Matt and Kim are the coolest people at SXSW

Hitting the streets hard with a new album, Lightning, Matt and Kim have been the stars of SXSW in the early part of the festival. The NY duo played an opening show at the Fader Fort on Tuesday night and didn’t disappoint. Kim went crowd surfing standing up straight (she’s eh wizzerd ‘arry) and was booty poppin’ the whole time. I got a chance to catch up with them Wednesday afternoon for a quick interview about their latest single and all it’s scandalous glory.

Your show last night at the Fader Fort opening was so full of energy. Do you have a usual pre-show warm up? Slam a redbull? A quickie? 

Kim: I usually drink a Red Bull, yeah. We also have a two beer limit before shows because we have had mistakes in the past where we’ve had more than two and well, you know. Who wants to see that shit right? I do have a warm up where I dance to a lot of Top 40 hip-hop.

Rad! Who did you dance to last night? 

Kim: So last night it was Meek Mills, there’s always Beyonce in the mix and Big Sean actually. I listened to Big Sean a lot yesterday, there must be something in the air I guess.

I feel ya girl. With all these hip-hop heads in town for SXSW it makes me all giddy. It’s like, how many times can I play “Suit and Tie” over and over?

Kim: I just heard the new Justin Timberlake album is really good. I haven’t got to listen to it yet, though.

Matt: What’s that first single? Were we not into it?

Kim: The Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z, I thought that it was going to be on another level. But, I also didn’t really give it a good chance. When we get done touring and have time I want to sit down and really listen to the whole thing.

So, I have to ask. What is up with the “It’s Alright” poster. How did that come to happen? 

Kim: Have you seen the video?

No, not yet. 

Kim: When you see the video, you’ll get it. That poster is based off the video.

Matt: The video, simply put, is us doing a coreographed dance with our eyes closed while lying down in bed. There’s this little 10 sec slot where we just shot 30 idfferent sex poses and it cuts through a bunch of them very quickly. And it was very uncomfortable.

Kim: I was fine. (laughs)

Matt: I’m usually very comfortable with myself but in a room of 50 people and my nose is buried in Kim’s butt crack. It was like I was really doing it for the sake of the art. So we took a bunch of those stills and put them on a poster which I’ve seen around.

When I saw it the first time in an email, i gasped and said to myself, “Does this mean they’re really doing it?”

Kim: Oh, we do. We’ve been doing it for a while.

I remember the first song I even heard from you guys was “Daylight” and it was so unique and really set Matt and Kim up as something really different. Lightning, in a good way, sounds a lot like that first single. How have you guys grown as artists while maintaining your “ish?”

Matt: Just because not many people know abut this, we did have an album before the Grand album but not many people know about it. It’s not even available anymore, you can’t buy it on iTunes, it’s not on Spotify, I’m not sure you could even find it anywhere on CD. It’s kind of invisible, but it helps me tell the story, which is why I brought it up.

So we made that album, and it’s a stamp of what Matt and Kim was then, but also it’s pretty mediocre. But I say that we did that on purpose because so many bands come out with a great first album and then can never follow it up. So we did that strategically–start with a mediocre album so that when the Grand album came out it would sit better. The similarity between Grand and Sidewalks though–for the first album we had a week of studio time, and we were trying to put an album together in seven days, so we rushed through it. And then for Grand, we decided we wanted to have personalities and be all Matt and Kim. We didnt care if it sounded pro or not, we just wanted to try as much dumb shit as we wanted. So we made it ourselves in a bed room and are very surprised to have a gold album on our wal–from an album that we made in my parents house, in my childhood bedroom.

And then after we had success on that album, we were like, I guess we have to do it big and get producers and studio time and stuff and that became Sidewalks. But, it lost certain personalities that I liked about the Grand album a distinctness. So when we went into Lightning we were like, you know what? We should do this ourselves again and we just made it in a bedroom with just the two of us and no outside influences at all, and in that way it still feels very Matt and Kim. We learn something new everytime we record, so we’ve applied numerous things. We wanted to feel WWMKD, What Would Matt And Kim Do?