Matt and Kim – Exclusive Interview Matt and Kim – Exclusive Interview

Kim, Matt, and Greg Humber (L to R)

Kim, Matt, and Greg Humber (L to R)

Powersliding is not a crime and Matt and Kim are not criminals. Sure, they may have gallivanted around Times Square letting it all hang out silly sideways style (Peep their recent devious exploits captured in the “Lessons Learned” video).
But who amongst us hasn’t trotted about with our genitals on display in one the busiest thoroughfares in the world?

Pinpoint’s Greg Humber caught up with the loveable new-wave nudies at Levi’s Third Annual Powersliding competition. Held at the Santa Monica Pier, this unconventional “extreme” variation exhibition featured a free set of tunes from Mr. Johnson and Ms. Schifino. And as if that weren’t enough, Levis recruited a panel of action-enthusiast celebrity judges including Olympic Gold Medal skier, Jonny Moseley, Jackass cohort, Jason Acuña aka Wee Man, and the recently evicted Playboy bunny, Kendra Wilkinson. Once the powersliding finalist had been crowned, everyone headed back to the Levi’s store on the Santa Monica Promenade where Matt and Kim proceeded to meet fans and sip on Red Stripes.

GH: So, what’s it like being Matt and Kim?

Matt: Lately, being Matt has been a bust. I hurt my back so I feel like an old man.
Kim: He’s been lying on the floor a lot so he can’t pick stuff up.
Matt: And then I got scabies.
Kim: Don’t – no, no, no. Can we not write that?
Matt: What? I just told like everyone—
Kim: No, I don’t want anyone to know.
Matt: Why who cares? It’s funny. So that happened. I feel like I’ve just been falling apart, but I think it’s because we’ve just been running ourselves really hard. Partially, my brother gave me scabies. So what’s it like being Kim, lately, Kim?
Kim: Well, I’ve watched Matt fall apart — get scabies which really pissed me off. Matt’s brother is about to be kicked out. But other than that, it’s pretty awesome. We came here and played the show.
Matt: You’re bleeding a little bit. The skin on her lips is just falling off.
Kim: Yeah, I get really bad chapped lips.
Matt: That’s what it’s like being Kim. Chapped lips all the time.
Kim: And actually I think I got lip burn or else I’m really drunk.

GH: What do you like to do when you all return home to Brooklyn?

"Puppeteer and Actor, David Liebe Hart of Adult Swim's Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Puppeteer and Actor, David Liebe Hart of Adult Swim's Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Kim: This is gonna sound awful, but we like to sit on the couch and watch TV.
Matt: Essentially you’re out almost every single night, so when we actually get home, home-time can be very nice.

GH: Do you have the TIVO rigged up?

Kim: We don’t have TIVO, but luckily there is internet TV.
Matt: We don’t have cable not cuz some people say they are too good for it, but just because we would fall into that shit deep. Home and Garden Network — Oh my God.
I just watched six hours of it on the plane ride over here.

GH: I was watching Best Week Ever around the time Grand was released and “Daylight” was the featured song. I know that you both can be particularly selective when deciding how your music is used. Can either of you remember an offer where you were both like no way, no how?

Kim: It (“Daylight”) was asked to be in The Hills.
Matt: Not The Hills.
Kim: What was the other one?
Matt: The City. It’s like The Hills but it’s in Manhattan. The thing with Best Week Ever — I think that show is funny. When it’s on I’ll watch it. It’s not to say that I haven’t watched The Hills/Cities type shows, but you kinda hate yourself for watching those types of shows. We felt for that one (The Hills) it wasn’t the right place. And I mean, if any sort of cigarette related website or whatever wanted to feature Matt and Kim that would never happen. The thing is, we our definitely getting looser than we were a few years ago.
Kim: You think? Really?

Wee man, "Wee went on record  "(Matt and Kim) were the best thing about the whole event"

Wee went on record claiming that Matt and Kim, "Were the best thing about the whole event"

Matt: Oh yeah. It’s a slippery slope –this whole thing. We came from playing with a lot of punk rock bands. Your convictions slide quick.
Kim: I still feel that we decide based on whether it’s something we use or support and we do it. I think if it’s something we are completely against we wouldn’t do it. We ask a ton of questions, and we go back and forth with the companies a lot making sure that we see everything. We are about to be in this one commercial and it’s for alcohol and you know, sometimes that can lead to the wrong way where it’s a commercial in a club with scantily clad women—
Matt: Giant boobs — And those are usually the ones I go for.
Kim: But yeah, we are still picky.

GH: Matt and Kim were one of the first groups to release a free download (“Daylight”) with the Green Label Sound. Seeing as how 2008 was in some ways the year of free music, might we expect more free music from the Matt and Kim camp in 2009?

