iDKHOW becomes the monster under the bed with ‘Mx. Sinister’

If there’s one thing that I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME (iDKHOW) know best, it’s how to make throbbing dance music, with an insightful twist.

Their latest creation, Mx Sinister, is no different. Taken from their upcoming EP, Razzmatazz B-Sides, Mx Sinister sees the synth-swaggering duo takes a darker tone from their 2020 EP Razzmatazz. But, while the tone of their signature soundscapes is more ‘sinister’, it’s no less camp.

In light of this unnervingly brilliant release, complete with their Razzmatazz B-Sides EP, caught up chatted with Dallon Weekes and ‎Ryan Seaman – the minds behind iDKHOW – to chat about the monsters under the bed, and the ambiguity of Mx Sinister.

HAPPY: How has the ‘vibe’ of Mx Sinister been informed by it being only played live before?

iDKHOW: I prefer playing a song live for a while before recording it. Circumstance doesn’t always allow for something like that, though. Especially when you’re trying to keep something off of the internet before you release it, but playing the song live for a while really helped us dial everything in and sort of discover the building blocks for recording it.

HAPPY: There’s so much bounciness and sway in your music, even when it’s slow and melancholic. I’ve always wanted to ask, how do you do that?

iDKHOW: I don’t know. Maybe there’s a dancer inside me just waiting to foxtrot right on out of these sneakers.

HAPPY: I love the ambiguity in Mx Sinister with its lack of binary pronouns – for obvious reasons you’ve made this decision. But, how has this impacted the creepiness of the song?

iDKHOW: I can’t remember who it was, but I had read an interview with a horror movie director. They said that the thing under the bed, or the thing behind the door is always scarier before you actually see it. I took that to mean that what’s on-screen will never beat your imagination. So, leaving pronouns out of the story makes room for the antagonist and the protagonist to be whoever the listener imagines them to be. And it’s the listener’s imagination that makes it creepy.

HAPPY: With Mx Sinister, New Invention (my new fav song btw) and the overall Razzmatazz LP  – it seems you’re going down a much eerier route than your previous work. What’s inspired this tonal shift?

iDKHOW: I feel like I’ve always been keen on writing about dark things. For me, it’s always been a way of processing actual tragedies and terrible things that happen in the world. So, there hasn’t really been a tonal shift in my view. I try not to make a habit out of it. I like a snappy song too, but it is something I’ve been doing for as long as I’ve been writing songs. That I can remember, anyway.

Image: Facebook

HAPPY: I’ve always wondered, what’s the process behind knitting the songwriting and soundscape production together? Sonically, the two go hand-in-hand. Do you have an idea of what the music should sound like before writing recording/producing, or is that decided upon as the song comes together?

iDKHOW: They don’t always go hand in hand. Often times it’s more entertaining as a writer to contrast a dark theme with a happier sounding melody. Most of the time, I hear a song in a very particular way in my head while writing. So, chasing those sounds during the recording process can be difficult.

HAPPY: Furthermore, all of your songs follow a narrative-like structure. Lyrically, how do you come up with these often visceral stories?

iDKHOW: Sometimes they’re autobiographical, sometimes fictional, sometimes both. There’s no real reason to any of it, but I do feel that even when you’re writing something fictional like Mx Sinister, it’s important to draw upon real things. I think that’s where people can connect to an idea.

HAPPY: Razzmatazz album has so much to offer and fits so many different vibes, it’s like a smorgasbord board – what was the process behind creating this album?

iDKHOW: I feel like it was to have no set process. Each song was written to be independent of the others, and none of them were created the same way twice. I can’t ever bring myself to force a song into existence, but usually when we go into a studio, that’s where you start to make those connections throughout the albums

HAPPY: Is there anything else you’d like to add in? Anything I haven’t touched upon that you think is important?

iDKHOW: Always stretch before bouncing or swaying. You could pull something.

Mx Sinister and RAZZMATAZZ are out now on all streaming services!