Encounters With Deities: The How to Dress Well interview
I have this certain nostalgia for the days when I used to find out about new music organically. Pre-MP3s & Youtube, when you heard a song--in a record store, on a friend's walkman/discman, or even in a music video, it was unclear whether you would ever hear that song again. So you had to hunt it down, ask around, form allegiances, sing it in your head so you wouldn't forget it. That is sort of the process by which I came across How to Dress Well, flipping through internet pages, catching one of his songs, losing the page, and misremembering his name. Someone posted a link to his stuff on twitter a few weeks ago, and then I made sure to acquire everything I could. Since then, I haven't been able to stop listening.
The guy is making quite a name for himself , seemingly popping up everywhere on the net. I will forego the adjectives "ghostly," "lo-fi," "ethereal," and "hallucinogenic" that seem to always accompany descriptions of his music and just say that it is infectious. It was with great serendipity then, that I found out he linked to freedarko on his very own blog/trove of tunes. Turns out guy is a huge hoops fan, and humored me for an interview, which I present to you below.
Dr. Lawyer IndianChief: I know you've moved around a bit. i have a few questions related to that...do you have a home team or a favorite team? if so, what made that team your favorite?
How to Dress Well: my home team is, for better or worse, the denver nuggets. that's where i grew up, so those are my dudes. alex english, fat lever, hanzlik, and then dikembe, laphonso 'the fonz' ellis, robert pack etc. and fucking RODNEY ROGERS! ha, always good to take a trip down memory lane...
Dr. LIC: were you able to follow the nba when you were in germany? what is the interest in the nba over there?
HTDW: ya, actually--- the first thing i bought with my paypal earnings from cdrs was league-pass broadband, so i could watch the playoffs. no germans give a shit about basketball tho...
Dr. LIC: what would it do to the city [denver] if carmelo left?
HTDW: i've been thinking about this a lot. it would ruin us. it would put us back to where we were before melo--- i think we had the worst record in the nba the year before he came, like 18-64 or some shit.... it would be dreadful. the problem is, we're right on the edge now: if he stays, we could really put some shit together in the coming years. or we could flounder and it could ruin his career. so i appreciate his desire to leave, but i really hope he stays. if he goes, i hope he goes to chicago, where i'm living now. that team would ruin miami--- rose, corver, melo, boozer, etc. would be amazing!
Dr. LIC: because i'm from minneapolis, i have to ask where did you live when you were there? did you enjoy it? were you there during the kg years?
HTDW: ha. i was there for one summer in 2005. lived just across the highway from dinkytown--- like on the corner of SE 5th and SE 6th.
Dr. LIC: ...going to make the clunky move to asking questions about your music // basketball...
i read that you have some background in the black metal scene and being in those types of bands. who in the nba is the most "black metal?"
HTDW: ha. good question. if he wasn't such a huge celine dion fan, ron ron would have to be up there. kristic just came out of nowhere, pumping his black metal quotient up pretty high with that chair throw in the Worlds-- tho that move is a bit more hard-core than black metal.
Dr. LIC: you talk about being influenced by a lot of 90s r&b. for me, new jack swing and the jordan years of the nba, go hand and hand. does this connection resonate with you?
HTDW: ya absolutely. i mean, for me it was all about my walkman and shooting the basketball in my driveway. it's also tight, by the by, that the nba is returning to some crazy kind of hey-day right now as the 90's are coming back full swing. i mean, htdw is not new jack swing and the Triami heat are not the bulls (get real-- chris bosh is as talented as one of horace grants legs), but there's some homologies popping off there.
Dr. LIC: your videos have a consistently dreamscape-like quality. if you were to create a video for one of your songs using nba footage, what would you use?
HTDW: oh man--- it'd have to be dikembe crying on the floor after the nugs beat the sonics.
Dr. LIC: one of the things that makes people gravitate toward your music is the intimacy of it. do you think this level of public intimacy is possible in sports?
HTDW: no, but that's because they're just very different domains, music or art more generally and sport. like, this is why stephon marbury became an artist with his youtubes and had to quit hoops.
Dr. LIC: ...some questions on current events...who do you like to win it all this year? why?
HTDW: i want to see denver (of course) or okc win it all, but i think it will likely be someone else. here's my bold prediction: i don't think the lakers or the celtics will be in the finals.
Dr. LIC: how do you think the miami experiment will work out?
HTDW: look, my only thoughts are: miami will NOT win the championship. i don't have a lot of faith in that crew. they'll finish 2nd in the east in the regular season and in the playoffs.
Dr. LIC: which team do you think has made the biggest improvement in the offseason?
HTDW: i'm moving to chicago, so i'm pretty stoked on their moves... they need someone like melo to take them to the next level though.