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A quick chat with I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME

We caught up with Dallon Weekes and Ryan Seaman from I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME while they were hanging out at Sacramento’s 94.7 FM to play an on-air acoustic performance. The two-piece band, often shortened to iDKHOW, has a back story of being a “forgotten band” from the ’80s that has recently been rediscovered for the first time. Their music video and first radio single Choke, released in January, is receiving massive attention from both media and fans alike. Learn more about the band here and check out our interview with them below.

TUBE: Could you speak to the 80’s ethos behind the music you created?

Dallon Weekes: It has always been our hopes to never be revivalists as far as our music goes. Though we are certainly inspired by early 70’s and 80’s stuff, particularly the stuff we have been working on lately but capturing the spirit of what it was like to grow up in that time and discover music at that time is what we are trying to recreate more than anything else. The aesthetics and the sort of feeling of how controlling how people discovered us initially.

TUBE: You have played together previously, so was this coming full circle for you or more the next step in your evolution as a musician? 

Weekes: it feels more like the next step. Even though we went a while without playing together, we always maintained contact and were in each other’s lives. We were just working for other people over the course of time we have known each other and now we get to do it together.

TUBE: How was the transition going from playing for a big arena act to leading your own band, creating your own music and being the primary decision maker for your direction? 

Weekes: It feels a lot better, a lot less like a job. I mean, there is definitely more work, but it doesn’t feel like you are punching a time card.

TUBE: How do you go about finding an audience for your music?

Weekes: I think the first step in that is just not to care too much. One of my favorite artists ever, Elvis Costello, mentions that in a song, “Radio Radio.” Which is a medium that back then you really need to rely on. I think the less you care about marketing and numbers, which are certainly important if you want to be a band or an artist. But I don’t think you should focus on that stuff as much as you should focus on creating good art.

TUBE: Many of the artists that you cite as influences, people like Bowie and Elvis Costello constantly challenged themselves, is that something you are trying to do with your most recent recordings?

Weekes: Absolutely, I am challenging the listener too. All of my favorite records are, upon first listen, I thought, “what is this?” Something that really challenged me to listen to it again and by the third listen I would always end up falling in love and it would end up being my favorite thing ever. It’s my hope that we can have that same effect on people.

TUBE: Ryan, you spoke about some of the bands you are currently in to or those that you heard and made you feel like, “I don’t want to sound like them, but damn, now I want to make some music.”

Ryan Seaman: I grew up loving punk rock, that was definitely my first love. Over time it has opened up the doors to other types of music and even older music. One of the reasons I love Dallon, he has opened up my mind to so much incredible music. Green Day is probably my favorite, just being the catalyst for doing your thing and being successful at it.

TUBE: Dallon, anybody for you that you feel really has “it”?

Weekes: I think the most modern band who has that for me is The 1975, every time I hear a song from them I think, “Damn, they did it again!”

TUBE: Are you looking forward to getting back out in front of people?

Weekes: It’s the same for me, whether it is 30 people or 30,000, I love getting in front of people and playing music.

Seaman: Being a two piece does give us a lot of flexibility and we don’t ever want to do the same show the same way.

TUBE: What does being “successful” as a musician look like for you?

Weekes: It’s only been the last six years or so that I was able to do this as a full-time, job and that’s the goal, to be able to do that and do that for Ryan and be able to support my family and make the kind of music that resonates with me.

TUBE: After playing in front of big audiences, how do you stay hungry?

Weekes: I don’t ever want to take any of this for granted, sitting here talking with you for TUBE. is a great opportunity for me and I do really appreciate it.

Seaman: That is what we have in common. We don’t take anything for granted and we are hard workers. I would get off a tour of South America and then go hang Christmas lights for rich people, I need to be doing something.

TUBE: How is the music scene you came out of in Salt Lake City?

Weekes: It was incredibly nurturing for me and though it wasn’t big, there is less to do there than a place like LA, so there are a bunch of really talented musicians. One of my hopes is that we can establish a big enough platform with this to be able to help some of them make the jump and find an audience.

Seaman: It isn’t competitive at all. Everybody has a band and side gigs and are very willing to help each other and we are all happy for each other when someone else gets an opportunity to show what they can do.

TUBE: I know you’ve got some Sacramento fans here waiting to hear you play (on 94.7 FM) so I won’t keep you from them. Will we be seeing you play a full set out here any time soon?

Weekes: We certainly hope so. We love Sacramento, we shot a couple of videos here and have appreciated the support whenever we came through. We would love to come back.

 

Words and Photos: Daniel James.

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