Matt: Well, we look for any situation where people can get our music for free. With the GLS thing, it’s Mountain Dew sponsored—
Kim: We were actually very hesitant about it. We asked a million questions.
Matt: Cuz the thing was these were songs, especially “Daylight” that we had worked on for a long time. It wasn’t like we were just making this random one off. It was a song we really believed in. And when you release with someone, like a company, it’s not just you — it’s not just Matt & Kim and the song name. It’s Matt and Kim, song name, and whatever else is connected to it. Green Label Sound did a good job of just stepping back and being a small mark on it. I was like are there gonna be Mountain Dew logos over top of our faces when they wheatpaste it up in towns?
Kim: And we had full control. We were able to decide the artist we wanted. I’m sure they hated us. We were extremely picky.
Matt: But the thing is, in the end it really worked out. They did it very tastefully and in a way of supporting the arts. So we look for partnerships like that where they are able to still market the songs and still help us out, and hopefully, (we) help them out and people get it for free.

Jonny Moseley and powersliding experts paying homage to Red Stripe after a hard day's work

Jonny Moseley and powersliding experts paying homage to Red Stripe after a hard day's work

GH: When I first listened to Grand I was appreciative of the nostalgic vibe evident in songs like, “Daylight.” I’m interested to find out what you all were like as kids?

Kim: I was a very sad kid.
Matt: You wouldn’t expect it seeing you smile.
Kim: You weren’t. You were a very happy kid.
Matt: I was peachy. I saw this drawing that was still at Kim’s mom’s house. It really broke my heart. It was just this frowny face with tears coming down the check, and underneath it, it just said, “Kim is sad.” I was like, “Oh, my God.” I grew up in the middle of nowhere. I grew up in Southern Vermont. I went to kindergarten through 12th grade in the one building, and I graduated in a class of 17. I had a jolly good growing up. But that’s the thing — when you’re in it, you’re like, “This town is so boring. This sucks!” But in the end, it was a great place to grow up.

GH: Whose idea was it to record the new album in your bedroom in Vermont?



Matt: That was my idea.
Kim: Which was a good idea because it saved us a lot of money and we had a lot of freedom. We only recorded the instruments while Matt’s parents were at work, and then we did the quiet stuff at night. But, damn — it was boring.
Matt: Kim was there for six weeks because we really recorded for nine months. We only did six weeks of it in Vermont. We were on tour, and we would come back and record for a week in our apartment in New York. Kim was losing it. She had to get out of there. I was like, “I lived here 18 years. Toughen up!” I think it just gave us a certain amount of freedom. No one was looking over our shoulder. It was a good move even though it ended up being a pain in the ass.

GH: So you think that the band will return to Brooklyn for the third album?

Matt: Yeah, I do.

Kim: There’s debate over the next album. We’re still figuring it out.
Matt: Oh my gosh — for the record book, they (Levis’ retail staff) just threw away this gigantic bowl of tortilla chips. I could have eaten every one of them.
Kim: They are throwin’ away the guac —
(Our interview is briefly put on hold while Matt and Kim scramble to rescue a gigantic bowl of guacamole from imminent demise).


GH: What inspired the shift to partner with the FADER record label?

Levi’s Third Annual Powersliding competition.

Levi’s Third Annual Powersliding competition.

Matt: When we were looking at labels we looked at a bunch of different places. We went to these offices where it was like veritable tumble weeds going through the halls of these big record labels, and there was no one even at the reception desk. And then we went to the Cornerstone/FADER offices, and there was like a 100 people — people who didn’t even have desks — and we’re just like this isn’t depressing. This is exciting that we are connecting with a label. Just having a newer out look and not having to depend on the old school things—
Kim: Even though there is that talk of moving.
Matt: Not moving. Connecting with, adding more parts, but still staying with FADER.

GH: Can you all walk us through the cover artwork for Grand?

Kim: Well, basically this is the only time I get to make artwork, and that’s basically what my artwork looks like. Sadly enough, it is the only time that I’m able to say I have to work on this and make artwork again.
Matt: There was some debate because Kim works in the silkscreen style, and some people thought it was too similar to our last album cover. But the thing is, if you look at an artist’s body of work usually the pieces are very similar. They find a style and they work that out.

GH: Having released Grand on Obama’s Inauguration Day, what changes would Matt and Kim like to see in 2009?
Matt: I don’t expect to see any dramatic changes. I could be like, oh man, I just want to have health insurance, but this ain’t gonna happen.
Kim: But, I feel like he just has a year of fixing a lot of shit.
Matt: No, he has four years of fixing shit.
Kim: But the fact that change will start to happen—
Matt: Or the fact that I won’t have to go to other countries and say that I’m from Canada because people hate Bush so goddamn bad. And that reflects on us as a country when we go to other countries — that we might be a somewhat likeable country again to the rest of the world. That, in itself, for people who travel around a lot is very important — that we don’t look like a bunch of douchebags. I grew up being really into punk rock, and being really down on the US just because that was the thing to do. But what I’ve realized after traveling in Europe and different parts of the world is that there are so many fucking cool little scenes in the United States that you wouldn’t even expect – Kalamazoo, Michigan and Mobile, Alabama – weird little towns and they are all over. America is rad and I’m proud of how many cool little things are going on. I just feel that we deserve a government that represents how cool this place is.

By Greg Humber – Pinpoint Music

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