Turntable Interview: Matt & Kim

Brooklyn indie dance duo Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino will release their highly-anticipated album Lightning on October 2.  The album, which was written, recorded and self-produced by Matt and Kim is the dynamic duo’s fourth LP and fans can expect more of their energetic, enterprising and downright fun songs. Matt & Kim hopped on to to spin some hip hop tunes and teach us all about BMX slang.

MATT & KIM: hey
STEREOGUM: Is this Matt or Kim?
MATT & KIM: this is matt, i’ll see if i can go grab kim
MATT & KIM: i think i’m kinda figuring this out…

Melissa Locker started playing “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” by Jay-Z

MATT & KIM: i found kim she’s sitting behind me
STEREOGUM: Can you both log in? And then you can both comment?
MATT & KIM: she’s right here with me is it cool if we jointly answer?
STEREOGUM: Sure, just make sure you tell me who is talking so the interview makes sense, cool?
MATT & KIM: yeah it be me unless i mention kim is chiming in!
STEREOGUM: perfect.

MattandKim started playing “Amen (Feat. Drake)” by Meek Mill

STEREOGUM: Hello! Welcome to Turntable Interviews. Are you Team Drake?
MATT & KIM: thanks, this is a great idea!
STEREOGUM: Aww shucks
MATT & KIM: we’re half team drake,
STEREOGUM: Is this the source of inter-Matt and Kim squabbles?
MATT & KIM: meaning he’s had some great singles but some rough album cuts
STEREOGUM: Did you ever see that picture of the fan who had DRAKE tattooed across her forehead?
MATT & KIM: I KNOWWWWW. i was really jelous i didnt get it first
STEREOGUM: Do you feel like that about any band or artist? other than Drake, because that one’s taken
MATT & KIM: p.s. are people going to judge my poor spelling?
STEREOGUM: Nope, I will even fix it for you later if you want. Or I can leave it authentic.
MATT & KIM: i think we need to give the people what really happened
STEREOGUM: Typos it is then. So, do you feel like that about any band or artist?
MATT & KIM: kim said she might get T.I tatooed on her ass
STEREOGUM: Oooh that’s nice.
MATT & KIM: i’m guessing one big T and one big I on each cheek
STEREOGUM: Ha! And who brings out your inner fan boy, Matt?

Melissa Locker started playing “Beez In The Trap (Feat. 2 Chainz)” by Nicki Minaj

MATT & KIM: hmmm
STEREOGUM: Follow up question: Do you think anyone has a Matt & Kim tattoo?
MATT & KIM: we’ve seen lots of Matt & Kim tatoos!
STEREOGUM: Really? Is that weird for you?
MATT & KIM: yeah, many lyrics ones but a few that just say “MATT & KIM’. once someone had us sign their ankle and then got it tattooed. I wish i knew they were gonna get it tattooed cause i kinda just scribbled
STEREOGUM: When you were a kid did you ever think, “I hope someone gets my name tattooed on them”
MATT & KIM: i can tell you truthfully that never crossed my mind, but i’m honored each time i’ve seen it. i remember playing in my punk band in highschool… and thinking that if ONE person i didn’t know knew words to a song i wrote it would blow my mind. that came back to me when we were playing a festival in japan and seeing an audience on the other side of the world sing along
STEREOGUM: Awww. You’ve come so far!

MattandKim started playing “Roger That” by Young Money

STEREOGUM: What was the name of your high school band?
MATT & KIM: It was call Aristocracy
STEREOGUM: Oooh very punk.
MATT & KIM: hahaa totally. i feel like i was the most closed minded i’ve ever been about music in my life those years i only listened to punk
STEREOGUM: Do any of the guys from your band come to your shows?
MATT & KIM: hell yeah… well one was my brother fletcher who is really the only reason i started playing misic. the drummer Trask came out and did sound for M&K for a minute
STEREOGUM: Thanks, Fletcher! What did you listen to back then? Crass? Sex Pistols? Black Flag?
MATT & KIM: yeah Crass kinda stuff mostly anarcho punk for awhile. then crust and grind then street
STEREOGUM: Do you think that has had an effect on your music now?
MATT & KIM: i think it influence a certain energy and D.I.Y. ethic

