How Louis the Child’s ‘Better Not’ became the Wild’s victory song
ST. PAUL -- After each Minnesota Wild victory, Matt Benz performs perhaps the quietest big job in the organization.
While players celebrate on the ice, and coaches exchange high-fives on the bench, Benz makes a mad dash back to the locker room to get everything set up for the postgame festivities. The job, he knows, isn’t so much taxing as it is important.
Heck, the only thing Benz really has to do is push a button, step away and let the music play. But it’s all in the timing: When players walk through the dressing room door, techno anthem “Better Not” by Louis The Child must be blaring over speaker system.
The song was chosen by defenseman Matt Dumba.
“It was a summer tune that my buddies played a lot,” he said. “You’ve always got to feel it out. You’ve got to have a night out with the boys or something and kind of go from there. It’s a feel-good tune, so I threw that in the mix. It might stick. It might not.”
Considering the Wild enter Thursday’s 9:30 p.m. puck drop at Los Angeles second in the Central Division with an 8-4-2 record and 18 points, it might be better not to mess with a good thing.
“It’s got a good beat to it,” said Marcus Foligno, who’s been known to belt out an off-key rendition from time to time. “It makes us feel good whenever we hear it. That’s what winning is all about.”
It’s hard to imagine a more random a victory song anywhere else in the NHL.
In a culture where bass-heavy “bangers” have monopolized the turn up, and SoundCloud rappers have finessed their way onto the radio and into the mainstream, “Better Not” isn’t exactly a typical celebration anthem. It’s eclectic vibe is devoid of an overpowering bass line, and aside from a few calculated beat drops throughout its 3 minutes, 43 seconds, it’s pretty mellow by today’s standards.
Add in the fact that game-winning songs the past two seasons have been chart-topping tracks “Bad And Boujee” by Migos and “Rock Star” by Post Malone and this one really doesn’t fit.
And maybe that’s the point. As long as everyone inside the locker room likes it, it doesn’t matter what anybody outside of it thinks.
“You find that it doesn’t really matter what the song ends up being,” goaltender Devan Dubnyk said. “You’re always going to like it because it’s associated with a good feeling after the game.”
Still, most players admit they had never heard the song before Dumba, the team’s unofficial locker room DJ, played it for the first time.
“It’s kind of a techno-ish song, I think, or something like that,” Eric Staal said with a laugh, adding that he still doesn’t even know the name of the actual song. “I’d know it if I heard it. I guess the more we win, the more we’ll get to know it — and the more we’ll get to love it.”
That’s usually how it goes over the course of an 82-game season; that game-winning song has a way of burrowing its way into the subconscious of almost every player. Staal aside he still has an affinity for Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” because it was Carolina’s victory song when he won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006.
“Any time I hear that song, that’s what I think of,” he said. “It’s just one of those things.”
Staal still, he added, knows all the words.
That’s what the Wild hope happens with “Better Not,” as random as it might seem on the surface.
“It’s hard to pick a song that everyone likes,” Dumba said. “As long as the boys start have a connection with it, though, that’s all that matters. You want it to be a feel-good tune. That’s the most important thing.”