Discover more from Blackbird Spyplane
$1600 for the Kurt Cobain game-worn Sonic Youth tee??
Dominic Fike comes through talking tattered swag, '90s grails, '90s stinkers, acting on Euphoria while high & more
Welcome to Blackbird Spyplane. Our interviews with André 3000, Nathan Fielder, Jerry Seinfeld, Tyler, The Creator, Emily Bode, Phoebe Bridgers, Matty Matheson, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, The Kid Mero, Daniel Arnold, 100 gecs, Héctor Bellerín, Action Bronson, Mac DeMarco, Danielle Haim, Evan Kinori, Steven Yeun, King Krule and more are here.
Every issue of Concorde is here.
— Jonah & Erin
REAL QUICK —
Last year we linked with Edgar from And After That to roll out some bootleg jawns in homage to Michael Mann’s 2006 Miami Vice…
Until tomorrow, we’re running back these out-of-print slappers as part of a Mann-themed collection AAT is selling, with a chunk of proceeds going to Hollywood strike funds…
Dominic Fike — this dude has lived a crazy life. Growing up in Naples, Florida, he bounced around with his mom and siblings between short-term rentals and motels when he wasn’t straight-up homeless … when he was 21 he was put under house arrest for punching a cop (!), then failed a drug test and went to jail … right around the same time he signed a $4 million major-label record deal off the strength of his Soundcloud … in 2019 he was cast as an extremely charismatic drugged-out dirtbag on Euphoria, where he met his now-ex-girlfriend Hunter Schaefer … and where he played a lot of his scenes high out of his mind, “heavily addicted to so many drugs,” as he’s put it … he’s sober now 🙏🏻
The other day Dominic put out a new album, Sunburn, made with help from cool people like Jim-E Stack. Our favorite song is the ~weird ‘n’ sPoOkY~ off-kilter-pop track “Mama’s Boy,” which has an appropriately ~weird ‘n’ sPoOkY~ video.
Even more importantly?? Dominic looks cool in clothes — so the other day I (Jonah) got on an encrypted SpyVideo transmission with him to chop it up about feeling good rocking tattered rags, dropping $1600 on a Sonic Youth tee, things from the ‘90s that were cool and other ‘90s things that were wack, and more…
Blackbird Spyplane: We talk a lot in the sletter about the power of nature and getting out into the trees — I read that when you were growing up there was a forest outside town where you and your buds would ride bikes to hang out and take your mind off the turbulence in your life. Do you still have that kind of relationship with nature today?
Dominic Fike: “I’m living in Laurel Canyon right now, surrounded by shrubbery, and I’m about to go surf — I just go to Malibu by myself, close my eyes, jump in the cold-a** water for three hours. But yeah Shrek was my favorite movie as a kid, because they were always in greenery, never staying in one place too long, and that’s what my life felt like: I was uprooted so much, being homeless, living at motels. Naples was getting so developed, so I always wanted to find a place where I could look around and see nothing. There was this one undeveloped lot we found on the other end of the county, that had a stream and a giant tree that would cover us. One time we found a bunch of weed stashed in that tree…”
Blackbird Spyplane: Gaia really is the plug…
Dominic Fike: “Man, as 14 year olds? We smoked that weed like it was the last weed on earth. F**ked around there for hours, playfighting — we called it The Forest of Avalon, like we’d traveled through time. I felt like I was in that movie with Heath Ledger where he’s a knight?”
Blackbird Spyplane: A Knight’s Tale, baby, that’s a Spyplane Cinematic Classic, R.I.P. tha god. So, congratulations on … a year of sobriety? Is that right?
Dominic Fike: “No, no, no. I’ve been in that mindset, and I don’t go on two-week-long benders and s**t, but I’ve had relapses. Right now I’m sober, and I have been for a little bit. It’s been a year total, but split up over like, 5 really bad relapses. But it’s all good, I’m good.”
Blackbird Spyplane: I was reading about how you’d show up to do scenes on Euphoria while you were high as s**t — was it a thing where you felt you needed drugs to be creative?
Dominic Fike: “If anything it stifled my creativity, but I just felt like I needed to be on something to tolerate s**t. Like, being from Florida, talking to old white dudes has always been annoying to me — it’s why I got face tattoos, ‘cause I was like, These guys treat me like s**t, they look at me this way, I might as well have a sign on my face that says ‘F**K UP.’ I might as well be an eyesore.
“The more success I got, the more old white guys I had to deal with, so I’d get f**ked up just to be entertained by these motherf**kers and be able to laugh at their jokes. By the time it came to Euphoria, I’d used drugs so much to get through those other interactions that I was addicted, and it was just part of my routine. Euphoria was almost as important to me as drugs — like, I was making room in my life for Euphoria.”
