Interview – The Dandy Warhols
Despite their early ambitions to re-energise the shoegaze genre (which will make more sense after reading the below interview), The Dandy Warhols emerged from Portland, Oregon in the mid-1990s to become best-known for brandishing a unique take on alternative rock that favoured lengthy psychedelic compositions and instantly accessible pop tunes in equal measure. After hitting their stride commercially with …Dandy Warhols Come Down in 1997 and Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia in the early 2000s, the band were dropped by their label Capitol Records in 2005. Ties between band and label had been strained for some time, as evidenced in the infamous 2004 documentary DiG!, which chronicled the band’s career in parallel to The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
Rather than despair, the band made the most of their freedom by establishing their own label, Beat The World, which they now use to promote their friends’ bands, in addition to their own material. 2008’s Earth To The Dandy Warhols was their debut LP as an independent band, and they’ve recently released a greatest hits compilation entitled The Capitol Years: 1997-2005.
Ahead of their Australian tour as part of the Parklife Festival, my girlfriend Rachael and I met with The Dandy Warhols in Portland on September 9 2010, after winning a competition organised by Virgin Mobile, Pedestrian.TV and Parklife Festival promoters Fuzzy. After watching them record a rare acoustic set for the local community radio station OPB – wherein they covered songs by Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, as well as a couple of their own – we decamped to their studio space, The Odditorium, for an extended interview during which the four members come and go.