Melissa Locker started playing “Tiger Woods” by Riff Raff Sodmg

STEREOGUM: Wait, is crust and grind a genre?
MATT & KIM: well yeah two different genres
STEREOGUM: Oh gotcha, crust punk. What bands are emblematic of that sound?
MATT & KIM: Destroy, Code 13. lots of bands from the mid west
STEREOGUM: Did you write their name on your Trapper Keeper?
MATT & KIM: hahaa the last thing i wrote on a trapper keeper was in 7th grade it was all the words to onyx slam
MATT & KIM: Sodmg!!!!
MATT & KIM: We did a song with soulja. he was a good dude
MATT & KIM: yeah it was really one of the first times we’ve ever “produced” for someone else. was really fun, him and Andrew w.k. for converse 3 artist. not much collabs in indie
STEREOGUM: Why do you think that is?
MATT & KIM: I DON’T KNOW WHY THAT IS with hip hop everything is collab and pop too

MattandKim started playing “Gotta Have It” by Jay-Z and Kanye West

STEREOGUM: True. Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen and Kanye and Jay-Z
MATT & KIM: that’s right
STEREOGUM: Who would you collaborate with if you could have your pick?
MATT & KIM: well with this song playing, i do have to say kanye’s creativity is rad we had one tiny interaction in the past. a twitter interaction. he tweeted “the drums in this MATT & KIM song daylight are stupid!”

STEREOGUM: Kanye tweeted at you? That’s pretty awesome.

Melissa Locker started playing “Party & Bullshit In The Usa” by DJ Crazy J Rodriguez

MATT & KIM: and i thought hmmmm is that stupid or stupid good
STEREOGUM: Where’s your self esteem: Stupid = good!
MATT & KIM: then he wrote something about it being stuuuuupid good
STEREOGUM: Amazing! That must have been pretty exciting. Think he’ll turn up at one of your shows?
MATT & KIM: he’s probably forgot about us by now, dude is doing alot
STEREOGUM: True. What would do with Kanye in the studio? Would it be “Watch the Lightning“?
MATT & KIM: my beautiful dark twisted lightning
MATT & KIM: hahaa this song! big and miley, the collab we’ve all been waiting for
STEREOGUM: Exactly! It’s the best collab around.
STEREOGUM: Let’s talk about your new album! Speaking of being in the studio, where was this one recorded?

MattandKim started playing “Tonight” by Donnis

MATT & KIM: it was the last thing we did in our grand st apt before we moved out
STEREOGUM: Did you leave Williamsburg?
MATT & KIM: we wrote all of our albums there and referred to it alot across our albums, but the first album we actually made the whole thing there
MATT & KIM: yeah we bought a place in the stuy
STEREOGUM: Are future songs going to be about Bed Stuy now?
MATT & KIM: well our environment always influences us
STEREOGUM: Back to the recording, were you able to get the sound you wanted out of the apartment?
MATT & KIM: yeah for sure, we generally like to have some “personality” in the songs and we felt we lost a little of that doing our last album in a studio
STEREOGUM: You recorded the last one in Atlanta, right?
MATT & KIM: we love that album but though it could have sounded shittier in some places

Melissa Locker started playing “Goldie” by A$AP Rocky

MATT & KIM: we spent a couple months recording down there, and finished it in BK
STEREOGUM: Ha! It’s funny to hear a musician say they wanted their album to sound shittier
MATT & KIM: ASAP! if you listen to some of the stuff off our album grand it sounds pretty raw cause we recorded that having no idea what we were doing, and theres just something human about that
STEREOGUM: Yeah, you guys are known for a pretty raw sound. So fans should expect this album to sound “shittier”?
MATT & KIM: hahaa i don’t know if shittier but a little more human, little more personality. we aren’t know for perfection, ha that’s not what we’re about

MattandKim started playing “Black Mags” by Cool Kids

STEREOGUM: Did your neighbors appreciate the apartment turning into a recording studio?
MATT & KIM: us and our neighbors had an unspoken agreement… we were both really loud and neither of us ever complained
STEREOGUM: that works out well then. You’re heading out on a big tour soon, do you love them or dread them?
MATT & KIM: tours? we love it. love doing shows and then there is 22 hours a day i get to chill out. most relaxation i get all year

Melissa Locker started playing “Beast Infection” by Grimes

STEREOGUM: Ha! What do you do in all your spare time?
MATT & KIM: we don’t really get caught up in “doing things” on tours, we don’t go out and explorer or see the sights, we try to catch up with friends in the towns where we know people. even in more exotic places we found its too stressful
STEREOGUM: How many months do you think you have spent on the road, total?

