Matt and Kim are about to head out on a celebration tour for the 10 year anniversary of their breakout ‘Grand’ album. The album was recorded by the duo in Matt’s childhood home in Vermont. In our interview we talk about ‘Grand’ and if they would have believed that ten years later they’d be on this celebration tour, expectations they had for the album, and what they are looking forward to on the tour.
Of the upcoming tour Matt said “In celebration of its 10 year anniversary, we’re going on a US tour playing our album GRAND in its entirety (as well as a bunch of other songs)! This album totally changed me and Kim’s lives, but some of the songs off GRAND we’ve never even played live before. We’re really excited we get to do this trip and we’ve never done anything like it. It’s gonna be special.”
Read our full interview below where we talk about Matt and Kim’s take on if cereal is a soup, the energy at their live shows, the ‘Grand’ tour and album, and more.
Hey Matt, this is really cool. I was just joking with my friends that my NBA Live 2010 dreams are coming true when I fell in love with your song ‘Daylight’ and now here I am talking to you.
Matt: That is funny. Let me ask you could it have been FIFA?
Oh it was definitely both. FIFA is where it definitely took off. FIFA was like what we would play for hours in high school. We would all come together at like 11:00 AM and play until like 7:00 PM when we would do something else with our night.
Matt: That is awesome. That is awesome to hear. It is crazy to think about like I think about video games I was into that had like a soundtrack that would be on loop, like how often would it come up when you were playing?
Honestly ‘Daylight’ is literally the only song I remember on that year of FIFA soundtrack.
Matt: (Laughs) Okay well it is nice to be IRL.
So I listened to your podcast and that is what I wanted to start on. I have had this question that I have always wanted to ask in an interview but I’ve never had the right guest. But I feel like you might be the right one Matt because in your podcast you explore different random questions or hypotheticals, and I am curious your take on if cereal could ever be classified as a soup?
Matt: Wait… cereal as a soup? (laughs) Okay well one note here, a little bit about me. Cereal had been one of my favorite foods my whole life and I have never tried cereal and milk combined. I’m not vegan, I eat dairy, I just somehow never ended up trying them combined. I just eat my cereal straight out of like sometimes like out of a coffee mug. I will just fill it and just like eat soup like I’m drinking coffee… I mean (laughs) dammit eat cereal like I’m drinking coffee. But to your question most people are eating cereal with milk like sane people and like what does it take for soup? A soup is like a broth, some sort of liquid carrier for them another object. I think you may have a point. I’ve never heard anyone ask this question but I think it fits the credentials. Yet if you invited someone over for soup and you offered them a bowl of cheerios then I think they are welcome to smack you in the face.
See I’m not a soup guy so I think this is my way to try to make it to where “okay I like a soup.” Because if I had a friend invite me over for soup I think I would thank them for the offer but tell them I will see them another day. But if I show up and they give me a bowl of fruit loops or something I’m in.
Matt: Okay we need to hit one more person with this and that’s Kim. Kim will you pull out a headphone I’m just going to ask you a quick question.
Matt: Kim’s driving right now we are heading to the studio and soup is her favorite food.
Matt: Quick answer is cereal like a bowl of cereal a soup?
Kim: No! But I also don’t consider fucking gazpacho or whatever that is. That bullshit? That’s not soup.
Matt: Well Kim loves soup and she says absolutely not on the cereal but then she started going on a rant about even cold soups aren’t real soups. Gazpacho that aint soup.
That’s true but at one time when the milk was being pasteurized part of the cereal was warm. I have this prepped and the definition of broth is “soup consisting of meat and vegetable chunks and often rice” So at least at the minimum I think Rice Krispies can be considered a soup.
I trust Kim more than me, I did have to look up cold soups in case you did ask and I have them written in my notes. So I will trust Kim’s expertise on this.
Matt: Well again with anything and Kim it is full Kim opinion. She is not going to go on technicalities here instead of what she thinks.
(Laughs) I love it. So I saw you guys just Friday in Ogden and wow. I’ve never seen you guys live and you blew me away with the energy of it. I read that you guys met at Pratt and I lived on Classon across the street from Pratt and that was fun to read but it made me want to ask about Matt & Kim’s first show in Brooklyn was that energy always there? Was it a natural thing from the start with you two? How did it start and how has it evolved over the years?
Matt: Well yeah I think it certainly stems from where we came from. It is interesting that you were just over in that area, we still live not far from Pratt. But um I think that yeah the scene we came up in in Brooklyn was like a total warehouse loft party scene. It was shows not in venues, it was just people like you know BYOB and there would just be bands playing on the floor and stuff like that. So I think honestly coming out of that there was other bands that were really like the head of like there was this band Japanther who was a big who are friends but also a big influence and there were other bands like The Death Set and all these bands that played like energetic, fun, people are jumping around and knocking each other over. Like that kind of thing and I think that we have tried to hold onto that for all of these years even as it has moved into festival stages and what not. It is about the whole energy of the room or like last weekend the field or whatever. It’s not about what is happening on stage it is about activating the whole place. I don’t know if we didn’t come from that scene if that would be as much of a priority for us but it always has been.
Wow that is cool how it started naturally from where you were around and how you have carried it with you because it is a truly energetic show. Before that had either of you done much performing?