Blackbird Spyplane: Recently you’ve been wearing a ton of thrashed old s**t — very cooked, ripped up, mad paint stains. Talk about how you’re dressing these days.
Dominic Fike: “I love layering, like, seeing a striped underlayer peek out through a hole — when something’s tattered it makes me feel cozy. It’s this tightrope between stealing homeless swag and high fashion.”
Blackbird Spyplane: That Zoolander Derelicte flow, be careful!! You dated Hunter Schaefer for a while, and she cares about clothes, too. Did your styles rub off on each other?
Dominic Fike: “Hunter’s a drip god, I’m not. I wear sh**ty stuff. I got her some good s**t from random thrift stores that I f**ked with and she’d wear it, it wasn’t bad, but more often it was me stealing her clothes because they were so hard. Her closet’s crazy. I still have this one really girlie striped longsleeve of hers that I love to layer with — she’s not getting that back.”
Blackbird Spyplane: I wanna do an inter-generational meeting-of-the-minds “‘90s cool or wack” lightning round. I was a teenager in the ‘90s. You were born in 1995. Now the ‘90s are back among people who might have no firsthand memory of the decade whatsoever, so I’m gonna name some ‘90s s**t and we can compare notes on whether it’s cool or wack. First off — Friends.
Dominic Fike: “Like, having friends?”
Blackbird Spyplane: No, shout out to having friends, but I mean the sitcom. I gotta confess, I thought it looked wack from the jump and never watched a minute of it. I was Twin Peaks and Seinfeld gang, this s**t did not seem like my vibe…
Dominic Fike: “I used to think Friends was wack as f**k and not funny for a long time. Same with SNL. But I came around, I’m down with it now.”
Blackbird Spyplane: Ok, Hot Topic. I thought this store was very corny when I was in high school: the total end-stage commodification of teen disaffection … transgression transformed into charmless mall clothes. But maybe it was a way for kids to find out about great bands…??
Dominic Fike: “If you’re rocking s**t from Hot Topic today? Like, a Rick and Morty tee-shirt? You’re probably a criminal.”
Blackbird Spyplane: How about art about heroin? There were mad grunge songs about heroin; Gus Van Sant and Jim Carroll movies about heroin; Uma Thurman ripping rails in Pulp Fiction; Denis Johnson stories about heroin; Calvin Klein ads with “heroin chic” models… The ‘90s were wildly heavy on this.
Dominic Fike: “I did heroin once and it was not for me. But I’m rocking with that, let’s bring that back.”
Blackbird Spyplane: And to wrap it up — ‘90s band tees. In the actual ‘90s these weren’t wack, exactly, but they could feel mid because the concept of merch itself was regarded as somewhat cheesy and commercial. These days, though? Good luck finding a ‘90s band tee for under $200.
Dominic Fike: “That’s because of me. I bought all the ‘90s band tees. I have this sick Beastie Boys one, a crazy Radiohead one. Look at this Sonic Youth tee — Kurt Cobain wore this. It cost me $1600”:
Blackbird Spyplane: $1600?? The shirt is cool and it’s “Jams Run Free” all day but that’s inflationary pricing, chill.
Dominic Fike: “I have a s**t load. I went through a phase, got a ton of legendary ones — I think ‘90s band tees are still cool, but I did tone it down a bit.”
Blackbird Spyplane: Let’s close things out with this Thom Yorke and Stanley Donwood book you sent over when I asked you to share a cherished possession. What’s the story with this?
Dominic Fike: “It’s called Fear Stalks the Land! — I actually think Hunter got this for me. It’s great, there are some lyrics, but also he’ll go through the alphabet and write, not even poems, just phrases, like, under K it’s ‘King ludd, King rat, Kiss ass, Keep the lid on.’ And the art is hard — this is the kind of s**t I see when I go to bed at night.
“I take this to sessions when I’m nervous — I just did a session with Mark Ronson for Barbie, where he was basically telling me to write a song. What I used to do, when I was homeless and 16 and people would pay me for features so I could buy motel rooms and food, was I’d write based on prompts. I stopped for a while, but recently I got back into those exercises, just writing for fun, and this book is so helpful, because I’ll open to a page at random to see what’s there. Like, [flips] ‘P’: ‘Pig iron, Pins and needles’ — that phrase is so good, I could write a whole song on that. So I open it, see what words grab me, and go from there.”
Dominic Fike is on IG here, and Sunburn is out now.
Blackbird Spyplane takes money from no one besides our readers, so we keep some of our best material behind the paywall. Join the Classified Recon tier if you haven’t — Jonah & Erin