I Don't Know How But They Found Me are an act out of time that cemented their place with 2020's debut LP 'RAZZMATAZZ'. Now busier than ever, the larger than life duo bring their vintage pop groove to the Reading & Leeds' Main Stage - with just enough time for a headline show at Glasgow's SWG3.
"We just had a hell of a time actually getting there," frontman Dallon Weekes explains. "Missed flights, 12-hour layovers, and when we finally did arrive, three bass amps all blew up one after the other. Every hitch that you could possibly hit, we did hit. We managed to make the show happen, and, regardless of all that stuff, it's fun, and I wouldn't trade it for the world." In comparison, the chance to play the UK's biggest summer festival, "feels like a vacation. A day on the beach."
Drummer Ryan Seaman agrees wholeheartedly: "We needed this."
This would not necessarily be the case in normal circumstances – miraculously, a potential whirlwind of pressure has been completely side-stepped. "Usually, there's a lot of anxiety because you're playing for a crowd that isn't necessarily all yours; you've got to make an effort to win people over," Dallon says. "After the whole debacle of actually getting here, we're far beyond being concerned with anything like that. We just want to get out there and have fun, and that's exactly what we did."
Fun certainly seems to be the key word for iDKHOW. If something isn't fun and enjoyable, it's not going to be part of this project for long, and it means the duo have a wealth of joyous experiences to reminisce on already, and choosing one from the bunch turns out to be a tough ask.
Dallon describes a standout memory: "The Glasgow show that we played maybe two years ago; it was a sold-out show, and everyone was pumped, shouting and having a wonderful time, letting all their cares fly away. It was one of those magical sets that you always pray for. Where everything goes right."
Ryan has a different pick: "The first time we played in London is probably my highlight. Everyone was so involved, and it was one of those moments where all you can say is, 'wow'."
Fan involvement is a critical component of the band's capacity for happiness; performing and striking a chord (pun intended) with a crowd is an energising process, but the exploration and discovery of a studio has its upsides too.
"Isually when we first get started," says Dallon, "I have this laundry list in my head of things we have to get through. Once we get checking those things off and start finding moments to get experimental, that's when it starts to get fun. Once you start letting ideas go and mess with things, take time to see what works and what doesn't.
Although moving on to something new, it's always exciting - and, as Ryan adds, they "never stop creating" behind the scenes.
"There are artists out there who have a hit and then disparage it a bit; they get tired of it," Dallon observes. "The way that I see it is, if you do end up with a hit and you have to play the same song every day for the rest of your life: you won. You have to look at it that way; people still want to hear your song after 30 years - that is winning the lottery."
Although iDKHOW haven't quite been around for 30 years, he offers: "I feel like I've won the lottery multiple times over."
Their success hasn't just arisen from luck, however. It's actually a result of detailed craftsmanship while forging not only a solid album but a thematic experience that has entire subreddits theorising over a deeper, hidden meaning teased by the band's self-curated storyline. On this, the frontman says that, "presenting our songs in that way just adds an extra layer of entertainment for those who care to dive into it. If you don't care to dive into it, the songs are there to stand on their own."
"Concepts can make a record fun, but it's totally okay to just have a solid collection of songs, too," Ryan jumps in. "Especially because today, services like Apple Music and Spotify make it harder for bands to survive from crafting a full album experience."
The decision to set their band decades in the past through this constructed narrative stems from the duo's fondness for the music scene in the late 70s and early 80s. "There was a DIY explosion happening at that time that opened up the gates for all sorts of people to make music that probably couldn't have beforehand," Dallon details. "Getting guitars and records made, getting albums into people's hands became feasible for people who otherwise couldn't have afforded it or didn't have the ambition or opportunities to do so. That whole ethic of DIY was something that was the genesis of creativity for that era, and we really appreciate that."
The current decade of industry progression has been a far more daunting genesis for music creatives, with the medium moving the majority of its business online. "That's not something that scares us because if you're willing to adapt, then you will survive," Dallon remarks. "As long as you're not compromising your artistic vision or stomping on those sensibilities then you'll be fine. You can't fight technology; you have to adapt."
Ryan responds with the surmising statement that, "music has been and always will be adapt or die." He continues: "One of the good things about technology right now is that if you release a good song, it will get heard. How far you can go from there is only bound by how good you really are. If you're deserving enough, you can find your own success story."
Though the pair are still defining their own success story and are unsure of where the future of iDKHOW will take them, Dallon concludes that "the worst day on tour is better than the best day at any other job," and passionately says that just having an audience that pays for him to have a shower after each set is enough for him. On future desires, Ryan builds on this: "I'm gonna set the bar a little higher and ask for a bath."
Taken from the October issue of Upset.
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