For the band Matt and Kim, ‘this is what it takes for our lives to feel complete’ -The Boston Globe

For the band Matt and Kim, ‘this is what it takes for our lives to feel complete’

Kim Schifino and Matt Johnson of Matt and Kim.
CALEB KUHL Kim Schifino and Matt Johnson of Matt and Kim.

A joy of performing drives the two New Englanders who make up the band Matt and Kim. Matt Johnson, from Whitingham, Vt., and Kim Schifino, from Providence, R.I., first got together in college at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. They then started the band that would go on to produce six full-length albums and a track, “Daylight,” that would rack up more than 77 million streams on Spotify. Their sixth album, “Almost Everyday,” is set to drop May 4, during the duo’s tour. Before their Boston stop at the House of Blues Thursday, Matt took a few moments to chat with the Globe.

Q. So, how did two New Englanders end up in New York together?

A. The short answer to your question is that we went to the same college, Pratt in Brooklyn, and she made the moves on me and I was very intimidated by her and very scared. I didn’t call her back the first couple times she gave me her number, but she was very persistent.

Q. When touring around here, what is your favorite stop?

A. My family is very small, just my mom and dad, but when we are in Boston, and apologies to Rhode Island but we usually play Boston and not Rhode Island, the whole Schifino crew shows up 20 or 30 strong to the Boston show. It’s awesome and my parents will be there too, but we’re only two strong.

Q. The forthcoming “Almost Everyday” album is the newest since a collection of singles in 2016. What have you two been up to for those years in between?

A. Most of the time, we were busy with shows — colleges and festivals and that’s how we love to live our lives. Then, in 2017, Kim tore her ACL and her meniscus on stage. We had taken a long three-month winter break, and then the very first show back she tore it and we had to cancel all of our shows in 2017. We used that time to recover and write what became “Almost Everyday.”

Q. On that album, I noticed the contrasting themes of youth and mortality in many of the songs. What was going through your heads in the writing process?

A. I didn’t expect that to come up as much as it did, but upon listening to it when all was said and done, I was like, “this is really dramatic.” We were writing from an honest place and what was going through our heads at the time, and something that we were thinking was that we’re not invincible. It gave this weird insight to what life would be like after the band, when we are not on the road and not doing shows. My entire adult life we’ve been touring in this band, and it’s all I’ve known for a long time, so it was really weird to have that year off. And I think it gave a new appreciation for what we have and enjoying what we have and at the same time realizing that things don’t last forever.

Q. Can audiences at the tour shows expect all new tracks or a mix of the classics?

A. It’s mostly classics. . . . We want to play from our whole catalog. We also put in so many little covers and dance breaks that the 75 minutes is valuable real estate. I get pissed at bands that only play from the new album, and I’d rather they release a new album and then they play from the last album they put out before. You need to have time to learn and love those songs.

Q. Speaking of loving songs, many people know you from the song “Daylight,” and it still has 45 million more hits on Spotify than your No. 2 slot. Are you two sick of that song yet?

A. Part of me, one day, thinks it would be cool to see another song in that No. 1 slot, but on the other hand, we don’t assume [we’ll] write another “Daylight.” We were always an indie band that is happy with 5 million people listening to a song on Spotify, and the fact that there is this one that is at over 77 million, I never expected that. Some bands have a song that came out a long time ago that people connected to and then kind of forgot about. “Daylight,” for whatever reason, as many people listen to it now as they did when we put it out nine years ago.

Q. So do you two have any plans to stop or slow down in the future after the tour?

A. Getting back on the road finally made sense to us. I’m scared for when we can’t do this anymore. We’ve realized that for better or for worse, this is what it takes for our lives to feel complete. I’m excited for the world to hear these songs, and I think they came from a really inspired place. . . . It made us write what I felt was a really different album.


At House of Blues, April 26, 7 p.m. Tickets $30.

Interview was edited and condensed. Sophie Cannon can be reached at Follow her on Twitter@the_grandCannon.

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