Matt Johnson: “I hope y’all are ready to bring it.”

Matt Johnson will headline this weekend’s spring concert with bandmate and girlfriend Kim Schifino.

Photo courtesy of Wflickr

On Wednesday, May 7 The Lafayette sat down for a phone interview with Matt Johnson from Matt & Kim. The duo will be headlining the Spring Concert tomorrow, with opener Hoodie Allen. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

The Lafayette: I know you’re performing at Cornell on Thursday and then Middlebury on Friday and then coming here Saturday. Is there something different about [performing at] college campuses?

Matt Johnson: Well, you know I would say in a way it could be a surprise. It can always be a bit different from school to school, but you know the one thing I think for me and Kim, that it makes sense that like – I think people in college generally have their ear more to the ground about what’s happening as far as music goes. I feel like college students like to know what’s happening now and feeling like part of what’s happening now and it ends up being a good connection.

Would you want to be around in 20 years and for some 40-year olds to be like, “Yeah, Matt & Kim is still my favorite band.”

I mean, yeah, sure. I’ll hang with that. That’s funny cause I feel like I haven’t done this for that long, even though in a way I have, and the people who are in college are like “I started listening to you when I was in middle school,” and I’m like, “that is crazy.” I don’t know for me it’s funny to think that. Last weekend we played at Binghamton College and it was completely out of control. It was in the pouring rain. That’s what we love. We love a show that gets out of control and everyone is jumping around and all that. So I hope y’all are ready to bring it this weekend.

You released Lightning in 2012 and we haven’t really heard anything new since, are you guys working on any new stuff right now?

We took off most of this winter to work on new music which we have been doing and we are trying to forward-think things a little bit. I know other bands are trying to do this but I don’t know if we are going to do another album. We are really focusing on making songs. So we’ve been focusing on a lot of individual songs and unlike what we’ve done in the past, where it was me and Kim self-producing and recording and all that, we’ve been going in with different producers and we really want to surprise other people, and surprise ourselves as well, with whatever we do next.

It seems like some fans are just as obsessed with your relationship with Kim. Does that ever get tiresome?

No, I don’t think so because I think deeper than anything, whether it’s art or music or film or whatever, people connect with other people…I would say there’s a reason why we are named after our first names. We kind of want to be in that position to kinda be on a first name basis with our audience and let them into our personal lives and share as much as possible. I mean, we’re an open book, but I think it’s that kind of thing that we are connecting on a more human level and I think that’s a really good thing.

How would you describe your sound change throughout the years?

I think people can sort of follow from our first album to now is literally the progression of us learning how to play music. Because Kim had never played drums before and I had never sang in a band and I never played keyboard or anything like that before. I played guitar in our band in high school. I remember my first time hearing my voice after practicing and I was like, “aw man, we’re gonna have to find a new singer. This is never gonna work.” You could kind of enter a whole progression into musicianship throughout and at the same time you always like to keep things new and fun.

Would you rather fight a hundred duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?

The one horse-sized duck. I mean, I’ve had ducks come after me before while trying to feed them close to a pond and I feel like either way, they’re winning. A horse-sized duck would be the cutest way to die.

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