NYE Guide: Memories from Matt Johnson of Matt and Kim

Once you’ve been around for a little while, it gets harder and harder to get excited about things, especially New Year’s Eve. And when it comes to music, it’s easy to feel like you’re surrounded on all sides by mountains of dance trash you rummaged through as a teenager. But this is no time for cynics. A new day is here, and we want to rage on into its loving arms this December 31st. How does one round out a night on the town? We asked Matt Johnson of Matt & Kim, who will preform this New Year’s at Hammerstein Ballroom.

I like to open with a hard-hitting question, so get ready: What’s your favorite color? [Laughs.] Blue. Kim’s is definitely red.

Tell me about the worst New Year’s Eve you’ve ever had. All my friends came over and made me watch The Three Stooges marathon while . . . we all ate tons of shit . . . we ate all these cookies with chocolate stripes, and I just vomited so much that night. You would think I would have a better story from my drinking years, not when I was 10 years old, but I think it was the most vomiting I ever did . . . on New Year’s Eve.

That’s amazing. I have plenty of stories like that, mostly cookie-related. And your best New Year’s ever? Last year, we spent New Year’s in Las Vegas, and there was an opening of the Hotel Cosmopolitan that was happening all month or whatever, and we did this small show with Jay-Z and Kanye performing, and it was all very surreal.

Was that one of the nights where you felt like you made it? It was kinda like, what am I doing here? They’d invited us and all these actors I recognized from all these different things, and I was like, “What are we doing at this thing?”

Fantastic. Do you have any bad habits? I have a way of making a bad situation worse. Like, I’m very mild-mannered, and if someone messes with me, I just act myself. A lot of times, it comes down to security or bouncers: It’s at my own shows; they can’t kick me out, so I’m like this yapping little dog who overreacts. I always feel bad about it after, and I always apologize. But then sometimes, security will be my nemesis, like, you can’t treat people like cattle. People are coming to the shows. People don’t want that experience.

Any resolutions for Matt & Kim, or you separately? I haven’t thought about it yet. It’s hard for anyone these days to make a New Year’s resolution because there’s so much going on, there’s so much happening, and there are all these reasons to go against it, so you have to think about it carefully. I have to get back to you. I’ll have an answer to that question onstage.

It’s cool. I’ve never met any 30-year-old saints, and I don’t think they canonize anyone before 50, so don’t worry about it. What’s your favorite drink? You know, I’m thinking. Kim would say Budweiser without thinking about it. Kim’s Budweiser to the core. We’ll be in these countries that are known for their amazing beers, like Belgium or something like that, and Kim will ask for Budweiser.

Guess that makes Kim the all-American girl. Who do you guys listen to on the road? Kim and I are big fans of Top 40 hip-hop. I was listening to Kanye West on the plane ride today. We like music that we find fun. Anything from Tokyo Police Club. As long as it’s fun. There are a surprising amount of things that are stressful, so I gotta keep my music fun.

I’ve had some of your hooks in my head for days, and I have to say, I’m a little angry at you both for that. Thank you. We’re kinda dangerous like that. I know what you mean in the sense that I’m walking through the pharmacy, and I hear a Christmas song, and I get this hook stuck in my head—like a Christmas carol—and I’m like, “Goddammit, why can’t I get this out of my head?” That sometimes happens with some of our simpler tunes, like “Yea Yeah.”

Where is the coolest place to have sex on New Year’s Eve in New York City? Where, when, how, doesn’t matter. Well, I was thinking of the initial place I thought, but I don’t want to provoke. But again, if this place was empty, the life-size Barbie house in the Toys ‘R’ Us in Times Square. I’m saying if the whole place was empty, then it would be acceptable. I’d say hold off on there. I don’t know where one could find a rooftop pool, but it seems like . . . a heated rooftop pool on New Year’s Eve, on the top of a skyscraper in Manhattan, seems pretty epic. If you get the info, send it my way.

You had me at Barbie house. [Laughs.]

Matt, we look forward to seeing you back in the city. Thank you.

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