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Matt Johnson of Matt and Kim

A Dime a Dozen?

Itís the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love in San Francisco, so itís only appropriate that Matt and Kim make another Bay Area appearance. The notoriously cheerful couple, Matt Johnson (keyboards) and Kim Schifino (drums) will perform at Bottom of the Hill on June 2nd. Johnson spoke with SF Station during a phone interview from the road in Florida.

SF Station (SFS): Did you know you share the same name with the keyboardist from Jamiroquai?

Matt Johnson (MJ): I swear, Matt Johnsons are a dime a dozen. Itís like being named an alias, like John Smith, or something. I tried to get a Matt Johnson e-mail address with every possible server and there was no chance.

SFS: So do you have an e-mail address with a bunch of numbers after it?

MJ: I actually donít really use an e-mail address anymore; it all just goes to Kimís e-mail. Thereís not very many Kim Schifinos out there. As far as the Schifino name goes, if anyone in the U.S. is named Schifino they are related, which is wild to me.

SFS: Do random Schifinos show up at your shows?

MJ: Not random, we just had a Schifino cousin come to our show in Tampa. It was tight because he had a hookup at the Hilton. We never stay at fancy hotels. Kim wanted me to ask how they are holding up with Paris going to jail, but they probably would have killed me because they are so sick of hearing it.

SFS: How is the tour going?

MJ: Awesome, weíve only been to Florida one other time and we didnít have the best of luck, but now we are having fun.

SFS: What happened last time?

MJ: We were just playing kind of weird spaces and there wasnít really anybody coming out to the shows. That was about two years ago; itís a lot different now.

SFS: What caused your audience to increase?

MJ: I donít know. Weíve done a bunch of tours in between then and now, but this is the first time weíve been back to Florida. I think the Internet has helped. I donít know, somehow more people know about us.

SFS: There are a lot of video clips of you and Kim on various Web sites. Has anything appeared online that surprised you?

MJ: Nothing surprises me anymore on the Internet because everything ends up on there. At any point, somebody will have a cell phone camera turned on. We generally do stupid stuff -- I havenít searched YouTube in a while, so Iím sure there is some embarrassing stuff out there.

SFS: I think my favorite clip is the acoustic set you did in the park.

MJ: Yeah, that was on Roosevelt Island in New York. Kim played a cardboard box, a cowbell and a little tin filled with quarters. It was good.

SFS: Are you still trying to do a house party in Oakland?

MJ: No, we actually just confirmed a show for Sacramento for that day.

SFS: Bummer. Do you like playing at house parties?

MJ: Yeah, we are actually playing at a house in Pensacola today. It has its charm the same way playing a venue with monitors has its charm. I think itís good to do both. It seems like bands that always do venues donít go back and do what they came up doing. I think that is kind of sad.

SFS: Does it keep you grounded?

MJ: Yeah, you donít forget what was fun and why you were doing it before for free with your own booze instead of drink tickets and expensive drinks. The key is to have fun. We try to do that live at venues, too, instead of a recital.

SFS: Your music is generally on the happier side of the spectrum. When you have a bad day or feel crappy, is it ever hard to get onstage and do a set?

MJ: That doesnít really happen very often. I got pretty stressed out yesterday -- weíre kind of dependent on a GPS system to get around and it broke, and Kim got pretty sick -- and we showed up to the show and it wasnít looking that great. But, some old friends were at the show and we got pulled back into the spirit. Weíre honest no matter how we feel, but we are generally always psyched when we play.

Matt and Kim perform with The Mall and The Mae-Shi at Bottom of the Hill on June 2nd. Doors open at 8:30pm. and the show starts at 10pm. Admission is $10 for all ages.