I Don’t Know How But They Found Me better known as iDKHOW have had us hooked on their funky singalong-friendly sound since they released Choke. Headlining the Left Key Stage at this year’s Slam Dunk Festival, the festival also marked the start of the duo’s UK and European tour. We sat down with Dallon Weekes at Slam Dunk South to discuss iDKHOW and their funky 80’s sound, the follow-up to 1981 Extended Play and The Ninja Turtles; yes, you read that right.
Hi Dallon, how was Leeds for you yesterday?
Leeds was fun. A little bit chaotic. We had some technical issues pretty much the whole way through but sometimes you’ve just got to roll with that stuff. Chaos is not always a bad thing. It was fun.
Have you had a chance to experience any of Slam Dunk today or check out any of the bands?
I haven’t really since we got in it’s been a lot of running around and business as usual I guess.
Can you sum up your sound in five words for people who may not have heard Idkhow before?
Does it have to be five words?
We can bend the rules just for you.
I can do it in two! Hipster nonsense.
We have to talk about your sassy, angsty single Choke; where was the inspiration coming from for that track?
Personal experience without being too specific and naming names but it was definitely inspired. One of those songs which seemed to write itself. But a song like that really helps you move on from those sorts of feelings, anger or whatever it is which fuels it as you can pen it down and then wave goodbye to it. You visit it when you play it but it’s no longer something you’re carrying on your back.
Do you find it easier writing songs about personal experiences or songs you can dissociate with?
I really like doing both actually. Some times you can insert yourself or your own experience into a fictional story to sort of make it real to yourself. But I enjoy them both, not every song is an autobiography especially the murdery ones, so far.
You released your debut EP 1981 Extended Play last year, what’s your favourite lyric from the release?
Probably a lyric from Social Climb. ‘If the lights don’t stop me, no one’s got control of what I do’ That’s probably my favourite.
Have any plans for the follow-up been made?
I’ve been working on it, every spare moment I have and it’s mostly written and as soon as we get the green light to go and officially record it I think that process is going to go really quickly.
Do you have any producers or who you’d like to work with on it in mind?
There are a few people I’ve written with before that are really great, Tim Anderson is one of them and he was in a band called Ima Robot who I’m a huge, huge fan of. In my opinion, they should have been the biggest band of the early 2000s, one of those bands where it’s a crime they didn’t get bigger you know. I got to write a song with him and that was a really cool experience, hopefully, get to do more in the future. Another one is Jason Hill who produced a couple of songs that we’ve done, he was in a band called Louis XIV and I’m a massive fan of them and their work too so it was really cool to get to work with him.
You’re a really creative band and we especially love the throwback video for Choke, but where do these ideas come from?
A lot of them are inspired by the things I grew up with, media from my childhood in the 80s and stuff like that. I don’t feel like we’re a revivalist band as far as our band goes, but aesthetically at least for this record, I drew a lot of inspiration from that time period. Just trying to recapture what it was like to discover bands when growing up, seeing Top Of The Tops re-runs or Old Grey Whistle Tests or stuff like that.
Would you like to revisit other era’s of your life through a different iDKHOW release?
Yeah, you know sometime in the future I really want to chase the production style of Weezer’s Pinkerton which was very band in a room just playing their songs and very raw, I want to do that someday.
We’ve mentioned it already but the 80s are a large part of your current style, what do you wish was still popular from the 80s in the present day?
Maybe it’s just the geek in me talking but I wish the Ninja Turtles were still as massive as they were when I was a kid. I mean to me they are and to my son, he’s casually interested in Ninja Turtles. His big thing is Sonic The Hedgehog which is great but there’s a part of me that whenever he clicks with something I loved when I was a kid it’s a pretty special moment.
Last but not least, what’s on the cards for 2019?
Hopefully getting this full-length record finished and out into the world, that’s my biggest priority. We’re just waiting for the go ahead!
You’re also heading out on tour straight after the festival, what can fans expect from your live shows?
Songs from the EP for sure but we’re also trying to save a few surprises for when the record comes out some day. We have more songs but we’re just keeping close to the chest. Ryan and I used to be in a band called the Brobecks years and years ago so we play a few of those songs, there’s a Beck cover a song from his album Midnite Vultures called Debra which has been a favourite of mine since I was about seventeen. Really, it’s just for me as I know fans and that don’t generally know that song but they absolutely should because it’s so great. I hope if anything else we can open up a doorway to music that they didn’t know about before.
To summarise: hopefully a full-length release, some more touring and the comeback of the Ninja Turtles
And hopefully, some more time with my family because that’ll be a real treat for me too!
Check out our review of Slam Dunk South here.
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