Interview by Yising Kao & Lexy Bouras 12.24.18.
Photos By Yising Kao
Order our December issue featuring iDKHOW here!: https://www.galaxy-mag.com/issues
Nobody likes the opening band…unless they’re I Don’t Know How But They Found Me! iDKHOW, signed to Fearless Records, consists of band members Dallon Weekes (former bassist of Panic! At The Disco) and Ryan Seaman (former drummer of Falling In Reverse). Their music has a unique style, blending together synth-pop, rock, and alternative with a sprinkle of quirkiness. With their band name inspired by a Back To The Future line, they have a backstory of being a lost act from the 70s/80s, who have recently been discovered through modern technology. Now, they have a second chance at making it in the industry, which they’re doing a pretty good job at. Last month, the "bamd" released their debut 6-track EP called 1981 Extended Play, which hit multiple charts, including No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart. We had a wonderfully good time interviewing them backstage before they opened for Waterparks at Warehouse Live in Houston for the last Entertainment Tour show!
Yising: Your music has really unique stories and aesthetics. How do you go about finding themes for your projects and songs with your creative backstories?
Dallon: It comes from anywhere and everywhere really. There’s not one place that I think we go to, but a lot of what we’ve been making is inspired from stuff when we were kids, like books, tapes, and media.
Lexy: Our whole theme for this interview is inspiration so I would like to know about your onstage persona-excuse me sir this isn't your interview!
At this point, we get interrupted by a figure walking by through the hallway of the greenroom. It is Awsten Knight from Waterparks. He looks 1. Confused that we’re there, and 2. Slightly betrayed that we’re not there for him.
Yising: Awsten, you should leave.
Dallon: I don’t even know you, man!
Awsten gives us an awkward smile as he slowly shuffles away from the door.
Yising: You’ve never even met him!
Lexy: I’ve heard he’s pretty cool but...
Dallon: We might meet tonight, I don’t know.
Lexy: Anyways, you guys obviously seem different from the two seconds that I’ve known you, than you are on stage. I’m a big fan of how you put on the show.
Lexy: For your onstage personas, do you take inspiration from fictional characters or pop culture icons?
Dallon: Yeah, on stage, it’s not really inspired by anything. I’m being myself but probably just certain aspects of myself are amplified. When I’m off stage, that’s not always appropriate to act like that way, the egotistical, whatever that is.
Lexy: It’s like a dad vibe.
Yising: And a magical stage persona.
Dallon: It’s almost like putting on a confidence suit and when the show’s done, I take it back off.
Yising: How about you, Ryan?
Ryan: Kind of the same thing. I try to just make myself as noticeable as possible.
Yising: I love how vibrant you are with your goofy faces you make while you perform. You can tell you’re having fun and that really radiates through the audience.
Dallon: That’s the biggest thing for us, is to be able to have fun every night.
Ryan: I try not to take myself too seriously. There’s a lot of people that do, you know?
Lexy: It makes for a really good show.
Lexy: Tell me about your rooms as a kid, like the posters you hung up and who you wanted to be. Who did you take inspiration from?
Ryan: I was an only child, so I didn’t have like people to guide me so I kind of just figured it out myself. I just hung up posters with things that inspired me, like a lot of punk rock stuff. I had a local record shop in my town so I’d buy a bunch of CDs and put the booklets on the wall, and things like that.
Dallon: When I thought of that question, I immediately thought of when I was really young and had action figures.
Lexy: Are you inspired by David Bowie?
Dallon: Bowie’s an inspiration for things I’ve been doing for this record, like T. Rex and Sweet and 70s and British glamour.
Yising: You guys add fun stuff into your performance, like saying "no peer pressure" and being respectful to each other. What do you hope people take away from your shows?
Dallon: That vibe for sure. Maybe it’s the dad in me, but safety first! The reason that I love going to concerts and playing them is because it’s living in a moment, which people don’t really ever do anymore. The reason that I love it is because when I’m on stage all of my problems, anything good or bad, it all goes away and you’re just existing in that one particular moment. That’s what I love about it.
Yising: Do you want to add anything, Ryan?
Ryan: He said everything that I think!
Yising: It’s honestly the best escape because we go to a lot of concerts and it’s just amazing.
Lexy: Yeah, and since we’ve been to a lot of dates on this tour, we’ve had a lot of moments where we put our phones away to just live in the moment.
Dallon: Sometimes when audiences have done that and I haven’t asked them to, which is always really special, when I know that that moment is happening, it’s just going to exist for the people in that room in that…moment. And that makes it a lot more special when I know that it’s not going to end up on the internet later.
Rapid Fire Questions
Yising: What’s a song you wish you wrote?
Dallon: "My Smile is Extinct" by Kane Strang.