Matt: No I mean we like yeah I played in punk bands in high school and then we just accidentally started this band. Like Kim had never played drums before, she just wanted to learn drums. So it was I remember you know like we opened for our friends band he made us play a show with him even though we didn’t think of ourselves as a real band and that is just when we started. I feel like though there was maybe like our third or fourth show we were playing in someones apartment right over in Clinton Hill close to Pratt and um it was the first time people like danced at our show and I feel like it is similar to like the first time a comedian gets a laugh on stage and they feel the juice. I’m like people are going to get swept up in what I’m doing they are laughing at what I’m saying. I think for me and Kim it was like they are dancing off of the music we’re creating right here in front of them and once we got that juice it has just always been doing whatever we can to make that happen.
And your show was so artistically done and everything that you did I was so impressed and from using a hip hop song to transition to your song to the stage design. Part of that was on your song ‘Now’ on Friday it had the words on the background and I love karaoke so it felt like that singing along with you. As part of my love for karaoke I have been asking the same question in every interview and that is if Matt and Kim do karaoke and what your go-to song would be?
Matt: Okay so at karaoke I generally don’t because even as someone that sings for a living I am terrible at it. I don’t know one of my worst performances Matt and Kim or anything was like a karaoke performance I still think about. It was like twelve years ago and a friend convinced me to get up on stage and do ‘Under Pressure’ and I just bombed and I felt horrible afterwards. But certainly I enjoy going to like when friends are having a karaoke thing and I will dance the hell out of the like I’ll get on stage and get weird with them. I think there is also somewhat of an expectation because I am a musician that I am going to be good or something. So I feel like if I was going to do it completely anonymously then it would be fine if I was bad but I feel like it is kind of made extra worse. So I don’t have a go-to. What is your go-to?
When it comes to karaoke I think I have become a Destiny’s Child cover band. So ‘Say My Name’ and like ‘Independent Woman pt 1’ will just about bring the house down every time. Like I don’t sing at all, not in the shower, rarely in the car, but I get on a karaoke stage and I just let it go.
Matt: Hell yeah! I have to say I have a small history with ‘Say My Name’ being that I remember being heavily into punk in high school and all of my friends being into punk and the thing about punk is that as much and openminded as I wanted to believe I was it was the most close-minded I have ever been about music. Like when you are deeply in it and you are living it culturally and all of your friends. But then I remember hearing that song ‘Say My Name’ and I would be like closet listening to it like I couldn’t let anyone know how much I liked it.
Thank you! I have asked you two self indulgent questions and thank you for allowing that they are totally selfish questions I ask from my own self interest…
Matt: No I think if you were listening to the podcast you heard I love talking about things that are you know loosely related to the music but don’t have to be about how we recorded things.
Oh dang that was my next question… but I wanted to ask about tour. You have the anniversary tour for your ‘Grand’ album coming up this fall which is exciting. When that album first came out would you believe you’d be doing this tour ten years later and how has the album exceed your expectations?
Matt: The beauty was yeah that it had no expectations. We were a band that it was our second album our first album wasn’t great. You know some bands their first album is like the one. For us, we tried to make it really quickly because we didn’t know how long it took to make an album and you know so we were sort of like feeling like we were on a little bit of a downslope. We were still kind of in the DIY scene, we were just starting to play venues and stuff and we were like “oh well that is as good as it gets.” So then when we went to make ‘Grand’ all we knew is that we just didn’t want to make it quick. We had done the other one so fast because we were in a studio so we were like “Lets just record it in my bedroom at my parents house in Vermont.” Which is what we did. So we had honestly no expectations it was a pretty Lo-Fi thing but we really like the song. Then it just connected on a level. Still that ‘Daylight’ song like we are proudly a Indie band and I don’t think we were ever supposed to have a song that has 100 million plays on Spotify. And of course we did not expect any of that.
And what are you most looking forward to on the ‘Grand’ tour?
Matt: I think it will be cool to do something different. It will be cool to be playing that album from beginning to end. We have never done that with any album before. And then I’m always excited about the other stuff we do too. Like whatever covers we are going to bring, whatever little snippets we will dance to, and different sort of surprises we could think of. That stuff will be fun and those are memorable moments. I mean I’m excited to play the grand album but overall we just love being on tour and it is a great reason to get back on the road again. We try to separate our tours at least 2 or 3 years apart and this one we are able to do a year apart because there is a reason to do another one. So as long as we are on the road, we are happy.
You mentioned the snippets and covert things that you do. That was the unique element I think that was at the Matt and Kim live show and it is like this artistic thing that you guys do to transition in. Like I joked that Matt and Kim are masters of transition like the live show I left exhausted because it was a high the entire time. Each song built off each other. The podcast you get rid of the awkward transition between questions with sound mixing transitions perfectly. But yeah what is the process like for creating those moments in the live show?
Matt: Well I love that. I take that compliment very seriously I appreciate that. I think energy and momentum are huge to me. I love that our shows continue to get wilder all the way up until the end. As opposed to maybe a show where it starts off with a lot of energy and people are excited and it sort of trails off as it goes along. Because it is hard for a lot of audiences and bands to keep that going for an hour or hour and a half. For us it’s like I don’t want any dead time I want to keep it moving. You know as far as the little things we add I just have a notes section in my phone and am like try putting Drake and I don’t know there aren’t a lot of indie bands that will put a Drake song like right in the middle of one of their sets. But I think another thing is we take what we do very seriously we put all of our time and energy and everything into this band but we don’t take ourselves very seriously we’re not afraid to like go into something that might feel a little silly or whatever that is just fun. We just think what would be the most fun thing to do and we don’t have to be one of these indiealternative bands that is just like staring at their feet and like pouting.
You talked about momentum and that was perfect. That was what your show did. I told you I left exhausted but in the best way. I couldn’t recommend coming out to the ‘Grand’ tour enough. Matt and Kim are a lot of fun. Thank you for your time and I appreciate the time to talk.