INTERVIEW: Touring, The Upcoming Album, Collaborations & More With IDKHOW's Dallon Weekes
As IDKHOW are currently on the road in Europe, playing shows and festival appearances, we recently sat down with I Don't Know How But They Found Me frontman Dallon Weekes to discuss their music, the upcoming album, touring and collaborations.
Q: How are you?
A: Good, tired and a little bit sick but not sick enough to cancel. Very little sleep and just running around so it tends to happen. But furthermore living the dream!
Q: How was Slam Dunk?
A: Slam Dunk was a lot of fun! It was cool to see some friends there and to play a set and headline the stage we were on. Other headline shows in the UK were sold out, so that was pretty crazy.
Q: How does it feel with the new project and first EP to sell out shows all over the continent?
A: It is very unexpected. We really didn’t think that any of this was gonna happen the way that it did. We just started this project for us and to have some fun. We even kept it secret for almost the entire first year that we did it and then it kind of snowballed beyond our control. It feels good. It definitely wasn’t the intention but we couldn’t be happier about it.
Q: You signed with Fearless Records for the first EP, but even before you signed you already established quite the fanbase. How do you think that happened?
A: Being in a band like Panic! for almost a decade was definitely a big factor. We knew that that would be a factor, starting this new thing. That’s one of the big reasons why we started the project in secret because we wanted to build our own credibility and start from the ground up, just like anybody would.
So it would have been very easy to come out of the gate and say “Hey look, everybody, at this thing that I’m doing” but something about that felt very disingenuous. I didn’t want to take advantage of those fans and my position in that band. I wanted to do it as honestly as possible. So starting in secret was the best way to do that.
Fame is not really something that I’m interested in pursuing. I just want to make art and not take advantage of my friends. Becoming popular should be a by-product of making art, not necessarily your goal.
Q: You recently shared that songs have already been written for the first album. What can we expect and what can you already tell us?
A: It’s all over the map genre-wise. We’re not too concerned about genre as much as we’re concerned about making music that we like. I wrote one song that has like a barbershop-quartet in it. One that has this old-time 1930s jazz feel to it. Couple mid-80s Bowie sounding stuff, so it’s all over the place but it’s going to be a lot of fun!
I try to draw a lot of influences from older stuff but to make it modern. We’re not interested in being revivalists as far as our sound goes. We do draw inspiration from a lot of my favourite music like Bowie, late 70s, early 80s stuff.
Q: Are there any artists that you want to collaborate with?
A: There’s a few that I have already, Tim Anderson from Ima Robot. I was a huge fan when they were doing their thing in the early 2000s. There’s a band that we just took out on the US-run called Superette and who are fantastic and their singer Matt, that’s someone that we’re sending ideas back and forth with right now.
We’ve made a few friends over the last few years and there’s definitely a handful of people that I’d like to write with. I’m trying to keep everything I do as hometown as possible. There’s a lot of great artists in Salt Lake City, Utah, where I’m from, with whom I want to make music. I want to turn as many heads that way as possible.
I don’t like Los Angeles. I’ve lived there for 8 years and became disenchanted with the culture and the way that people treat each other there. Luckily, I’ve been back in my hometown for about 2 years now.
Q: Do you feel like it’s tougher to perform with just the two of you than with an entire band?
A: Yes and no. Because it can be easier in a lot of ways. Not as many people to deal with and not as many egos and scheduling conflicts and it’s a lot more inexpensive to do it with just two people.
The challenge can come when you want to improvise, which Ryan and I both really love to do. Because we use backing tracks from time to time, it’s hard to find those spots in a song to wander around and play with an idea. We do find those spaces to do that in our show and it feels good to do but it is definitely more of a challenge.
Q: What advice would you give to artists who are just starting their journey?
A: Don’t quit! Do it because you love it, don’t do it for any other reason than that.