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Home BLOGS Music Catching up with Matt and Kim

Catching up with Matt and Kim
Written by Jesse Pollock   
Thursday, 19 February 2009 08:50
Since our last interview with Brooklyn's Matt and Kim was so much fun, we decided to catch up with them again as they came through San Francisco to promote their new album.

Words: Jesse Pollock
Photos: Tod Seelie

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Since our last interview with Brooklyn's Matt and Kim was such so much fun, we decided to catch up with them again as they came through San Francisco to promote their new album which was released on January 20th. We sat down with them as they were eating dinner before their show at Cafe DuNord at the beginning of February and they shared some stories about touring in Alaska, working with publicists, and buying a van with air conditioning.


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Are you guys still cruising around in that Astro Van you had last time?

Kim: It Died!

Matt: Dead, dead.. Connecticut.

Kim: We left it. We took the plates off and we left it.

Matt: Gone.

So what are you cruising around in now?

Kim: We scrounged up some money and bought a - what's it called?

Matt: A GMC Savannah. After we bought it we got it painted a color called "Super Red".

Kim: And now we're calling it "Old Blue".

Is there air conditioning in your van this time?

Matt: There is air condition! Also, We didn't paint top this time and just left it white so it would be like a school bus, you know? So it keeps it cooler.

Kim: We kind of needed a bigger van because now we're having more people come with us and it's a good thing, but I do miss the Astro Van. I sort of had a tear when it was being put up on the tow truck.

So given that you have more of a staff working with you these days, is it cramped in the van now? Are there a lot of people with you?

Kim: There are four of us now including our tour manager and our merch guy. I realized that it had got to the point where I would be done playing and I'd be running over to do the merch table just totally sweaty, delirious and not being able to add twelve and ten together. Just basically not being able to handle it, so it's nice to have people to help out. Also, we've been starting dance parties after our sets so now I can dance and not have to think about any of that stuff.

How has it been going working with press agents, tour managers etc. as your career has progressed? Is It weird at all giving up that control?

Kim: No, it's nice to have someone help out because for a long time we were doing everything ourselves and because of that it got a little overwhelming. It made us start slacking on stuff. Not meaning to, but just not having enough time to get everything done.

Matt: But the thing is that it's also a little confusing when you're used to doing everything yourself and you hand that responsibility off to someone else. We still want to be really involved in everything though, so we have to approve everything. Like every small thing down to the back of a sticker. Like everything...

Kim: I think that they hate us now.

Matt: Every time we would call they would be like "Sighhhhhhhhhh.. What is it?" It's not because they don't want us to be happy, it's just because it slows things down and they have to do everything so quickly. It is a little weird to give some bit of the responsibility away though, since we're so used to it.


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So on the last album you guys talked about how the recordings came out sounding a bit clean for your taste and how you like it a bit dirtier. Did you fix that this time around?

Matt: I think we fucked it up the appropriate amount that we wanted to fuck it up. You know.. I mean yeah, it sounds just like I wanted it to. We took it to someone to help us mix it and they started making the kick drum on songs like "Good Old Fashion Nightmare" sound like a kick drum miced with a nice mic would sound and we were like "No! we want it to sound like a locker door slamming, I don't want it to sound like a kick drum." So afterwards, I ended up taking over the whole mix.

You mixed the album yourself?

Matt: Yeah, it was a big pain in the ass.

Kim: We were also touring at the time and we would be trying to squeeze everything in so we'd be like "Okay we're home for two weeks, gotta get this (mix) done. We didn't have air conditioning in our house at the time, it'd be like four in the morning and Matt would be like just sweating in his boxers with the sun coming up just trying to get it done.

And the mix is never perfect right? I've heard it can be very trying on a person.

Matt: No, never. It's so hard.

Kim: And you know what's amazing? Our neighbors never complained. They're a pretty big family in this little apartment and they have been living in that building for like twenty years.

Matt: Yeah, we've tracked a lot of vocals in our apartment and stuff like that for that album and we just have this unspoken agreement that we can both be as loud as we want

Did you get new keyboards or drums since the last recordings? I keep hearing about how you break stuff on a regular basis.

Kim: I'm sick of breaking stuff. Cymbals are really expensive! Luckily, I still have the same kick drum that I started with which was a hand-me-down and the same floor tom that was also a hand-me-down, but I did get this really nice snare. If you ever go to New York, there is this guy John who owns Main Drag Music. He made me a snare drum which is now called "Lil' Jon".

Matt: I think our goal is to get stuff that would work efficiently cause I had a long spell where I really liked this keyboard called a Poly 800 which is like an 80's keyboard made out of plastic. I went through five of them and they just kept breaking. We'd be on tour and they would just cut out. We did this tour with CSS and The Go! Team and consistently almost every show, we would play like two and a half songs and we'd be done. They would just get fucked up.

Did people spill beer on them?

Kim: Well that's how it started. Lots of beer, lots of sweat – they don't like beer. On that tour, the opening bands thought that was our shtick. They were like "Oh, you guys just pretend like your stuff's broken?"

Matt: It just kept happening because we were in this crappy position where we didn't get any sound check. We could have nixed the problem, but we kept thinking we fixed what it was but we didn't get to sound check so we'd just play and hope for the best. So, I moved on to a keyboard that was made while I was alive and the instrumentation on the thing is totally different than anything I've done.


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Since we post music on the site and I run a music blog on the side, we have had some experience with what can accompany posting mp3s on the internet. I have been asked to take songs down before and while I understand completely, I'm always interested to hear an artist's take on how they feel about their music being offered up for free.

