Go Behind the Scenes of Dillon Francis and NGHTMRE's Guy Fieri-Inspired 'Need You' Music Video: Exclusive Interview
Dillon Francis and DJ Dillon Francis are the moombahton equivalent of Beyonce and Sasha Fierce -- if Sasha Fierce were a visor-wearing DJ with an unkempt minivan and a penchant for hitting on middle aged housewives.
Dillon dropped the music video for his and NGHTMRE's latest single "Need You" yesterday, the official debut of his DJ Dillon Francis persona and a wild testament to the power of music and its potential to make a suburban backyard barbecue go awry. Dillon and director Jack Wagner -- better known as meme extraordinaire versace_tamagotchi -- field my questions from an L.A. McDonald's, an appropriate oddball setting for an interview centered around "Need You."
Dillon Francis: I’m actually with, with the director right now -- from the music video -- and he’s ordering McDonald’s.
Oh! I thought you guys were going to get Dave and Buster’s to celebrate.
Francis: Oh, we’re going to.
Okay, is that after McDonald’s?
Francis: That’s -- yeah, yeah, later tonight we’re gonna get the Poondock Saints together.
Francis: That’s something I --
Jack Wagner: It’s our boys crew.
Francis: It’s so -- there’s actually a bunch of BTS from the music video that we didn’t get to post, and there’s a part where I’m talking about, “Oh, I’m gonna bring my boys,” and originally I said, “Hey, is it cool if I bring the Poondock Saints?” And then Jack, who’s behind the camera, goes, “Wait, what are you talking about?” And I go, “Oh it’s my boys. we’re called the Poondock Saints. It’s like the Boondock Saints, except about getting girls."
Okay, I get it now. So that’s you and your crew?
Francis: Exactly. The Poondock Saints are gonna go to Dave and Buster’s tonight. We’re in character right now. We’ve been doing Snaps, this whole Snapchat story all day.
I read that you and Jack met, and the next day, Jack was texting you with ideas already. Did you say, “Listen, I wanna do something wild and out-there,” or was that entirely on him?
Wagner: I was sorta blasting the stuff.
Francis: We had met at my friend Brandon Dermer’s birthday party, who was the director for “Not Butter,” and Jack came up to me and he was like, “Hey man, I’m a director, you know, I have this Instagram that I’m running right now,” and he’s -- he’s legitimately the only person who makes his own memes that are not taken from the Internet anymore. He actually creates them. But he was showing me that, and he was like, “I have a bunch of ideas for music videos. Is it cool if I send you them?” And I was like, “Oh, f--k yeah, perfect! Please, send them over.” The next day, he sent me this email of I think it was four ideas.
Francis: I explained [the concept for “Need You”] over text.
Francis: Yeah, he explained this one over text, and when I read it, I was like, “Oh my God, like I have the perfect song for it.” I immediately sent him the song, and he was like, “This is amazing. I’m gonna write it up…” ‘Cause the whole the whole idea was just like two sentences that he had, where it was like, “Barbecue party gets out of hand and fire is coming out of a barbecue.” That was the main…
Wagner: And I had -- I made the image like a year ago when I came up with this idea randomly, and I was not sure who I wanted to do it for. But before I even knew Dillon, I used him as like, the example, and then I had to find it on my computer and I texted him. And I think when I sent him that graphic, he completely understood. Like, that fake DJ, like the DJ Dillon Francis graphic.
Francis: Sorry, he’s paying for McDonald’s now.
Wagner: Also -- I remember better than Dillon -- the reason, the way we met -- at EDC last year, I was directing something for Vice, and people kept saying they were gonna take pictures of me. And they were congratulating me and saying all sorts of weird stuff. Finally, at the end of the night, I realized that they thought I was him.
Wagner: I kept asking, like “Who do you think I am?” And they were like, “Shut up! Shut up!” Like, it just kept happening.
Did you two look that similar at that point in time?
Wagner: I had bleached hair at the time.
Francis: I think that’s why, ‘cause he had bleached hair.
The sartorial choices in the “Need You” music video gave me heavy late 90's throwback, Guy-Fieri’s-younger-cousin-as-a-DJ vibes.
Francis: Yes. Guy Fieri DJ-ing.
Is that where you took your inspiration from?
Wagner: The inspiration for this is kind of like a mix of the dude that installs your stereo at Best Buy and, honestly, the Uber driver that gets too comfortable with you and starts talking to you about his sex life. I have that a lot, where two minutes into the ride, he’s like, “Yo, dude, you wanna get some girls tonight, dude?” There’s like, always that guy who’s kinda reliving his glory days from like ten years back when he went to college. Or the assistant manager of an Arby's or an Applebee's. But yeah, Guy Fieri heavily influenced it.
me and @dillonfrancis actually have these billboards going up all over LA on monday. There are at least 5 spelling errors on the billboard and you have now hard i laughed while sending the files into the company putting them up. They will also be on those light post signs and some other stuff u will see eventually. @maddecent thank you im actually surprised you let us do this.
Did you really put up billboards?
Francis: Yeah, they’re around L.A. We’re actually gonna go find one and take a picture in front of it.
Wagner: There’s a website too.
Francis: And the website works as well. DJDillonFrancis.com is a real website. And the phone number is (609) 5-DJ-DILL.
I’m assuming it doesn’t actually work.
Francis and Wagner: It works!
Let’s say you get called up for a Quinceanera. Will you perform?
Francis: Yes. Today, maybe.
After Dave and Buster’s?
Francis: After Dave and Buster’s, I might be DJing a Quinceanera.
How did you figure out the casting?
Francis: That was all Jack’s doing. He was sending me videos of all the casting stuff, and I was just laughing my ass off. One of the [actor’s] bios said [nothing other than] “Cool.”
Wagner: I literally sat in a room for an entire day with the producer and he lined up all the people. I went through and picked from the casting call, and then we had about 200 dads come throughout the day and dance for me in this room. I just watched dad after dad after dad for the day.
What were your standards?
Wagner: There was [a dad] who swore on accident right away when we started casting and he apologized for it, and I was like, “No, you’re actually perfect. That’s what we need.”
So soft-spoken, good ol' American guys?
Francis: Good ol’ American dads.