Who: Midi Matilda
Current Gig: The dynamic duo of Logan Grime and Skyler Kilborn make up Midi Matilda, a band that, in its brief five months of existence, has rocketed almost instantly into the ranks of the Bay Area's indie-pop vanguard. On the strength of a single EP and handful of inventive music videos (including "Ottawa," which is getting its world premiere right here right now at the top of this story), the band has sold out every show it's played and seems uniquely poised for imminent world takeover.
Current 'Hood: Logan grew up in San Rafael and lives in San Francisco's Noe Valley. Skylar grew up in central Texas and lives in Berkeley.
What's your favorite place in the Bay Area?
Skylar: Urban Ore in Berkeley. It's a used materials shop and the idea behind is that it replaces a lot of the things that would go into landfills. It's pretty much got everything. I got all the furniture for my house there and and all the stuff I'm using to build a speaker.
Logan: My favorite place is the opposite of that--it's West Marin. I love Limantour Beach out there, it's one of the biggest beaches in the Bay Area and it's always deserted.
Favorite Place To Eat?
S: Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers
L: Gracias Madre
How did Midi Matilda start?
S: We used to be in a garage rock band with a bunch of other people. That group eventually disbanded, but the two of us kept going. It was a pretty different sound than what we're doing now and it was pretty much was based on what we were listening to at the time--a lot of Kings of Leon and stuff like that.
L: But we kind of went about the whole thing backwards from the typical way most bands start out. Instead of immediately trying to play a lot of shows, we worked on recording songs, making videos and just getting our music out there and seeing if people liked it. Once we got a positive reaction, especially to the "Day Dreams" video, we started looking at playing shows.
How did that develop into what you're doing now?
S: What we're doing at the moment is based around our shared interests. We listened to a lot of the same music when we were kids: Fleetwood Mac and pop-punk bands like Blink-182, Nirvana and the Foo Fighters. There's also an element of bands like Sly and the Family Stone, although our music isn't quite as funky as that.
How did you come up with the name?
L: My great-great-grandmother's name was "Mini Matilda" and she used to own a gold mine in Virginia City. My dad created this robot character based off of the name called Midi Matilda. I always knew I wanted to use that name somehow and this fit--especially because "MIDI" is a electronic music term so it kinds of adds another dimension for people who know what that is.
What are your favorite venues to see music in San Francisco? Favorite venues to play?
S: I moved here from Texas and the first really cool concert I saw in San Francisco was at Slim's, so it'll always have a special place in my heart. We've only ever played two concerts so far--at Cafe du Nord and the Independent--and both of those places were great.
Your last video, "Day Dreams," was a huge hit online. How did you make it?
S: First, we shot a video in a studio of us dancing against a green screen. Then we made a rig and projected stills from that video onto surfaces all over San Francisco, Berkeley and Marin. Next we took still photographs of the projections, about 3,300 in total, and assembled them together like a stop-motion video.
Were you surprised by the positive reaction it received?
L: I'm always a little surprised when people like anything I put out (laughs). When we first released the video, we were contacting different blogs trying to get them to feature it and then randomly someone posted it on a blog in New York City and then it absolutely exploded and it was featured on like 85 music blogs overnight.
Can you tell me about the "Ottawa" live music video?
L: The "Ottawa" video was about us showing what the two of us can do live. We did it at Expression [College For Digital Media in Emeryville], where be both went to to school. It's really just us showing that, yes, we do really play all of the instruments live that are on our recording.
What can people expect from a Midi Matilda live show?
L: You see so many DJs onstage just sitting there behind a computer. We want to be more interesting than that. We want our shows to be like Daft Punk meets the White Stripes, but with more dancing.
See the premiere of "Ottawa" above, and check out this slideshow featuring some of Midi Matilda's other videos:
Red Light District