Lovers Lane
In The Flesh

Interview: Matt & Kim

| May 31, 2011

The Crush Of Love

Constantly in the company of his girlfriend/bandmate, one might think Matt Johnson would relish the chance to tell his story: She abuses me. I can’t take it anymore.

Appearing: Saturday, June 25th and Sunday the 26th at Vic Theatre in Chicago.

No sir. Though, he is undergoing what he calls a “continued recovery.” The video clip for “Cameras,” off last year’s Sidewalks (Fader), fantasized a minor band dust-up spinning completely out of control, showing Johnson and Kim Schifino bloodying each other with instruments, furniture, and whatever else could be found in their rehearsal space. Though never reaching the pornographic violence of the Saw movies, it spoke to the latent rage most band members feel while toiling in such close quarters over extended periods with their colleagues.

“What was funny about that shoot,” he says, “we’d had professional fight choreographers set up what was going to happen and how it was going to go down. The whole thing with movie fighting and what not, is you punch like a foot [off target] and it’s all about the camera angle and [the receiver’s] facial reaction. As soon as Kim and I got on camera, she just drove one – as hard as she could – right into my nose. Bloody nose. First time I’d ever been punched in the face, and it was by my girlfriend.”

Did he see it coming at all?

He thinks “it was because of when I made her do our last video [‘Lessons Learned’], where we took our clothes off in Times Square. She didn’t want to do that video. It took a lot of convincing. So I think she held onto that, and decided to get back at me.”

Johnson thus treads softly when discussing any aspect of Matt And Kim’s promotional clips, whether before, during, or after filming. The taping of their next piece, “Block After Block,” had been a drain on his schedule recently, but he’s clearly unwilling to break a band-imposed gag order just to vent: “We’ve been trying to keep the idea under wraps,” he laughs. “But I guess anyone could have seen parts when we were shooting the last shot at the center of the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset. I guess that was kind of public.”

Matt And Kim aren’t quite through half the typical two-year cycle surrounding a new album – their third in four years – but already find themselves wrestling with the business of being a band. Their popularity has surged since Sidewalks dropped in November, and the itinerant opportunities have come a-knockin’. “We’ve been doing colleges all spring and working on new music, but, opposed to the past – where it was about time to make an album and we’d write everything [in that mindset] – now we’ve decided we want to be continually working on music,” Johnson explains. “So we’ve got this [current] tour for a month and then we have a whole month in the summer where we’re working on some collaborations and stuff like that with different artists. Just the idea of working on songs [isn’t on the table]. I can’t divulge the information yet, but I just got an e-mail that this artist I’m so psyched we’re going to do a song with, just got confirmed. Mind blowing. So I’m excited about that. There’s other stuff in the works.”

— Steve Forstneger

For the full interview, grab the June issue of Illinois Entertainer, available free throughout Chicagoland.


Category: Featured, Features, Monthly

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