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Matt and Kim Won’t Stop Till They Drop

By Hana Frenette

When Matt Johnson of Matt and Kim was asked if they’d ever played in Pensacola before, his response was, “Hell yeah we have!”

Like many other bands that have come through Pensacola, Matt and Kim, composed of Johnson and Kim Schifino, made a stop at Sluggo’s.

“We’ve played three or four shows in Pensacola,” Johnson said. “We also played in my friend Ryan Salisbury’s living room about five or six years ago.”

Matt and Kim were formed about six years ago when they met in Brooklyn at the Pratt Institute. Schifino studied animation and Johnson studied film, which explains the partnership in creating many of their animated music videos.

Before the duo ever played a note together, they were designing album covers for bands and setting up installation pieces in galleries all over Brooklyn. The pair worked well as a team, and music just became the next step.

“Kim wanted to play the drums, and even though I had played guitar before, I found this cool keyboard that I really wanted to play,” Johnson said.

So with neither one ever really playing the instrument they decided to use, they formed a band.

“It’s cool to do it together,” Johnson said, laughing. “Wow, that could be taken way out of context.”

The pair’s enthusiastic and amiable attitude spills over into their performances, allowing bloggers, fans, and critics to remark that Matt and Kim put on one of the most genuinely fun shows people have been to in years.

“Kim and I were headlining the Siren Festival in Brooklyn, which takes place right on Coney Island, and toward the end I yelled, ‘Who will follow me into the ocean?’, Johnson said. “On the last note of the song, I jumped offstage and ran down the dock to the water, and I turned around and there were all these people running with me, like ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ or something.”

Matt and Kim aren’t afraid to have a good time or let it all hang out. Or both. They even filmed a video in the nude, which inspired a slew of gossip about whether they were married or not, or if they were related. In a very White Stripes fashion, they didn’t deny or confirm anything for quite some time. Even Rolling Stone ventured to say they were married, although as recent interviews have confirmed, they are not.

The pair has sparked a few rumors lately, one being that they were releasing a song with Soulja Boy and Andrew WK. That rumor turned out to be true.

“In the studio we are very different,” Johnson said. “ But I feel like our intentions are similar. We’re just all about having fun.”

The song “I’m A Goner”, which was commissioned by Converse, is formed around approaching artists and asking them to record a song with what seems like the opposite end of the spectrum of artists, until the gap between genres isn’t quite as discernable.

Does this mean that Soulja Boy might make a surprise appearance at DeLuna Fest? “Probably not, although that would be amazing if we could just get him on a jet or something,” Johnson said.

Maybe he’ll show up for the after party then. Matt and Kim will probably be asleep for that.

“We’ve always been giving everything we’ve got and more during our shows, and we’re always completely drenched after a 35-minute performance,” Johnson said. “This show is going to be an hour and 15 minutes, so we’re gonna be worn out!”

Matt and Kim’s show is one of the most anticipated of DeLuna Fest, and if their reputation holds true, it won’t disappoint. Look out Girl Talk, there’s another band making us stomp our feet and shake our butts.

MATT AND KIM
WHEN: Oct. 14-16
WHERE: DeLuna Fest, Pensacola Beach
COST: $149.95 General Admission Three-Day Pass, price goes up to $189.95 at midnight on Sept. 3
DETAILS: delunafest.com

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Online extra: Check out the video for “I’m A Goner”: http://www.converse.com/content/2838.html
Download the track here: http://play.converse.com/blog/2011/08/16/im-a-goner/