A Q & A with Matt and Kim’s Matt Johnson
This isn't the first time Kanye has allegedly referenced his girlfriend in his music. Was Kanye West in love with Kim while she was dating Reggie Bush? .. steps out with Matthew McConaughey to promote new film Serenity. Reggie Bush has lost contact with former girlfriend Kim Kardashian but isn't Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush at the Matt Leinart 2nd Annual. Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino didn't plan any of this. Here, we talk to Matt about navigating commercial syncs, playing music with your significant other, and the value of having no expectations. Spotify for Artists: Matt and Kim released your debut in
We're kind of the same person. We shared a cell phone for like six years. 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.
Real Couples: Matt & Kim: Movin' and Groovin'
And I said, "Hell no, thank you! 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. 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. 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.
Matt and Kim on Film & TV Syncs, Inter-band dating, and Not Having Goals
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.
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.
Real Couple: Matt & Kim: Movin' and Groovin' - Love & Sex - Real Couples
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? Coming from a punk background and, especially, growing up and listening to punk music, it was such a concern. It happened and it was fine. But we were nervous about it. Then, the next one that came was a Bacardi commercial with " Daylight.
I'm sure it could be looked up online. It didn't have any talking over our song. It was just this beautiful commercial of people dancing through different eras. It was as much a Matt and Kim commercial as it was a Bacardi commercial. I still remember at that moment being like, "Hopefully, not a lot of people will see it and we'll just get this great check.
When I was working freelance film jobs, at the beginning of this band, it would have taken me literally a year to make that much. It broke it in the good way. Broke us to the public. The money was nothing in comparison to the exposure and how many people learned about our band through that commercial. It was one of the best things that ever happened to our band. It totally changed my perspective on working with brands in advertising. Especially being [a] band that [was] not on a lot of radio stations, the exposure was incredible.
All the feedback was positive. Maybe, at that point, [for] the people who are so concerned about what was the newest coolest thing—we were not that anymore. We were too aboveground anyway. I don't remember any hate coming off that. For a younger artist, who's maybe a bit wary of syncs or is maybe open to the idea but doesn't know what to do, what advice do you have? It does have to fit in your brand.
We've never done fast food or tobacco. There's a couple things we don't mess with. So, I think you have to look at your brand and where it makes sense. Sorry to use the term brand too many times here. My outlook is—speaking of having the lowest ticket price—even now we still try to keep our ticket prices affordable.
We try to keep merch prices affordable. If you can kind of balance that out with income from other places, I think that's really doing your fans a service, rather than having to only make all your money from their pocket. I don't think fans should get mad about bands doing [commercial syncs]. Exposure can be so helpful. Again, I'm so thankful to all the brands who've taken chances on us. You've always just been the two of you. What's it been like working with one other person that you also live with, and spend all this time around?
How do you guys manage to not kill each other? On paper, the amount of time we spend together—we should have murdered each other many years ago. But, this is an answer I've tried to give before, but I think it comes down to the two people.
My thing that I might almost tell bands is that rather than finding people who are really good at their instruments and you get in the band because of that, find the people you want to spend all your time with and have them learn how to play their instruments.
Because me and Kim, we were interested in each other enough to start dating, and then we saw eye-to-eye creatively even before we made music.