Matt and Kim, the Brooklyn power duo in music and love, are currently on tour with Blank Newspaper recently got to interview Kim Schifino. KS: Yeah it's less of a “dating service” and more of a “are you looking for a one. So, I think, shoot for almost everyday,” Matt Johnson, singer of rock duo Matt and Kim, said in an interview with The Daily Californian. I heard them answer this in an interview once. Apparently at college Kim saw Matt and told her friend that she wanted to fuck him so the story.
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How did you call each other? We never had to—we're always together! What was on your list when you were house hunting? We wanted at least three bedrooms because we both do a lot of work at home. Surprisingly, for a band, 95 percent of the work has nothing to do with music.
Kim's always answering emails.
We're just really involved with everything from the artwork to our music videos, so…we both wanted our own office space. We've been sharing one room as an office, but it makes it really easy for Kim to turn to me and be like, "Hey, what do you think of this? I think it might be a scientific fact that men cannot multitask.
So we needed our own workspace. Matt isn't very organized at all. I organize everything in our place except his computer. I'm the kind of dude that when the desktop gets full, I just drag it all into one folder called "desktop.
Did you know for sure that you wanted to stay in Brooklyn? We both grew up in the Northeast, so it's nice being a few hours away from where we both started out. I don't know, it's a weird addiction. Did you tell her about how you proposed when we were looking for a place? You guys are engaged? No, not proposed like marriage-proposed.
After a year of looking, we were hanging out in LA and went over to my friend's place, which is a great house in Silver Lake. So I peeked at some real estate—it's so much more affordable than it is here. I was like, "Kim, we should move to LA. And I said, "Hell no, thank you!
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You weren't serious, were you Matt? I was kind of serious. I think it was a desperate feeling. Yeah, not to get all serious but We don't see our families or friends a whole lot.
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We hadn't found a place, we were stuck living in the place we're in now and things just seemed to be getting worse than they'd been in the past six years…. But luckily, we've had a good year. Is it ready to move into, or are you going to do any major work first?
We're moving the kitchen from the downstairs to the upstairs, so that's a big job. It's a fully gut-renovated building, so it's a good slate to start with. The dream is not to have a practice space anymore and just be able to have a room set up in our apartment. So we're talking about soundproofing…. Are you bringing any of the furniture you have or buying all new stuff? We have some finds—like a couple of old '50s tables and some cool, old chairs—but we're definitely looking forward to getting new things.
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We'd always see things we wanted and not be able to get them because we cannot fit another thing into our [current] apartment. We live in less than square feet now, and the new place is around 2, or 3, We're at the point where we're thinking about what's going to go where, and every day I'm going to the store to buy another home magazine….
I'd definitely like to get rid of all our [low-end] furniture. I think that's another grown-up step. Is there anything you've seen that you can't wait to get?
There are a lot of great stores around [Williamsburg]. But I also know that in Vermont, the used furniture market is a lot less expensive. We want to take a road trip with a box truck and see what we can find.
We want a giant kitchen table, one of those really big tables with a thick wooden top. Yeah, my brother and I did our homework at our kitchen table every day. We didn't go to our rooms. So the table's one thing.
And we need a bed frame. We definitely need a really good couch. I want either two couches or a sectional because we're always competing and trying to fit when we lie down.
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And I always get the bad end of the deal. He just takes up the most amount of space. It's a very "old country" feel. The first time I went to Matt's parents' house, I loved it.
It's a Vermont-style house that just has this nice homey feel with, like, clapboards on the bottom and… What do you call that? You're not going to be able to explain this! I don't know, we like things that feel…like [exposed] beams and chipped paint… We like the old personality of places rather than super-new, super-clean. It has to have a feeling of history or whatnot…. We're going to coin that. I don't think we can coin that because I think it exists.
Do you like to decorate with personal stuff or buy made art for the walls? We're definitely buying a lot more art now. In art school, we'd trade pieces, so we started building our collection that way.
Now we're buying stuff. I'm really into buying stuff at galleries. He doesn't like to go to museums because he can't buy the stuff. Like, they show it to you but you can't buy it?
What are you most looking forward to about the new place? Well, it's just so gross in the building we live in now. Tell her what I saw in the hallway M: Kim looked through the peephole one time and thought she saw someone pissing in the hallway. But no, it wasn't that. It was two people having sex right outside of our [apartment] door.
We were just about to leave and head out on tour and There's this drug dealer who goes up to our roof. And I like to play detective and write down every time I see him going up to the roof. I don't know what I'm going to do with this information, but I like to keep it just in case….
And so all of a sudden, I heard someone in the stairwell and I was like, "He's there again! And I was like, "Ohhhhh, they're having sex in the hallway! As many things as you can catch from sex—especially from someone you might have sex with in a hallway—you can catch way worse things just from that hallway. I just saw his ass. It's a sight I cannot get out of my mind. A sight you can't unsee. That is pretty gross…. You must be looking forward to having friends and family over to your nice, new place.
Our families are very excited about this. Right now, we can't have anyone over because you can't move in the [small space]. So…parties at our new house! We go out every night on the road, so when we come home that's not what we want to do.
The idea of being able to have people over and just hang out is really nice. Do you get to see your families a lot since they're up in New England? We're super-close to our families. If we play in Boston, there are 20 of my family members on the guest list. They come out in full force. And Matt's family too.
He has a smaller family than me—not the big Italian family I have—but his parents always come out to our shows. And his brother lives here [in New York], so we hang out with him.
Do your parents dig your music? They're all so supportive. My dad really loves our music. So what do you guys do when you are at home? What's a normal night in like for you?
There are a lot of television series that we're addicted to. Do you guys ever get sick of each other?
It blows my mind -- but no. That's the crazy thing. If there was any sort of relationship I've been in in the past where we spent half as much time as we've been together, we would've killed each other a long time ago. But somehow, we just… we're really on the same page. And we'll be frustrated at different times and every now and then -- basically once a month -- there'll be a note on the bus door that says "I'm having that time-of-the-month. If you see me, just try to avoid," to let everyone in the crew know.
We're human, but in the end we'll finish a tour after being on the same bus for a couple of months and we'll get home and be like "Alright! Wanna go out to eat? You go to your room. Speaking of going home, you recorded Lightning in your apartment on Grand Street. The last thing we did there before we left it. Right as we finished that album we moved out, and it felt like the end of an era.
Basically all of our albums we had written there and we refer to that spot a bunch of times. That was a good finale. Did you need a change of pace? It was a tiny place. A little eight-foot-wide railroad apartment.
We were lucky enough where we could buy a house, so we bought a house, just a mile or so away. So you're still in Brooklyn. Yeah, we're still in Brooklyn. We just-- Oh, thank God. She doesn't sing lead, I would say. Through the whole song we sing together.Matt and Kim Real Talk #1
So it's more like a group singalong between, um, multiple Matts and Kims. I love having her voice on a song, but she doesn't like singing on the drums. I feel like she likes beating the hell out of the drumset and not worrying about having to sing along.
So is this something you had to talk her into? Well, it's not that I had to talk her into singing for the album, but when I remind her that she'll have to sing it on stage, then that's when the talking-into-it happens.