Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino drive around in their van. They play music. They are also from Brooklyn. Is that what D.I.Y. stands for? You might have heard their hit song "Yea Yeah" remixed by Flosstradamus. You might not have seen them ever in your life. See them now. recess' Baishi Wu spoke with Matt before their Tuesday night show next week with Cut Copy at the Cat's Cradle.
Last time I saw you perform, you were on a Mountain Dew-sponsored tour with the Cool Kids for Green Label Sound. It was actually cool because the ticket cost $5. How do you guys feel about being a soda-sponsored band?
What's cool was that with any sort of brand, we were very skeptical to begin with. We didn't want to have some weird situation where there would be posters and Mountain Dew logos over Kim and mine's faces. But they were able to very tastefully do it so they had a marketing campaign with very subtle branding and give away a free song and were willing to sponsor it to be able to make a show cost only $5. I just couldn't see anything wrong with it. And there wasn't. It was a great relationship.
You've also toured with Girl Talk, who is coming to Duke for our Last Day of Classes where he will perform for a big field of people. Do you think that's where Matt and Kim could end up, performing for thousands and thousands of people, or will you always be more of the house-party type?
I have no idea. I think that's something that we've really done right. We've not given ourselves any real expectations. We don't have an answer to: "Where do you see yourself in 'x' amount of years?" If you say that, "I want to see myself with a No. 1 and be like 'blah blah blah,'" you're just setting up yourself for disappointment. The thing is, we're just going to keep doing what we're doing and keep driving around doing shows. But we don't have a particular direction we're going. This D.I.Y. thing, that's what we do, that's what we'll forever do.
I wanted to talk about your latest release, Grand. I've heard so many different stories about the album, like how it was recorded in your old house. How was the recording process for this album different?
It was definitely really different than recording our first album, which was just over the course of a week at a recording studio in Los Angeles. And this was like, we spent six weeks in the middle of nowhere in Vermont, in my parents' house, in my childhood bedroom, just being able to try whatever we wanted to try. We didn't have to rush, but essentially we thought we could do the whole album in six weeks. We ended up spending another seven or eight months on it in between tours. We'd go on tour for a few weeks, come back for a few weeks and work on it in our apartment in Brooklyn, just singing at the top of my lungs in a little tiny apartment.
I saw your "Daylight" video, and thought it was... adorable. Was it more fun making that video or the "Yea Yeah" video?
It was kind of different things. Shooting of "Yea Yeah" only lasted three minutes or however long the video was. We only took one take. And then it was like cleaning up for like six hours... and this gross smell. The first three minutes were really fun. I enjoyed the "Daylight" video but some of those situations for Kim were situations she hated, like that dumpster. She was told it was going to be a clean dumpster. It hadn't really been cleaned. There was just a layer of some sort of filth all over it. Kim also really hates water in the face so being in the shower with it on, she hated that. Kind of her worst nightmare, but I thought it was pretty fun.
Alright, so you guys are coming to North Carolina next week. Is there anything you guys are looking forward to during the show?
This is Cat's Cradle, right? Yeah, that was really fun the last time we were there, so I'm definitely looking forward to getting back and we got a couple more multimedia aspects, and it's really fun with Cut Copy. They got a crazy light show. Dance party!
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.