By Meg Clemmensen | PROMO PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAUREN PERRY
You've likely heard Dallon Weekes’ name before, whether you know him from being the previous bassist of Panic! At The Disco, or his fronting role in the fashionable new duo, I Don't Know How But They Found Me (often stylized as iDKHOW). On the band's tour supporting Waterparks, I had the opportunity to speak with Weekes about both iDKHOW’s goals and inspirations, as well as the reason why he's stayed in the music industry for so long.
Your band has a very retro theme to it, and it has since you started it and introduced the Superstar Showcase concept. Are you able to elaborate on that theme and why it works for you?
I think it works because I grew up in the time that we're trying to recreate. I saw it all happen. The reason why we're trying to do it is because growing up in that time was pretty special to me. It's my hope that nothing we do is revivalist as far as music is concerned, because I want to be able to exist in a modern day atmosphere. It's just something that I really wanted to do. You mentioned the Superstar Showcase; it's based on old talent shows that I discovered on YouTube one day!
Now that your debut EP has been released, can you see yourself ever altering that theme?
Yeah, sure! I don't ever want to do the same thing twice. We want to make more records that develop a story a little bit.
Why did you decide to form the band in secret and use very little promo while building yourself up?
A couple reasons. One is that we wanted to be respectful and not take take advantage of Panic! At The Disco fans or the band itself, because I still played with them at the time. Coming out with something like a press release felt really disingenuous. We started playing in secret for that reason, and the other reason is that we wanted to see if the songs could get people's attention on their own. You know, playing for rooms full of strangers who had no idea where we came from. That's something that we wanted to try to see if we could turn people's heads.
That makes sense! How did it feel for you and Ryan to come from two bigger bands and have a fresh start all over again?
It's a lot more work, but it feels good to be working for yourself.
How do the two of you split up the creative process amongst each other when you're writing or setting up a show?
I began to collect these ideas and record them, and whenever I needed drums on the track, I would bring my friend Ryan in, and it felt great. We’d get to hang out more, and I didn't want to play these songs alone, so doing it as a band just made sense.
Why did you choose to name your EP “1981: Extended Play”? Does it hold any significance?
1981 was the year I was born, and for the story that we're trying to create around this particular EP and the following record. That year was just kind of perfect for what we're trying to do. Extended Play just means EP, but, to me, it's a very overt sounding title.
When can you see yourself making a full-length record?
Hopefully as soon as possible! I'd like to be able to get the process started in the New Year. It all depends on show schedules and stuff like that, because we do have more coming up that we're going to be doing in 2019.
Is there anything going on behind-the-scenes in the New Year that we can hear about, or is it all a secret?
That's the thing, I'm not sure what's secret and what's not yet. I know that we're going to be doing some festivals and headlining shows here and there, but what's official and announced yet, I'm not really sure.
What song are you most excited to be playing live on this current tour with Waterparks?
My favorite song to play is “Social Climb”. Every time before we get it started, we have the crowd do this little call and response thing. We do this gang vocal bit and save it for the chorus, and it's always really loud and awesome. I just love it so much!
Are there any that you're playing for the first time this tour?
Yes, there's two! “Bleed Magic” and “Absinthe”, that are both on the EP. We've been saving them for this tour, so it's good to have fun playing those for people!
What goes into building a setlist? I know that you put a lot of songs from your old band, The Brobecks, into every iDKHOW setlist. How do you decide what makes the cut and what doesn't?
It varies. We'll change the setlist sometimes if we're feeling like it, because we don't ever want to do the exact same show twice. It just kind of depends on what we feel like that night.
What's the biggest show you've played to date?
Probably Reading and Leeds.
Oh yeah, that's a big one!
Yeah, it was really great, a lot of fun!
Recently, you've been using ‘Bamd’ to describe yourselves. How did that start, and what does it mean?
It just means band. Maybe I was just being a smartass and misspelling things on purpose. It made me laugh, which is why I did it, initially, but we posted it on our Instagram story and people seemed to respond to it, so it became a thing.
What is your favorite album that's been released in 2018, and has it influenced anything that you've been working on?
Admittedly, I'm not too familiar with albums that have been released this year. There's been a handful of really great songs that I've discovered this year, but when they came out, I'm not exactly sure. Maybe that's a bad habit I have; I tend to gravitate towards things that are older and less known. Not because I want to be precious about it, I wish the stuff that I like was the biggest stuff in the world. I wish that everybody liked it, but unfortunately, that's not the case.
You've been in the music industry for countless years now. What's the most rewarding part about it?
Just being able to take care of my family by doing what I love. That's always been my main goal in life, and it's pretty amazing that I get to do that. I'm very lucky.
Even after only 7 songs, Dallon Weekes and Ryan Seaman have undoubtedly made an impact in the music industry. What iDKHOW is currently doing is different than any other bands in the scene, and we can't wait to see what they come up with next. Their rise into the spotlight has been incredibly quick and well-deserved.