Dallon Weekes poses on a stool

Unquenched Thirst For Sound and Inspiration: IDKHOW

Music Interviews

I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME (IDKHOW), the solo project of Dallon Weekes, is bringing nuance to our local music scene and to the creation of music from the heart of your hometown. Euphoric, enticing and distinct are some of the many words that can describe his latest album, GLOOM DIVISION. With the people from Salt Lake City in mind, Weekes is exploring what it is truly like to be an artist on his own terms in his new solo project. The alternative/indie album has elements of ravished riffs, rhapsodic sounds, and acroamatic vocals. Altogether, this album can make you feel like you’re on cloud nine. 

Dallon Weekes poses for MANICPROJECT.
Photo courtesy of MANICPROJECT

When I ask about how he discovered the name IDKHOW, a riff on a quote from the movie Back to the Future, Weekes explains the moment he knew he had found its name. “It’s kind of its own gatekeeper, from what I found … It’s a little out of the ordinary, and if eight syllables is too much for you, then I’m not interested in sharing my music with you,”says Weekes. “I want to have an audience of people who are curious …who want to find new stuff [and] be challenged a little bit.” 

Growing up, Weekes was a curious boy who not only was trying to grasp the idea of life itself and who he wanted to be as he grew older, but who was inspired by the consumption of media. Movies, shows, art, you name itWeekes was inspired and knew exactly what was needed of him: Creating music, not only for himself but for those around him. 

When I am searching to be inspired … [that inspiration is] something I really need [in order] to make a song happen,” he says. “I can’t really force a song or wrestle it into existence. I feel like it needs to come from something else first. I find [that] a lot of the time, things that spark that [inspiration] for me are things that I already love: movies, music, comic books… things from my past.” 

When I am searching to be inspired … [that inspiration is] something I really need [in order] to make a song happen,”

As for the musical process for IDKHOW, “The process is always different for me,” Weekes says.  “It can start with a lyric or a phrase. I’ll write it down and keep a journal of all these random sayings or things that sound good that would make a good lyric. Sometimes it’s a melody or a song idea or a lead piano linesometimes it’s an idea that you get at 3 a.m. that you have to get out of bed to go down and work on—you take all those little bits and pieces, [put them] together and try to see if anything fits.”

Dallon Weekes
Photo courtesy of MANICPROJECT

FIND ME” is one of the songs on GLOOM DIVISION, for which Weekes deciphers the vision behind it. “[It is] inspired by Trainspotting and [a] brutalist sci-fi film called High-Rise,” he says. [It’s a] dystopian and down-in-the-gutter mash-up of those two.” Weekes continues, “[The] song is about being lonely but an introvert, so wanting someone to come and find you rather than you find[ing] them … hav[ing] that desire and longing to have somebody to call your own.” 

With big success from his previous music ventures, Panic! At the Disco and The Brobecks, Weekes has found ways to emulate his distinct sound in IDKHOW and has seen success in other cities and towns alike. Receiving success and admiration is a big thing as an upcoming solo artist but with great reward comes the face of adversity in the music business. Weekes holds on to a quote by Hunter S. Thompson that reminds him of these challenges:

“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” Weekes continues, “People want to just make a song and share it with people. And some people want to exploit thatsome people want to be a big famous rock star, [and if] that’s what you have your heart set on, then best of luck to ya. It is what you make of it.”

“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”

Weekes gave a special mention to Kilby Court for being one of the first venues to let his previous band The Brobecks perform. One of his core memories is playing a sold-out show there where many people showed up to support the band. “So that was the moment,  it was Kilby Court in Salt Lake city,” he says. Another special mention was Weekes’ gratitude towards SLUG Magazine. When asked about his favorite thing about the publication, this is what he had to say: “Well, I love the local album reviews. I’ve found a lot of really great music that way. I love the fact that you guys care enough to do that. Anytime I pick up SLUG, that’s the first thing that I go to. I can’t go to shows as often as I used to—I’m a husband and a father and I have dad stuff to do. Music is a young man’s game, but I like to stay up to date because I’m going to try to do this for as long as I can until my knees can’t take it anymore. SLUG Magazine helps me stay connected to the city that I love the most.” When I ask if he has any favorite SLC bands, Weekes showed us a lengthy playlist entitled “SLC/UT OR GTFO” that includes local artists spanning decades.

With all of that being said, SLC’s local musicians and artists pour their hearts and souls into their music with us in mind. With such a big counterculture, our community has made such an impact on Salt Lake City as a whole with no intention to stop any time soon. It’s the little things about us that can truly fuel a project and make such memorable impressions on those around us—in this case, the project being IDKHOW.

Read more local music interviews here:
Localized: Bly Wallentine
Localized: Sean Mena