Indie Mixtape 20: The Dare’s Cheeky Debut Is A Blog-Era Indie Sleaze Revamp

Harrison Patrick Smith may have just released his debut track under the moniker The Dare, but he’s no stranger to the music scene. Smith, a resident DJ at an NYC bar, has made music for years under the name Turtlenecked and even toured with groups like Porches and Strange Ranger. But with The Dare, Smith aims to bring back haphazard and irreverent experimentation of blog-era indie, now affectionately remembered as indie sleaze. “There’s a feeling of optimism and openness in underground music from that time that I feel faded into genre camps again in the mid 2010s,” he says. “I wanna bring that feeling back,”

Enter his lead single “Girls,” a two-minute banger reminiscent of Damon Albarn’s most upbeat hits mixed with LCD Soundsystem’s early era. The electrifying song is an ode to New York’s thriving nightlife and all the chaos that ensues with it. It’s cheeky, catchy, and a bit sarcastic, pointing to what is expected to be a welcomed indie revamp as Smith delves into the world of electroclash, techno, and house music.

Celebrating his new project The Dare, Smith sits down with Uproxx to talk Weezer, Alex G, and a nightmare-inducing fear of tattoos in our latest Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Cheeky, fun, sexy, and punk.

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

Marble statue or large portrait in the MET.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?

New York City. Paris is a close second.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

John Keats’s Ode On Grecian Urn and Ode To A Nightingale are the most thematically influential poems to my writing.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life?

I actually just had a lovely one at your mother’s house last night.

What album do you know every word to?

Obey by Brainbombs.

What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?

Sleigh Bells at the Showbox in Seattle, February 24, 2012. Or every single Cooper B Handy (LUCY) show.

What is the best outfit for performing and why?

Black suit and tie because nothing looks better.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?

Favorite Instagram is @writers_life_tips, fave twitter lately is @matthewgoldin.

What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?

“Runner” by Alex G. One of the best songs he’s ever made in my opinion and probably one of the best songs of the year.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

The Manual by The KLF.

What album makes for the perfect gift?

Weezer’s Pinkerton 4LP Box Set. First record I ever bought. Has all of the incredible B-sides and a great phone interview from the era.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

Akron, Ohio. I can’t really get into it.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

I don’t have any tattoos and I actually have nightmares about getting one.

What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?

What the hell is the radio?

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

My friend Sam letting me DJ a Monday night at Home Sweet Home in the Lower East Side without any experience. That’s really where my life in NYC began.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

Do not break into the abandoned mansion in the back of your neighborhood.

What’s the last show you went to?

Blaketheman1000 at a Forever Mag poetry reading.

What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?

I don’t watch TV but my favorite movies are Rachel Getting Married, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).

What’s one of your hidden talents?

Every talent I have is known, for better or worse.