Former Panic! At The Disco bassist Dallon Weekes charged out of the box with "Choke," the first single from his project I DON'T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME (aka iDKHOW). With minimal promotion and only a few Los Angeles area club shows, the track — from the troupe's 2018 EP 1981 Extended Play — has racked up 12.1 million YouTube hits and 15.9 million Spotify streams.
And the excitement may be stoked further with a new, cabaret-style acoustic version of the track, premiering exclusively below.
"We started playing acoustically on some radio promo tours we've been doing for 'Choke,' and it was a lot of fun doing it this way," says Weekes, who was with Panic! from 2009-2017, when he started iDKHOW with drummer Ryan Seaman (Falling in Reverse, the Brobecks). "When we were home we started to make tracks for an acoustic version of the song, and it turned into this. It's just a way of having some fun with it."
And rest assured that Weekes and Seaman are having plenty of fun with iDKHOW, especially in light of the song's grassroots success. "iDK fans are really passionate and really great — and smart, too," Weekes says. "They always find out about everything we're up to before we put anything out or tell anyone. I think that's born out of how this band started, in secret; We would never tell anyone what we're doing, even deny our own existence at the beginning. So everything we're doing is completely by word of mouth, and fans who happen to come across us tell friends and bring them along. They've developed a system of talking to each other, and it's hard to stay a step ahead of them these days — which is a great problem to have. Playing catch-up with your fans is fun."
That enthusiasm, of course, doesn't keep iDKHOW from trying to do things fans don't know about. Weekes says that "there's enough ideas floating around to do an album or two," but he and Seaman are biding their time on that. "We want to sort through the best of that stuff and make a full-length record as soon as possible," he says. "Unfortunately, that record takes longer than we hoped it will, so we're waiting for the green light to do that." In the meantime, iDKHOW is on tour with Superette through mid-May. The duo will also play June 16 at Bonnaroo and has dates in Europe during the spring and summer.
"I think any job experience, after you move on, you take things with you that may have worked and you want to incorporate with what you do next — as well as things that may have worked that you didn't care for and leave on the sidelines moving forward," Weekes says. "From the get-go we wanted to take steps to make this its own entity, something that could stand on its own and not lean on our past employers."