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Shaky Knees 2019: Catching up With Dallon Weekes

iDKHOW this band tore up the festival with just two people on stage.

“Nobody likes the opening band…”

After strolling almost nonchalantly onto the stage at noon, opening Shaky Knees for the weekend and singing a song about the woes of the poor bands that have to perform first at concerts, iDKHOW was met by a raving crowd of about a thousand.

Not too bad for a group who started out denying that they even existed in the first place. 

“We’re a band that started in secret about two years ago,” Dallon Weekes, the group’s bassist and singer, explained. 

While playing songs off of their debut EP “1981 Extended Play,” and throwing in a cover of Beck’s “Debra,” it’s hard not to notice how elaborate their performance seems from the crowd, despite having only two people —Weekes and drummer Ryan Seaman — on stage. 

“I fell in love with the bass guitar when I was 15, seeing Ben Folds Five play. So when it came time to do this, it wasn’t even a question of whether I would do bass or guitar. I fell in love with the bass and that’s the instrument for me.”

You don’t really see a rhythm section by themselves, it’s pretty rare.

“Not enough,” he chuckled. “We need more of them.”

The group didn’t capitalize much on their 80’s personas, which is something I would’ve loved to see; they portray themselves as an 80’s one-hit-wonder band in the midst of a comeback, thanks to the fans who discovered their music via the archives of the Internet. 

“I found that by falling into weird YouTube holes while I was making the record,” he explained, laughing. “Like, just taking a break and ending up watching old performances from Top of the Pops, stuff like that. I really wanted to be on those shows, but it’s not really possible anymore, so that’s how [the personas] started.”

So what’s next?

“Well a lot more shows and hopefully some time in between to make some recordings happen. We have an album worth of stuff written, it just needs to get recorded properly.”

I ask if there’s a new aesthetic that the band’s going to be leaning on; perhaps another look into the lives of their 80’s personas, the continuation of their career, commentary on modern society with the same punchy beats and sharp lyrics. But all I get from Dallon is a smirk. 

“There is,” he said. “I don’t want to give it away yet, I want some surprises. But that’s the hard part about our band. People seem to know what we’re doing before we do.”

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