anything you want to tell us about the new album?

KIM: It’s awesome! No, we’re really excited – actually, we recorded in MATT’s parent’s house. Actually, we recorded in the room that MATT grew up in, that still looks like a 16-year-old lives there. So we had full control, and we got to do exactly what we wanted. We took about nine months doing it. We were on tour at the time, so we’d kind of go on tour and come back. It’s exactly what we wanted to make, and we’re really excited about it. But now it’s done, but with the whole record label thing, they need three months to get it ready.

MATT: Whatever, we just want it – that’s so long, we started last December.

KIM: We put out two free tracks online to kind of be like, here you go.

MATT: It’s different than anything we’ve done, but only in a way that would have been exactly what I would have wanted to do from square one if we had the means. Our last recording we did in seven days, as opposed to this, we did in like nine months. It was like, good enough? OK, keep going. Do you want to try something? No, no time to try something. Sometimes you want to try something that could be shitty, but it could be that special thing that you didn’t know was going to work. But then again, having too much freedom is brutal, and that’s why it took so god damn long, and I would never do it myself ever, ever again.

KIM: But now we know how to tell someone exactly what we want.

DIRT: So how do you see yourselves fitting into “DIY,” or do you?

KIM: I mean, it’s kind of what our band grew on. And I really don’t feel like we’ve changed at all. So I feel like we could play a venue one day and play a DIY space – like in Providence, we played a DIY space, and then we played the Middle East in Boston. I just feel like we haven’t really changed. New songs, but –

MATT: Like I said, there are certain things that if you are only part of the DIY scene, it will just drive you nuts. Doing long drives to New Orleans Louisiana just to have your show get shut down one song in, while other people drove hours to get there, and stuff like that. Or the person who’s throwing the show not showing up when you get there. If you’re doing this as a hobby, or you go out and do a tour once every year – but if you’re doing this all the time, you just can’t do that all the time, it just wears you out. But, on the other hand, the organization of venues, and everything being worked out beforehand, can be really great but then it can get really boring.

DIRT: Do you guys ever listen to Fleetwood Mac?

MATT: What would be a Fleetwood Mac song?

DIRT: What? “Gypsy,” “Rhiannon,” “Never Going Back Again,” “Dreams,” “The Chain.”

KIM: You know who would know that?

MATT: Who?

KIM: Best Fwends.

DIRT: You guys should just take a listen – no, take a look, on youtube.

KIM: Give us one song.

DIRT: “Dreams” – no, “The Chain,” from 1982. The reason we wanted to ask you about it is because they a really intense energy on stage that could maybe be compared to you guys.

MATT: My brother blamed all of soft rock on Fleetwood Mac.

DIRT: Fleetwood Mac is not soft rock.

MATT: So then I didn’t choose for myself. Because soft rock is one of the worst genres of music.

DIRT: They’re intense.

KIM: “The Chain”?

DIRT: Yeah, 1982, that’s the best one.

MATT: That was a good year.

KIM: That’s the year you were born.

MATT: All right, I’ll give it a chance. My brother, I have to tell you, he doesn’t always know what he’s talking about.

KIM: What are you talking about, your brother has no idea what he’s talking about.

DIRT: Well, we both love your music and we both love Fleetwood Mac.

MATT: OK, all right.

KIM: I’ll take that.

DIRT: Well, thanks so much for the interview.

Many, many thanks to Matt and Kim for agreeing to sit down with DIRT. You're dreamboats and I want you at all my birthday parties from now on.
Here is the video from their new single, "Daylight," off of their new album (of the same name).

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