Harrison Patrick Smith, better known as the musician The Dare, has the sort of chic boyish blitheness that twink lesbians envy. His outfit of choice for his sweaty, high-octane performances at any one of Manhattan or Brooklyn’s IYKYK underground clubs is a slick Gucci suit, yet he’s a laid-back guy.

At Casetta, the wine bar in the Lower East Side where he chatted with VMAN over drinks, he ordered “the cheapest red,” a choice refreshingly aligned with his tuxedoed couch-surfer vibe. But what’s more covetable than his sleek suiting and general nonchalance is the fact that he sometimes acts like a little bit of an asshole and that when he does it’s, admittedly, a little charming. Case in point, in an interview with Dazed last year, he was asked to name some underground gems. His answer: “Can’t give mine away or else they won’t be underground anymore. People are calling Times Square the new Dimes Square, so maybe go there?”

The Dare wears sunglasses TOM FORD EYEWEAR / All clothing talent’s own

Smith was born in Los Angeles, but raised in Seattle. He never took to Nirvana, instead, he relished the musical stylings of the Seattle-based indie/electronica band Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head. “They changed it to Brite Futures because they got sued,” he clarifies with a slight smirk. Growing up he played guitar and violin and hung out in the ironic corners of the internet, where he learned more about style. “When I was getting into fashion as a 16-year-old, the trends on the internet were really funny at the time, like, health goth was a thing,” he recounts.

Before as-singing The Dare persona, Smith was the frontman of a band called Turtlenecked when he was a student at Lewis & Clark College. Turtlenecked’s output was more in line with the sentimental, Pacific Northwest indie rock of yesteryear like Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie, except imbued with Smith’s romantically offbeat lyricism like, “Am I the only one who wants a novel romance?/Not some pixie dream to save my life/We’d be like Algernon and Lady Fair- fax/We’d talk like two mating dragonflies.”

The Dare wears all clothing DIOR MEN

A Google Image search of Turtlenecked results in relics of Tumblr-era aesthetics: Smith’s sleepy MacBook selfies and photos of him in a thinking pose next to a neat stack of books and a vinyl record of The Smiths, his hair a pretty platinum blonde. By contrast, The Dare’s Spotify profile picture is a hard flash head-shot of Smith in his Gucci suit, his lips parted enough to reveal a cheeky tooth gap, his coif resembling that of a bedhead-ed member of The Beatles, and his face nestled in between someone’s red painted toes, seemingly ready to dig in. Where Turtlenecked Smith was a blogger dream boy who wrote odd but genuinely heartfelt poems about Axe body spray and Wildean lovers, The Dare Smith is a city-slicker who fucks.

But Smith is reluctant to confirm that the two projects vary at all: “[It’s] all the same shit; drums, bass, guitar, vocals.” We press, and though he eventually agrees that simply using the same ingredients will not always render the same cake, we concede that Smith is not entirely off base when he says that it’s all “the same shit.” It’s not hard to believe that the guy who referred to his band as a “pale indie bro trash pile” in a 2017 interview with Pitchfork, is also the same guy who proclaimed in his 2023 hit “Girls” that he likes “Girls who got so much hair on they ass, it clogs the drain.” Smith is tongue in cheek, so to speak, and he always has been.

This story appears in the pages of VMAN 52: now available for purchase!

Photography Daniel Sachon

Fashion Soki Mak

Grooming Michelle Harvey (Opus Beauty)

Executive producer Dan Cingari

Photo assistant Ryan Hacket

Stylist assistant Jack Wilson

Location Smashbox Studios 

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