Interview with Matt from Matt & Kim: D.I.Y. Cute

They’ve probably heard this said about them a million times, but Matt and Kim are just so goddamn cute. I mean, just take one look at them—tell me you don’t look at the fresh-faced couple and think, “Man, I have never seen such an adorable couple before in my entire life!” Okay, so maybe that’s going a little bit overboard—and maybe I’m biased because Matt & Kim, like myself, are from Brooklyn. But ever since Matt & Kim have hit the scene, they have gradually made a name for themselves by being who they are: Two people who love making music, love having fun, and most importantly, love each other.

“Essentially, we got together because Kim hit on me in college,” said Matt recently, as we spoke via phone just prior to Christmas. The pair both attended the Pratt Institute School of Art & Design. “I was pretty intimidated by her tattoos, and the fact that she was a little older than me; I was just a country boy from Vermont. But we’d been together for years before we decided to make any music together. Kim wanted to learn how to play drums, and I’d always wanted to play music my whole life, ever since I was 13 and picked up the bass, but I never thought I could make a living doing it.”

“When we met each other, I guess we had some similar tastes in music, but I think we started to develop a lot of the same tastes together, especially going to D.I.Y. shows in Brooklyn, and we always had a lot friends in bands. So, we would make fliers for our friend’s shows—you know, putting that $100,000 art school education to use. But we had a lot of fun doing that, and we just worked well together. We were on the same page with a lot of stuff.”

In 2007, Matt & Kim were one of the lower-billed acts participating in Brooklyn’s Siren Festival in Coney Island. Fast-forward to the present, and the duo has released their latest album, Sidewalks, which is gaining traction thanks to guest appearances on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and the single “Block After Block.” The video for “Block After Block” finds the duo and their friends staging guerrilla performances around NYC. “It was a good time making that video,” said Matt, “and we really had no permit, or anything. It’s weird… shooting a video of a live show doesn’t exactly capture the energy of a live show. So, we felt that making that video was a way to get New York-centric, live energy.”

The video definitely leaves you with the impression that everyone involved had the time of their lives making it, which seems to be the secret to Matt & Kim’s success. “The thing about New York was there were all these bands—and not that their music was boring—but they would pretend to be bored onstage. Like, ‘I wanna be so cool.’ And it’s boring to watch bored people onstage. But we were in a situation were we were playing with a lot of bands which I thought were very real—they were psyched, and they showed it. Kim and I, we started doing this because we love it, and we still do it because we love it. Even after the most fucked-up of days, you get onstage in front of thousands of people who are all super excited to make this happen, and it makes me super excited. Whether I’ve had no sleep, or I’m hung over—it doesn’t matter. I get excited. It’s real, and we just let it exist.”

The idea may be to just let the music exist on its own, and there is no denying the Brooklyn Hipster aura that surrounds the couple and their music. But there is also no denying that Matt & Kim could very well be poised to invade the Top 40 spectrum at any given point. They recently linked up with Soulja Boy and Andrew WK for the track “I’m A Goner,” for the Converse Sneakers “3 Artists, 1 Song” series, which is available now for download on Converse’s website. While pop stardom isn’t exactly the couple’s main objective, listening to Matt, it doesn’t sound as if Matt & Kim would shun a little mainstream attention—only if they can still do it on their own terms.

“There are certain things happening in pop music that we happen to fit into, but we love all music—Top 40, punk rock, bands that are happening in Brooklyn—and of course, I want everyone to hear our music. But that doesn’t mean we feel the need to slicken anything in the process.” To that point, the duo plans to record their follow up to Sidewalks in 2012, on their own, back home in Brooklyn.

Matt & Kim will be performing at the Hammerstein Ballroom on New Year’s Eve, and Matt promises there “will be more confetti than anyone has ever seen.” So, as long as it’s still fun, then everything is groovy in Matt & Kim land. “The fact that we’re nine years deep into this relationship, and then this band, and haven’t killed each other yet—it must mean something!”

Like I said, could Matt & Kim be anymore cute? I didn’t think so.