Ryan: I’m not really like a writer. I’m more of an idea kind of person. I liked a lot of Nirvana growing up and Foo Fighters, so it'd be interesting to get inside Dave Grohl’s brain.
Ryan to Dallon: I don’t know if you like the Foo Fighters or Nirvana but that’s where we differ but sometimes it’s good when you don’t think in the same exact way.
Dallon: Always! I do love the Foo Fighters and Nirvana but my favorite band from the 90s was probably Weezer and Ben Folds Five.
Lexy: Which Rocky Horror character do you identify with?
Lexy: I knew it! I just got validated.
Ryan: I don’t know. Who do you think I’d represent?
Lexy: Columbia, maybe.
Dallon: Yeah, some of that but what’s the butlers name?
Lexy: Riff Raff.
Dallon: Yeah, he’s got some Riff Raff in him.
Yising: Who’s your style icon?
Dallon: I could never try to dress like Bowie. Like, he’s definitely a style icon. I don’t know if I could try to get into his neighborhood style wise. I don’t think I could pull it off. I rip off Mark Bolan a lot with the glitter on my face.
Lexy: It’s ok, we ripped off you the other day with our glitter.
Dallon: Everything’s all been done by now.
Ryan: Almost! I’d say for me it’d be Billie Joe Armstrong.
Lexy: How do you feel about crowdsurfers during your set? ‘Cause we’re not saying we crowdsurfed during your set yesterday…
Yising: But we did!
Dallon: Crowdsurfing’s great! If my body could still handle it, I’d do it way more often.
Ryan: As long as nobody’s getting hurt.
Yising: Yeah, sometimes we get dropped!
Lexy: Do you guys get crowdsurfers often?
Dallon: Yeah, from time to time.
Yising: If you weren’t doing music right now, what would you be doing?
Dallon: Hating life. Probably stuck in some job that I hate, just dreading every day of waking up ‘cause I’ve been there. I’ve done that and it’s not for me.
Yising: I feel you.
Lexy: We’re trying to bypass that.
Lexy: What’s your favorite 70s, 80s, or 90s album?
Dallon: Well, my favorite album ever is from the 70s is This Year’s Model by Elvis Costello & The Attractions released in 1978. It’s a big inspiration for me and one of my favorite records ever.
Ryan: That’s where Dallon and I have a difference. I wasn’t really like so much into the 80s stuff. I was more into the early 90s, like Nirvana’s Nevermind was really great and The Smashing Pumpkins.
Dallon: I loved that stuff too when I was growing up.
Lexy: Listening to your sound now, I can totally see those influences.
Dallon: Yeah, we’re kind of all over the map, but hopefully it’s in a good way.
Yising: What superhero power would you want? Telepathy?
Lexy: They already have that!
Dallon: We do!
Yising: How does that work?
Dallon: It’s not really something you can explain. It just develops on its own. For me, it’d be vulnerability.
Lexy: Like, emotional?
Dallon: No, physical. To not be able to smash my fingers or cut something. That’d be nice.
Ryan: I wish I could have the ability to time travel.
Yising: I mean, you have that ability already.
Ryan: Yeah we kind of do already, but I want to actually time travel and go to the past, and tell old Ryan, "hey maybe you should do this and this and this."
Lexy: If your life was a musical, what would the marquee say?
Dallon: Mine would say "Night Heat: the Dallon Weekes story."
Ryan: Mine would be "In the Life of...gotta keep it appropriate...Seaman."
Yising: No typos!
Dallon: Yep, "the Life of the Seaman."
Yising: If Spotify made playlist with your songs on it, what would you want it to be called?
Dallon: I would hope it’d be called something like "Songs to Think to."
Lexy: Songs when you’re mad but you don’t want to use bad words.
Yising: Songs to scream about.
Dallon: Yeah, appropriately angry.
Lexy: Dallon says this every night and I’m impressed by it every night, that you are a fantastic speller. So what’s the biggest word you can spell?
Dallon: I never thought that this would actually come up.
Lexy: That’s my favorite part of the show!
Ryan: Every time, I’m just like what’s Dallon going to say about me?
Dallon: Whenever band members introduce each other, they never really say attributes to what they’re currently doing.
Yising: Yeah, they’re just like "he plays bass. He plays drums."
Ryan: I can spell expialidocious. That’s the longest word.
Dallon: Well, that’s only part of the word though.
Lexy, Yising & Dallon (singing): It’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Ryan: Yeah, I can spell that word, just not right now because we don’t have enough time.
Lexy & Yising: Alright! Thank you guys so much for doing this interview!
iDKHOW and Waterparks finally meet in Houston, TX and sing happy birthday to their tour manager Lucas for the hundreth time.