Matt and Kim are Back and Here to Stay, Almost Everyday

Indie duo Matt and Kim played at the Riviera theater on Tuesday. We spoke with drummer Kim Schifino on touring, their new album, and why they’re not likely to take time off any time soon.

Tokyo Police Club front man Dave Monks

By Zoe Bean

Musical duo Matt and Kim have been making waves since 2004—to date they’ve released five albums, been featured in three commercials, appeared in countless soundtracks, and won one MTV Video Music award for a video in which they stripped in Times Square. Their concerts are known for their rowdiness, and their show last Tuesday was no exception. All waves eventually reach the shore, and Matt and Kim’s reliance on quirky shenanigans and obscene jokes certainly felt like a lot for a Tuesday night. Nonetheless, their music was as joyful as drummer Kim Schifino’s smile. It’s impossible to be mad at anyone who so clearly relishes what they do. 

The duo played at the Riviera Theatre on Tuesday before moving on to the next stop on their North American tour. They’re known as a touring band, and often referenced their outrageous reputation on stage. The crowd was certainly enthusiastic—there were two crowd surfers and one inflatable penis in the course of the headlining set. The show seemed to fall somewhere in between a rave and a rock concert. There was a mosh pit, but also confetti cannons. In between songs, they played popular music, such as A$AP Ferg’s “Plain Jane”—a transparent ploy for relevancy. But hey, everyone was dancing. Try as we might to pigeonhole them as indie pop, Matt and Kim defy genre, both in their music and performance style. 

Without spoiling much about the duo’s sixth album, Almost Everyday, suffice it to say that it brings back much of Kim’s dance-worthy indie beats and Matt’s whimsical keyboard and anthemic vocals. In 2017, Kim suffered some major injuries that resulted in a yearlong musical hiatus, and eventually inspired some of the band’s new songs. “It was a really hard year for us and we write about what we live, so it was inevitable that it would make its way into this album,” she explained. It’s clear, from their performance and new music alike, that they’re loving the comeback. 

Chicago Maroon: What was the concept behind the album title, Almost Everyday

Kim Schifino: There is bad news almost every other day. It has become the new normal and that is crazy. 

CM: The album seems pretty nostalgic, talking about the past and getting older; would you say this a reflection of where you are in your careers? 

KS: I feel when you are injured you immediately feel old. [In 2017], I couldn’t do everything I liked or wanted to do. I had crutches for a while and then a cane. When we would go out to see bands play, I couldn’t be in the pit. I was constantly protecting my leg. This all made me feel like life was fleeting and I would reminisce on the days I could do everything I wanted.  

CM: Some songs from the album also seem to reflect on your success as musicians. Has being an established group affected your songwriting approach? 

KS: We write about our lives, so if we have good moments or bad moments it creeps its way in there. We have been very lucky that we have gotten to do this for so long! I feel like it makes us feel positive over a lot of the shit in the world. 

CM: You are known as incredible performers; what is the formula for a great show? 

KS: Have fun! I know that sounds simple, but when we have a good time, the crowd feeds off that and then we feed off the crowd. It’s a giant cycle. Also it helps that I love to fucking bang away at the drums! 

CM: Your videos are also popular, especially “Lessons Learned,” where you stripped in Times Square! Are more videos like that in the works? 

KS: Matt has the video ideas and he will spring some onto me…. They are usually things I don’t want to do, but after we won the VMA for “Lessons Learned” I can’t bitch about what crazy situation he puts me in. He is a genius. 

CM: This album features lots of guest vocals. Do you think the many artists you’ve worked with have influenced your style? 

KS: The artists we worked with are our friends. We have made these friendships in this weird world of backstages and we all have a similar crazy life of never being home and [having] no normal schedule to your life. I feel like that is why it’s so easy to become friends despite only hanging out a few times a year! I was stoked they were all down to help and be a part of this album.  

CM: In “Glad I Tried”, you say “thought I was old at 25.” How have you retained your youthful style over the years? 

KS: I feel our youthfulness is because we haven’t grown up.  

CM: The last song of your album is titled, “Where Do We Go From Here?,” so where do you go from here? What is next? 

KS: Well, let’s just hope a world where people start treating each other better…oh but for Matt and I…I just want to keep playing shows and never take a break again.