Matt: Before-hand the record label had people just working all the time asking people to take it down because it started going up everywhere after it started going out to press. We have never banked on record sales for making money, but I did appreciate that only in the sense that when our album came out on the 20th, I wanted it to have some sort of bang. I didn't want it to be where everyone already had it and would be like "Ooohhh big day", you know? So I appreciated the idea of holding it back. If you were gonna download it or whatever then do it, but wait till it came out and wait until we could have this moment. So they worked on trying to hold it back but essentially our band has only existed in a time where people having our albums made it so we could tour..

Do you think as time goes on and you grow as a band your opinion about music sharing changes?

Kim: No, I mean if someone comes up to the table and their friend is buying a cd and they say that they don't have the money I'm like "Dude, your friend just bought it.. burn it off of them." I mean we just want everyone to hear it.

Matt: It's just one of those things where if you can afford it, we appreciate the contribution. It's sort of the same way I've been in my life with software. Things like the audio programs I use I have always download for free, but now that I make my living off doing this, and I make a decent living off doing this, I feel like I'm able to contribute back to these things that have been very helpful tools for me.


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Whenever I look at your tour schedule it always seems like you're always on the move. Do you ever stay over longer in a town that you tour in. Don't you ever want to just hang out for a bit?

Kim: It's kind of the financial reasoning behind it. We would like to but the problem that we've come up with is that we're trying to tour everywhere and trying to fit it all in. Also, we like to give it our all when we're on stage so we're trying to make it so we don't burn out. So the amount we tour, we'll take off when we're at home to kind of relax. I still can't figure out how we're supposed to fit in everywhere that we're supposed to go this year. So our time is really short, we're kind of in a town and then we're out.

That sounds sort of exhausting.

Kim: It's weird though, touring for us is a lot less stressful than being at home so we kind of like it when we're on the road. It's sort of that routine where you drive to a town, you have sound check, you eat, you play a show, you sleep, you get up, you do the same thing...

Matt: I feel that it's pretty simple compared to home life.

I'm always interested to hear about favorite shows tour experiences. I think I remember you guys having a string on international dates. Have you had some fun shows out of the country?

Matt: We've been to Europe a number of times.

Kim: We went to Australia and got to pet kangaroos which was pretty crazy.
Matt: it's not out of the country, but we went to Alaska and that was somewhere that I was really intrigued about. I shot my first handgun there.

You played a show in Alaska?

Matt: Yeah a couple in Anchorage.

Kim: It was a moment of being out by the railroad tracks in the woods with some cheap beer like.

Matt: - Like what Alaska is all about. At the railroad tracks shooting guns at beer cans.

Kim: He put in the wimpy bullets in the one gun for us and then put in what he called the 'bear bullets'?

Matt: That's what they were for. Going out into the woods after a bear. The handgun looked like Joker's handgun where it was just gigantic and but it was made to put these giant bullets in and it pretty much knocked me down.

Kim: Oh okay so also, the kid gives us the gun while we're in the back seat and he is driving and Matt takes the gun out and is all like "Check this out..." and I'm like "You're gonna move the safety, put it away" and he was like waving it around. So then we get where we're going and I was like "Yeah, Matt was fucking around with it and I don't know if the safety is off". And he's like "Oh, there no safety and oh yeah, it's loaded."

Matt: Yeah, it was a loaded gun with no safety and I was all playing with it in the car.. yeah.

Kim: We're not used to having guns.

Are there kids who go to shows in Alaska?

Matt: Yeah and the thing is that people drove down from like Fairbanks which is seven or eight hours away. If there is like a show in the region, they will just filter in from all over because bands don't go up there.


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That's pretty incredible Okay, now how about international shows..

Kim: One show we played this festival and the whole time we were there everyone kept telling us how contaminated this lake was because the festival was right beside a lake and we're kind of on this dock. So halfway through the set Matt decides to run out and jump on this lake just to be like "It's not contaminated."

Matt: I don't know, it was the second show we played that day. The first one was awesome and this was like a smaller thing on a dock and I was like "I got to step this up", so I did a flip off the stage.

Kim: But then he comes back and he's dripping wet, he pours water into his keyboard and totally broke it, This is like the first day of our European tour and then the next day we're headed to the UK trying to figure out how to get keyboards since his were broken. Also, he got really sick and had to have the van pull over so he could puke on the side of the highway.

You can find out more about Matt and Kim including tour dates at their website: mattandkimmusic.com

{moscomment}

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Beautiful painting by NYC based Hiro Kurata now on display at SF's FFDG through April 19th as part of the group show "Salt the Skies".


"Veins of Octulen" by Curiot at FFDG

"Salt the Skies" opened on the 21st at FFDG and features this great piece by Mexico City based Curiot (Favio Martinez) whose sold out 2013 show Age of Omuktlans ran at FFDG. His forthcoming solo show is slated for March 2015.


Rome's Alice Pasquini ~Mural+

Rome based multimedia artist Alice Pasquini emailed over a recent mural completed in the historic working class neighborhood of Rome called Tufello.


Project M/3 in Berlin curated by NUART

BERLIN --- Project M is a temporary art project with the objective to improve the neighborhood, to push creativity and to connect people. At regular intervals Urban Nation with director Yasha Young invites a group of internationally reclaimed contemporary urban artists to re-design the facade and shop windows of a prominent residential building in Berlin, while it is being reconstructed.


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