Matt and Kim: First Name Basis | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Matt and Kim at Coachella 2010

Matt and Kim

First Name Basis

Apr 21, 2010 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Web Exclusive
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Power pop duo Matt and Kim never seem to stop moving. After last year's sophomore release, Grand, the duo have stayed busy, prepping a follow-up album and tour, while still finding time to snag an MTV "Breakthrough Video" award for their bare in Times Square video, "Lessons Learned."

Under the Radar caught up with the cheerful twosome at last weekend's Coachella festival to talk about their new album, Erykah Badu, and dirty rock 'n' roll.

Laura Studarus: Tell me about the conversation you had with Erykah Badu about her video "Window Seat."

Matt: Well, we had gotten a text earlier that day that was like "Hey Kim," it's Badu. Give me a call. Not that we were on a last name basis, or any name basis. So I gave her a call. Kim had heard through some sort of grapevine that she was thinking of making a video that was essentially our video. So we chatted for a bit. She wanted to know what the experience was like. She first came on the phone saying, "Oh I'm a big fan and we're going to make a video like your video 'Lessons Learned' and what not." At first it was flattery because she's an artist that I respect and like and whatnot. And so we just talked for a while. Our video wasn't about shock value or anything, it was what I thought was appropriate for the song. And you know, when we talked she kinda had the same direction. And then she said, "I wanna give you credit." I really respect that because a lot of times a larger artist comes in and does something that someone else has done, and so I appreciate her putting our name at the beginning. So it's been positive. And then we got texts afterwards from her that were just like "Whooo!!!"

I love that she texted you rather than calling.

Kim: Which I like, I'll have to admit! I don't do the phone. I'll text the shit out of you, but I don't like to talk.

So you guys are working on a new album?

Matt: Yeah, we were in Atlanta for two months prior to coming here, and we go back for another couple of weeks.

Who are you working with?

Kim: Ben Allen.

Matt: He did the Gnarls Barkley album, the first album. He did Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion. He's done a bunch of stuff I liked, but different kind of stuff. He did Christina Aguilera's album too. Kim and I feel we're lucky because we don't fall into one cut and clean genre and to work with someone who works in a bunch of different genres I think is cool.

So what does your album sound like?

Kim: [Laughs] Banging!

Matt: Well, this is only our third album; we had a demo before that. And there's always a song or two that sets up what we start the next album at. I think songs like "Good Ol' Fashion Nightmare" and "Daylight" are sort of the direction we're heading in, and it sort of picks up where that left off.

Banging! I saw you guys perform some of those last year when you opened for Cut Copy in LA.

Kim: Did you see it at the Fonda or at that weird spot?

The weird spot!

Matt: Club Nokia? I thought it was weird, all concrete and very club-like. I couldn't feel the rock 'n' roll in the walls.

It was only few months after it opened. Maybe it takes time...

Kim: It needs to get a little dirty!

Matt: It's gotta permeate. Too clean!

So is it just you two on the new album? Are you bringing in any additional musicians?

Matt: We had strings players and horn players and Ben played some piano stuff and other things. In the end we're not going to bring anyone else on stage. But it was nice to work with a couple of other musicians.

Kim: Just to see.... What Harmonic were they from?

Matt: The Atlanta Harmonic.

Kim: Just to see real deal musicians play something Matt wrote.

Matt: As opposed to us non-real deal musicians

Kim: Well you know! We do what we do but it was interesting to see!

How will you handle that on stage?

Matt: When we wrote our last album, Grand, we wrote it in the same way we wrote this. We want to make the best album, the best recorded songs and the worry about how we're going to do it later. And we were like fuckin' a, we have no idea how we're going to do this. Songs like "Daylight" are more complex. I was just able to map out more instruments across this keyboard.

Kim: Matt's actually playing like 10 instruments when he's up there. It's all split up.

Matt: Different instruments are on different keys.

Kim: I've just got to hit shit! It's easy for me!

Matt: So we're going to worry about it when it comes to playing it live.

So does the new album have a title yet?

Matt: No. If you think of one you should let us know.

Alright, I'll start making a list. Do any of the songs have titles?

Matt: A lot of them have working titles.

Kim: You don't want to know those! That's all the stuff we come up with at the absolute last minute.

Matt: Well it's so hard, it's like when you try to come up with your band name at the absolute last minute and then you become "Matt and Kim."

Well, I was going to ask how you got that name!

Matt: [Laughs] Well, it was tough! Band names are tough. But it ended up being the most appropriate name we could have, just the idea of being on a first name basis, where everyone knows your name rather than being behind the wall of some band name.

Kim: But it's weird when we're on the street, especially when we're home, and someone's like Matt and Kim! And you're like "Do I know them but I just don't remember them? Do they know the band?"

Do you ever pull that trick where you try to keep them talking until they drop a clue?

Matt: Oh yeah! It's tough, when you're out of context and you meet someone and then see them again somewhere totally different and they have a different hair cut or something. Whatever, I just greet them with [stretches his arms out] "Oohh!!!!" So either it comes across as "Oh I remember you!" or I'm just a friendly dude.

Kim: Now you're giving it away!

Secret's out! So what's next for you guys once you finish the album?

Kim: We do what we do, start touring non-stop.

Matt: Well we're touring presently. We're doing a bunch of colleges and festivals now and then we'll do Japan and Europe. But we don't do a full U.S. tour until the fall until after the album comes out.

(www.mattandkimmusic.com)



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tam
April 21st 2010
9:06pm

I forgot how much I liked Matt & Kim -  thanks for the reminder - looking forward to the new album and the next time they come to town