:: X Games - Wagner Park (Aspen) ::
:: January 25 ::
By Brian F. Johnson
Matt and Kim aren’t very good at being sedentary. They’ll never be accused of sloth. They never embraced “The Dude’s” lifestyle of “takin ’er easy.”
They played something like 35 festivals in 2013, in addition to completing a massive tour with Passion Pit, playing a slew of gigs of their own and releasing their full length Lightning Remixes. And 2013 was a relatively chill year for the Brooklyn dance duo, in comparison to their schedule from 2012.
Even as the holidays approached in late December, during a period when the two had specifically reserved some time to be home and said that they wouldn’t play any gigs for a few months, they were feverishly working on new music and preparing for, you guessed it, another gig.
“It’s hard,” said vocalist/keyboardist Matt Johnson during a recent interview with The Marquee. “When you love to do what you do and someone asks you to come play this festival, or this show, we’re always like, ‘Sure, we’d love to.’ We had scheduled all of our time for the next three months to be working on new music, but this offer for the X Games came through and we knew we wanted to do it.”
Johnson, along with his musical and life-partner Kim Schifino (drums), said that neither of them look at all of the work as a burden, rather, they view it as a gift that keeps their infectious, shouty, catchy dance-music constantly moving forward. “I’m so thankful that there are two parts of this business that I really enjoy — writing music and playing shows. They’re almost two separate things and I’ve lucked out because when I’m on the road, I miss being home writing and when I’m home writing, I miss being on the road,” Johnson said.
While the two are home through the early part of 2014, except for the X Games show, Johnson said the focus on writing is paramount and that the two are looking at changing some things in 2014. “In the classic structure of putting out music you sort of have to finish an album and then you have months of lead time with the finished product and then people finally hear the music. I’ll tell you that’s not our plan,” he said. “For the last three albums we spent about nine months making each album, so if we start an album now, it won’t come out until 2015. So we have decided to break away from that standard mold and we just want to be making this music, then we want people to be hearing it. That’s what we’re trying to figure out right now. I can’t wait a full year to put out these songs. I’m too excited for that. So we’ve always thought that we do things in sort of a newer way, but now we’re trying to figure out the newer-newer way.”
Johnson said that they’re uncertain if they’ll be releasing singles or EPs or just doing digital releases in 2014, but he said that every option is currently on the table. The one thing he was certain of, though, was that certain elements of their music will most definitely remain, even if some other parts change. “Whatever we make tends to feel pretty ‘Matt and Kim’ and the bottom line is that you gotta be able to shake your ass to it — at least if Kim has her way, which of course, she does. It will still be danceable and fun — that’s us.”
Fun is sort of an understatement for the duo, who at least one reviewer said could have had a great career as therapists due to their ability to put smiles on faces. The two, who started playing loft and warehouse parties in Brooklyn around 2004, focus on including the crowd at every one of their shows, even making their lighting crew dump massive amounts of light into the crowd so that everyone can see each other. “People always comment that we bring so much energy for just two people and we tell them that we’re not two people when we’re on stage at a big festival, we’re 20,000 plus two,” Johnson said.
Matt and Kim will play the Saturday musical portion of the Winter X Games with Phoenix, while Sunday will feature Swedish DJ Axwell and the massively acclaimed DJ Tiësto.
:: Matt and Kim ::
:: X Games – Wagner Park (Aspen) ::
:: January 25 ::
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