Fans have been making Instagram accounts, including @IDKHowConfessions and @IDKHowCloset — one posts anonymous fan confessions about what they think of you, the other posts your outfits and links to where they can be purchased. Did you ever think this would be your life?
WEEKES: Yes. (No.)
You’ve said the song “Modern Day Cain” was inspired by Arthur Darvill’s character on BBC’s Broadchurch. Can you give us a lyrical example of this? “Made up a fiction/To get the pretty girls to listen/And everyone can tell…”
I wouldn’t say the song is about that specifically, but his character, the vicar, definitely sparked a lyric or two.
Confess to us: Is there a Speak & Spell used at the beginning of the song? Are there any other weird devices/unexpected things you use for sounds for your IDKHBTFM songs? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done to get a sound you wanted?
Speak & Spell, old books on cassette and other media from my childhood were a big inspiration while I was carving out this fictitious backstory for an obscure band from 30-something years ago. I’ve probably spent a weird amount of time recording feedback.
The video is equally awesome. Have you read any of the comments? Give us a one-word knee-jerk response on these user-comments:
RunyTunes: This made me realize I’ve been waiting since the ’80s for this AND I WAS BORN IN 2003
“Welcome to the party, pal.” – John McClane
Taylor L: dallon weekes, king of dad dancing
Long live the king.
SmoothandNeat: Ryan’s hair is doing some fucking majestic things.
Eryka eaford: I’ve never wanted to be a pick so bad
Nor should you have.
Юлия Павлова: Stick the pick to the forehead and it helps you to make a contact with the aliens
Nah, it’s just convenient.
UseYourGlutes: Like if your favorite member of IDKHBTFM is the old woman playing the synth.
Some fans are comparing the similarities sonically of “Modern Day Cain” and “Girls/Girls/Boys,” which you co-wrote. Would you agree that they are similar or not?
I wouldn’t agree. I suppose neither of them have much guitar and are pretty bass driven. I think any similarities end there.
Talk about the beginnings of “Modern Day Cain.” What did you start with? Was it a concept? Did you write lyrics first? Does your songwriting process always start with a Speak & Spell?
I think it started with the chorus on this old Sequential Circuits Six-Trak I have. I had built a sound that reminded me of something from “Send Me An Angel” by Real Life, so I ran with it. Speak & Spell just sat there, neither speaking nor spelling.
Will there be Superstar Showcase T-shirts available at any of your performances? Will there be auditions for the Superstar Showcase for the next video?
Not a bad idea. By printing this you hereby waive any and all rights to said T-shirt idea.
There may be auditions. There is a lot of talent out there.
Most people think you sound like an ’80s version of the Killers because they’ve only heard “Modern Day Cain.” How would you describe the other songs that no one has heard yet?
I understand the comparison, simply because there’s a synth in the song. When it comes to a synth-driven pop song, the Killers are the obvious “go to” for anyone who wants to make a lowest common denominator comparison, but that’s just lazy. I’m clearly ripping off Real Life with this song.
For your live performances, do you think you’ll always just play bass? You’ve said you are a “terrible piano player,” but the crowd favorite “No One Likes An Opening Band” is piano. Is that you playing it? Will you ever play the Speak & Spell live?
I’d like to grow into bringing more elements into the live show (keys, saxophones, etc.), but for right now we are trying to keep it simple (a.k.a. inexpensive).
Our secret sources say there are already other completed songs awaiting future releases. Can you reveal any secrets about any of them or what they sound like? Is there any thought of when the next song will be released?
To me it sounds like pop music, but it’s pop without any pop music “rules.” One song may sound like “The Ink Spots,” or one may sound like ‘70s Bowie, or one like Oingo Boingo or Burt Bacharach. I think anyone expecting more “Modern Day Cain” will be surprised, in a good way.
Let’s go back to the video: How did you cast the silver dancing ladies? Who are they? Who plays the grandma?
Her name is Bryna Weiss. She was the best part of the video for sure. The Glitter Gals were friends of the director, I think. Everyone involved really nailed it.
Is there anything weird about where the video was shot? Or how the set was built for the video? Who made the superstar showcase poster?
We shot it in this tiny room at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. A friend had access to it for a day, so we got to shoot for free, but we only had a small window of time to do it. So we had to build the set, shoot it, then tear it all down in a day. I think you can tell by how tired we all look in it. [Laughs.] My wife made the poster and produced the whole thing. She killed it.
Any other secrets you want to tell us about “Modern Day Cain?”
It actually is a Killer’s rip off.