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Matt and Kim’s Matt Johnson Reacts to College Times’ Hate Mail

Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 11:10

Matt and Kim

Caleb Kuhl

Matt and Kim

Update: The October 23 show has been postponed to March 9.

Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino are a powerhouse couple that seem to run on an endless power source. Their latest album, Lightning, was released earlier this month and the band has already created some interesting videos for each song. They’re currently on tour but Johnson took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with College Times about his fondness for Phoenix and distaste for UV rays. 

College Times: Last time you were in town we had you on the cover with a photo of Kim stabbing you. It sparked some interesting hate mail. A reader wrote to College Times and informed us we have “daddy issues” and are a “gynocentric cult.” Got any views on oppressed males?

Matt Johnson: [laughs] What? [laughs] Oh my gosh. That is incredible. Being the majority is tough. It really is. I try to go out in the sun and I get a sunburn really quick. That’s how pale I really am. We actually shot a music video for one of our songs where it’s us getting into a brawl together and I knew it was going to be a sort of an issue in my family because my mom is a victims’ advocate for the District State Attorney’s Office in Vermont and deals with mostly domestic violence cases. So I was like, “Oh no, this is not going to be good but I think this is going to be such a cool video.” I think in the end you can tell Kim totally wins the fight.

You guys have made a ton of videos lately.

We made all these sort of placeholder videos for this new album prior to official videos. We actually just released our first official video for “Let’s Go,” the awkward family photos one, which was surely ridiculous to shoot. At the point where me, Kim and a pregnant couple and their child all have our shirts off and we’re taking a photo together as I’m singing the song I’m, like, “Alright, Matt and Kim, we have taken it to a whole other level.”

How do you warm up?

Kim’s general way of warming up isn’t how most drummers have their drum sticks out and do rolls and things. She just goes in the back room and shakes her ass for like 30 minutes. Mostly, I’d say to top 40 hip hop. She’s been listening to that Kanye West Good Music [Cruel Summer] right now.

I do some of the conventional singing warm ups. It’s funny; we were a DIY band to the core and we started out doing all our tours. I remember coming through the Phoenix area and playing in someone’s basement to five or six people and then having a bunch of great sweaty shows at Trunk Space. I remember I was losing my voice all the time but I thought, “Aw man, I’m not Barbra Streisand. I don’t need to do vocal warm ups!” But then I realized it really does help save your voice. Andrew WK recommended me to his vocal teacher who is like a heavy metal vocal teacher and teaches bands how to scream correctly, which is kind of awesome.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I do have just one memory of, I believe it’s in Tempe, Arizona, where there’s sort of that hill that’s not far from the venue we played there last time (Tempe Beach Park). There’s this hill (A Mountain/Tempe Butte) that you can climb to the top of and I guess some of the sports teams run up it. And you get to the top and the airplanes feel like you can almost touch them as they go over you. I remember going up there after our show, a bunch of us, with a bottle of champagne and trying to touch the airplanes. It was a very memorable Arizona moment for me.

Matt & Kim w/Oberhofer, The Marquee Theatre, October 23, 7 p.m., $20 to $22

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