SOUND OFF: iDKHOW
Sep 2, 2020
Have you watched “Leave Me Alone” by IDKHOW? No? Oh honey, stop everything you are doing and go listen to this epic song (with an epic music video) NOW!
The song has already racked up over 1 MILLION Spotify streams in less than a month and is the first single of Dallon’s upcoming debut album Razzmatazz, on October 16th (OMG, just one month ahead, we can’t wait!!!)
“Leave Me Alone” was filmed during quarantine, and according to Dallon it was a very challenging moment: “We decided to incorporate a lot of things from the state of the world as it is now. Social distancing, sterile isolation, etc. it all seemed to fit with the song’s themes of wanting to quarantine yourself from toxic people and situations.”
Before creating and introducing IDKHOW at a small show in Los Angeles, Dallon worked and toured around the world with Panic! At the Disco, between 2009 – 2018. He has also shared the stage with The 1975, Billie Eilish, and Twenty One Pilots. This is what we call talent.
1. ‘Leave Me Alone’ is the first song to be released from the new album. Why this track?
It seemed like a good opening statement to the rest of the album’s themes. In any given toxic situation, “leave me alone” is usually the last civil thing that gets said before things become uncivilized.
2. What did the writing process of this track look like?
The album has been written for a long time. Starting with songs from the 1981 EP, I began writing these years ago. I had a lot to say, but no real outlet to say any of it. It just took a while for us to finally have an opportunity to record it. We did add a few newer songs while we were recording, though. I don’t feel like I have much of a process. I just always end up writing things as they come to me. I can’t ever seem to sit down and force a song to happen. I feel like it’s got to come from somewhere else first.
3. Most albums tell a story. What is the story behind your upcoming debut album ‘RAZZMATAZZ’?
For the most part, it’s about disillusionment. Having that fancy showbiz curtain pulled back just a little bit and showing everyone what’s behind it. A lot of what’s behind isn’t pretty. Some songs are about feeling angry, lost, and alone. Some are about regrets or finding love, and missing my family.
4. Speaking of this being your debut album, what was the reasoning for waiting so long to release this first full-length project?
When we first got started, this band was a secret. For almost a year we completely denied that we even existed at all. We would just book shows at random and not tell anyone. We would make recordings on our own time and on our own dime, both of which we had very little of to spare. Eventually, the secret got out, and soon after that ‘Fearless Records’ stepped in, and the timeline we had in mind for releasing music got put on hold in favor of touring. So, it took a minute to finally get into a studio. Then COVID delayed things even more, but there’s nothing we could have done about that. I’m just grateful we’re finally able to start getting music out again.
5. Separately, you both were instrumental parts of the 2000s rise of alternative pop-punk. Now you describe yourselves as ‘a band out of time.’ What are the tonal differences you’re exploiting through this new phase of music
We were both very fortunate to have been employed in that world for a number of years, but I never really enjoyed pop-punk or emo music. I think the closest I ever came was being a huge Weezer and Ben Folds Five fan when I was a teenager. I think they called it ‘geek rock’ at the time. I’d probably be more comfortable with a label like that, actually. In the early 2000’s I was listening to bands like The Strokes and The Killers, Louis XIV, Hot Hot Heat, Ima Robot, and Franz Ferdinand. But having occupied that sphere as a job for so long, it’s almost like we have this ’emo by association’ label tagged to us. No offense at all to anyone who likes that kind of music. I just never identified with it.
6. How do you feel the creative direction in the way you both create has shifted since becoming a duo?
IDK how has been my own creative outlet for a couple of years now, but Ryan helps me bring it to life in the studio and onstage. I wouldn’t want to do it without him. He’s a really great performer and a talented writer too, though. I think we’re going to collaborate more in the future. But starting out as a duo was born out of necessity, really. At the time we were both still employed in other bands, so keeping it all between the two of us helped to simplify a lot of things. It made touring less expensive and made things easier to schedule at a moment’s notice.
7. Did the idea of the band being described as a ‘band out of time’ have anything to do with the ‘Back to the Future’ reference that your name comes from?
No, the band name and the concept are unrelated. Really choosing that name was more related to how we started out in secret.
8. Where does the inspiration behind tracks like ‘Modern Day Cain’ and ‘Bleed Magic’ come from?
In the past few years, I wrote a lot about my time in Los Angeles. The things I saw and experienced while I lived there, and my distaste for the entertainment business culture that thrives there. I do like LA a lot more now that I don’t live there, but it’s such a strange place. People think of it as this glamourous beacon of culture, but really, it’s just this decaying city that’s obsessed with itself. Almost like the embodiment of narcissism and every other personality disorder you could think of. Songs like ‘Cain’ and ‘Bleed Magic’ are about the predatory types that feed off the hard work and talent of other people and pass it off as their own. The kind of people who would step on your neck to get a dollar and their face closer to the spotlight. I know that sounds like the beginning of some noir detective novel, but to sum it up, it’s just not my kind of town.
9. Based in Utah, do you think that location has an effect on how you create and what you create?
Definitely! Coming back home reintroduced me to how people treat each other, or at least how they should treat each other. I think it helped me purge a lot of things from my mind and recharge, spiritually. Not only that, but this is where I fell in love with music and got started on the path to being a musician. The music scene in SLC and Provo is where I got started. The bands and artists I know that come from here make their art, not because they’re trying to be rich and famous, but they make it because it’s in them, and they HAVE to! And they do it without ego and without ulterior motives. And everyone wants to help everyone else succeed. There is so much talent and amazing music and art being made here and people have no idea. I hope that changes someday.
10. Your debut EP ‘1981’ released in 2018. Do you feel like your sound has changed since those releases?
‘1981’ and Razzmatazz were always meant to be one record. We just didn’t get the opportunity to make a fully realized album until ‘Razzmatazz’, so while I don’t feel like there are many huge departures, change still creeps its way in. And I think people will be able to hear that evolution developing through the record.
11. When you’re touring are there specific venues or cities that feel you really look toward performing in?
Salt Lake City and Provo are a tie for number one. It’s not possible to have a bad show in SLC or Provo. They are both big music towns that people tend to overlook and underrate. Provo, in particular, but I defy any band to play a show at Velour in Provo without feeling like a million bucks afterward.
Outside of hometown shows, I would have to say London and Glasgow have consistently been absolutely insane for us.
12. Your initial performances as a band actually happened under the radar. Can you recount the first?
We played our first set in secret at the Echoplex in LA. I was still living there at the time, but we were the first band of the night and there were maybe a dozen people in the room. Nobody had any idea who we were, or what bands we were from, and it was wonderful. Playing this music, anonymously on that stage for those people was like being born again. I had been on stage in front of 20,000 people and have felt completely alone. But that set and that room was a great reminder of what this is supposed to be about. Fun! Music was fun again. I’ll never forget it.
13. What/Who would make up your ideal tour lineup?
Us, Superet, and Foxy Shazam. I wouldn’t even care who plays when, a tour like that would be amazing and fun forever.
14. What is something you wish more fans knew about you?
The kind of music I like. I think it would give them a better frame of reference as to what our inspirations are, and because I want them to fall in love with it too! I enjoy my favorite things a lot more when I can share them with people.
15. What is the most personal song you’ve released so far?
Leave Me Alone. That said, there’s some way more personal stuff on the record, so please ask me again around Halloween!