It’s not up for debate. Matt and Kim are the cutest couple in music. During their performance at the Red Bull Sound Space at KROQ, Matt Johnson deemed his buckwild babe of ten years, Kim Schifino, as both his “partner-in-crime” and his “partner-in-sex.”
The love is so palpable and virile, it seeps into everything they do. Every word is nuanced with sexual innuendo and their lusty live sets are fluid-filled adventures, bodies slick with sweat from dancing and consummate ecstatic grins plastered on their faces. During one of Kim’s many dance breaks to popular hip-hop songs like Ace Hood’s “Bugatti” and Big Sean’s “Dance,” the daring drummer straddled someone in the crowd, her polka-dotted crop-top crazing the top of his head. Afterwards, Kim apologized for being a little “swampy.”
Whether through energetic transference or sheer musical manipulation, Matt and Kim are able infuse their audience with that same vitality. Sure, confetti rained over the audience during “Let’s Go” and “Daylight” and they whipped out hundreds of balloons for people to throw up joyously during “Now,” but these vibrant tools of celebration pale in comparison to Matt and Kim.
It’s not rooted in mania, either. Before their interview with Stryker, the pair pounced on their friend lovingly and tried to create a sex sandwich with him. Kim warned against getting arrested in New York City on a Saturday after stripping in Times Square for their song “Lessons Learned” (two days of nudity in a prison cell isn’t even appealing to the exuberant exhibitionist) and taught an unsuspecting audience member how to slowly grind for a woman (“It’s just movement. That’s all you need, but slow. And then you just go hard.”
Kim is a renowned firecracker and joked that there’s always a man somewhere to bleep out her cussing and probably shake their head at what Stryker called Kim’s “86,000 sexual innuendos.” She managed not to swear for most of the set and even steered women in the audience away from doing the “Bridge” Kama Sutra pose.
“My favorite position is the cross but it’s really cuz I don’t have to do a lot,” said Kim, answering the sexual inquiries of an audience member. “I just kind of lay there. Ten years deep ladies and sometimes all you want to do is just lay there. We have a poster and I think the first one is called the Bridge or something or the Golden Gate Bridge. Ladies, don’t ever try this. There is nothing that you will find enjoyable about this. You will definitely pull a muscle. This is only for the dudes, so try to talk your way out of it immediately.” Matt just laughed and with a coy smile replied, “Fellas—wink.”
No one knows what happens behind closed doors (although Matt and Kim are obviously very open about their antics), but from outward appearances Matt seems like the stabilizing force in their dynamic duo. He’s a perfect foil to Kim’s adorable madness and contributes to the band “all day, every day” including helping to conjure up ideas for their music videos with his background in film.”
“Not that naked photo of me,” retorted Kim cheekily. “Naked photos only help a band’s career, so we should probably work on that,” quipped Matt back.
Not that the band seems like it needs any help in their career. Their attitude of perpetual summer and fearless freedom is intoxicating.
That and they aren’t afraid to just get weird. They encouraged the audience to chant “Let’s get weird” over and over again like a life mantra. With Matt and Kim in the building, those words don’t even need to be said. They just happen. Like Matt said, “Real recognize real.”
Matt and Kim’s setlist:
2. “Let’s Go”
5. “It’s Alright”
—Nadia Noir, KROQ