MattandKim started playing “My 1st Song” by Jay-Z

MATT & KIM: i’d say roughly 6-8 months a year for the last 5 years
STEREOGUM: That’s a lot of chill out time
MATT & KIM: ha well the bus tours are different and we only do that about 2 months a year. the rest is flying. that holds a whole different stress. doesn’t get much chill time on fly days
STEREOGUM: True, so what’s your go-to airport meal?
MATT & KIM: gate guru app is great
STEREOGUM: Ooh I don’t know that one
MATT & KIM: what restaurants are in the airport, gives reviews. like a yelp for every airport
STEREOGUM: Nice! That’s good for people who travel as much as you two
MATT & KIM: but generally i keep it safe with sandwiches
STEREOGUM: O’Hare has the best sandwiches. Who knew we’d be swapping travel tips?
MATT & KIM: hahaa i’ll have to fly into ohare just to try their sandwiches

Melissa Locker started playing “Greatest Rapper Ever” by Danny Brown

STEREOGUM: The video for your song Let’s Go features some pretty serious basketball skills. How did you come up with that idea for the video?
MATT & KIM: We did a basketball game called Band of Ballers for converse/mtv and we met pat the roc there. we had watched a bunch of videos of him before the game. then we were looking to do a video that had the right energy of the song but wasn’t just say, us performing and kim came up with pat! i’ve never been very good at team sports
STEREOGUM: It’s fun and unexpected, which is ironically what fans have come to expect from you guys
MATT & KIM: skateboarding, bmx, that was my shit
STEREOGUM: You were a BMX bandit?
MATT & KIM: in so many words! until i ruined my back doing it when i was 21 then i hung it up
STEREOGUM: You hung up your BMX biker helmet at 21? That’s a long time!

MattandKim started playing “Gucci Time (Feat. Swizz Beatz) [Explicit Album Version]” by Gucci Mane

STEREOGUM: Can you tell us some BMX slang so we can all sound cool?
MATT & KIM: turndown, barspin, manual, x-up, fufano, can can, flair,
STEREOGUM: Barspin? I like the sound of that one
MATT & KIM: does that sound cool? i’m not sure
STEREOGUM: Maybe you have to work it into conversation.
MATT & KIM: barspin has nothing to do with drinking
STEREOGUM: Then I take it back. What is it?

Melissa Locker started playing “Take Care” by Drake

MATT & KIM: That one’s pretty straight forward, it’s spinning the bars. yeah then i re-injured my back on tour 3 years ago or so in florida. wait i guess it was more years ago than that. damn. i’m too young to feel so old. (is that a drake lyric?)
STEREOGUM: So say we all! And, yeah, it could be a Drake lyric. Speaking of which, I notice that we are both only playing rap and hip hop. Are you going to do a Matt & Kim hip hop album?
MATT & KIM: i’d say we listen to mostly top 40 hip hop
STEREOGUM: No indie rock?
MATT & KIM: no there is some involved as well as some pop punk. also love to chill to old blues like robert johnson
STEREOGUM: It’s hard not to like Robert Johnson.
MATT & KIM: but don’t get it confused with M&K we make music that we love

MattandKim started playing “Hate It Or Love It” by The Game

MATT & KIM: and there are certainly bands that fall into a similar catagory, i’m just afraid i don’t know so many of them
STEREOGUM: Do you go see music very often?
MATT & KIM: not as much as we used to or would like to, it’s hard to keep up with what is goin down in BK. it used to just be all about going to and seeing what was going down, but i don’t think he does that many shows anymore
STEREOGUM: He does! They are just in Bushwick now. and ….I guess we should end on that note because I just got an email telling me that you have rehearsal. In case you didn’t know that you had rehearsal.
MATT & KIM: i know kim’s been telling me, she’s the whip cracker
MATT & KIM: but thanks this was fun and good song to close on!
STEREOGUM: Well thank you for chatting!
MATT & KIM: no doubt!
STEREOGUM: Can’t wait to catch your next show and listen to your new album on repeat.
MATT & KIM: you better be there and haa
STEREOGUM: Have fun at rehearsal
MATT & KIM: Thanks!


Lightning is out 10/2 via FADER. Pre-order at iTunes.

Tags: Matt And Kim