Kim: I'll meet you at the end of the tunnel Matt.
Sitting in the label’s flat, SUPERSWEET find Matt and Kim snuggling over mugs of caffeine induced energy, hovering in anticipation for the interview, we can admit this is the first occasion a band has ever kindly waited to have a chat with SS. Forgiven for our mistaken bumbling into the next door scarily posh gym (it had the same address!), we soon experience that Matt and Kim have unquestionable likeability, from Matt’s dry wit and Kim’s hiccupping laughter (“she gets this squeaky wheezing laugh like she needs some oil or something!” – Matt ) it’s easy to become enveloped in their distinct connection.
Boldly proud of their second release Grand, Matt and Kim continue their energetic spirit in what they celebrate “stands on its own” from their live act. Matt (Johnson) the dynamic singer of the duo reveals “We had to write differently, you can’t capture a live energy on a recording, you can’t play louder, or get drunker, different elements you just can’t put on a recording. What I’ve realised is that really good recorded songs are never really good live songs, they are just different things. We just changed our writing style to make songs that were for recordings, then worry about adapting them for live.”
Performing such a lengthy tour in Europe, we are certainly intrigued to see how the band has coped. While Matt finds his tour injuries both entertaining and painful “It’s amazing how the London airports somehow manage to lose or break things”, including two keys found broken in the middle of his keyboard (Kim is sure that the airport attendants opened the case, sneakily played and damaged it) and surviving with exhausted physical condition, “I have a bad back like an old man, I can’t carry anything!”. All the while Kim cheekily interjects, “Sometime’s I think he is lying! At the airport, the attendants give him a lot of dirty looks, he’s just standing there, while I’m holding and lugging all the stuff.”
Continuing to celebrate the ability of Red Bull to keep them going, despite its prohibition in Norway and horror stories from friends, “One had to go to the Emergency Room and be put on an IV to slow his heart rate down!” and, the band finally ended their European Tour in Shoreditch’s modest Old Blue Last. Successfully, Matt and Kim’s “dance-punk” is getting through to UK listeners, chirped by Kim “that London show was seriously crazy!” where Matt hopes to encourage “a welcoming environment where Kim and I are just embarrassing ourselves in front of the fans...”
Embarrassing themselves is an ordeal Matt and Kim continually magnetise towards with comic results. In their risqué music video ‘Lessons Learned’, both are running through Times Square during a cold February while stripping naked. “Not the most flattering time for a man to be naked in public” as Matt confesses. “But it was my idea...” Matt laughs informing that Kim didn’t want to do it “This was the best video to do for this song; it’s what this song embodies, an “I don’t give a fuck anymore” attitude and complete self-liberation. So Kim finally gave in, with the added back rubs and foot massages. And the promise that she could do the next video, which is going to be hanging on the beach sipping tropical drinks!”
Inspired by the video, Matt chuckles “I enjoyed it, it was freeing. I bought a Speedo bathing suit afterwards, because I was like 'fuck it, I can do anything now!'" Their music video ‘Yeah Yeah’ drew further attention where they had food thrown at them “Whipped cream and pickled brine” as Kim chips in “Unfortunately, you can’t get the smell through the TV!”.
But while Kim may be the one to be on the biting end at times Matt divulges his childhood animal horror a “Luncheon with Llamas”. “It was in Vermont and we took a walk around the lake, and for some reason with llamas! I never really thought about it until one of those bastard bit me on my back. My mum was like “stop whining” and I pulled my shirt up and there’s like huge teeth marks in a circle! And I kept thinking “Those spiteful little bastards! Spitting on me and biting me...”.
Digressions seem to find the band easily, welcoming sponsorship deals with Bacardi, to $5 shows with Green Label Sound, but “there’s things were won’t do” Kim clarifies, “We don’t smoke, so we won’t do that!” but as Matt retorts, “Now I bet they will come at us with a shit load of money...and we’ll be like 'Ummmm'”. Kim swiftly reins in Matt’s temptation, uniting their spiralling directions for their fans and passion in music. Matt confirms, “Since square one, we’ve always been doing what we’ve wanted to do, whether travelling around the country playing shows, to now, where we are travelling the world playing shows.”
So when asked what Matt and Kim are really about, they respond with brisk motto to sum them up “Matt and Kim – Go Bigger or Go Home”, demanding the involvement of their listeners in an all or nothing ultimatum. Matt reminds us, “Our music is basically for people who wanna go out and have a good time. We play dance music that you can DJ or hear at a club. Like I can dance to our own songs......is that weird?” Rhetorically asking SS, “Do I have to stop dancing now?” Matt and Kim know they are having too much fun to stop.
Words: Gemma Dempster
Photography: Elinor Jones