Interview: Matt & Kim – “Having Fun And Getting Wild”

In just 3 releases time, Brooklyn based indie pop two-piece Matt & Kim have fast become darlings of the scene both locally and internationally. The pair lost their Australian V-Plates back in 2011 when they toured the land as part of the Big Day Out circus, and come Groovin The Moo 2013, it’s time for their long-awaited return.

Towards the end of 2012, Matt & Kim dropped their latest full-length album, Lightening. Currently still mid album-cycle, it’s these tracks that will be put on display for the first time Down Under during their time at the regional festival but the die-hards who crave more needn’t fret, a run of headlining shows have also been announced giving them plenty of room to explore their whole back catalogue.

Prior to jumping on the plane, Music Feeds caught up with half of the creative partners in crime, drummer, Kim Schifino, to get her take on things. And this is what happened.

Music Feeds: Kim, we are all certainly very excited to catch your upcoming shows Down Under! You were previously here for Big Day Out in 2011, what’s exciting you the most about this long-overdue return?

Kim Schifino: Australia is definitely one of our top territories to tour. (Wow, say that 3 times, fast: “top territories to tour”) I feel like our vibe makes sense there. Not dark and gloomy, it’s about having fun and getting wild.

MF: This time round you come bearing your latest full-length album Lightning. If you were to hold the release up next to its older sibling Sidewalks, what are the main things that set them apart in your opinion?

KS: We felt like there was certain bits of ‘personality’ we wanted more of in Sidewalks that we put into Lightning. We shot for not being too slick and while some of the songs are a little ‘more mature’… some are also ‘less mature’ (like Much Too Late) than anything we’ve released to date. We kept asking ourselves “WWMKD?” meaning “what would Matt and Kim do?” and generally that meant “make it simpler.”

MF: The common element seems to be they’re totally awesome – both hit #1 on the iTunes Alternative Chart. While working on the new album, was there a moment you realized Lightning would strike twice? (Sorry, I had to)

KS: Haha, all puns welcome. As much as people say albums are dead, that people just download the song they want, or put their iPod on shuffle. We still believe it’s important to make a collection of songs that can be listened to from first to last with no filler. We gave every song everything we had and that was enough to make us proud about it.

MF: Now that your back catalogue is increasing as is your profile on the international stage, did the extra attention add any element of pressure, or perhaps even liberation when you started on Lightning?

KS: Not pressure really, we were excited to write and release new stuff. When you’re always on the road it’s hard to find time to write and I’ve always loved writing music since I was 14. But we went in with our standard goal, which is to make music we want to hear. So it’s a success if just the two of us enjoy the music when we’re done, and we are really lucky that there are others out there that like it as well!

MF: Regional shows simply go off in Australia, are you excited to explore more of Australia than the regular touring act may see?

KS: Very excited! It’s such a mystery to us in the States of what happens between those 2 populated coasts. I’m kinda worried I’m going to end up in the outback and lost and never find my way back.

MF: You will be performing a run of headlining shows while in town as well, will you be getting much time off? We have some pretty decent pubs!

KS: Touring Australia has been great for us in that way… In the U.S. or Europe you have a show every day, but in Australia things are more spread out and we have a number of days off. Is it going to be beach weather… kinda totally confused on what to pack?

MF: Ok, one more and you’re off the hook… Groovin The Moo has a solid line up this year, which bands are you hoping to check out?

KS: We just recently met Tegan and Sara for our first time and really excited to see them play. They Might Be Giants, The Bronx and Yacht as well. But I’m also just really excited to see and hear some bands I haven’t seen before!

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