The Dandy Warhols

Thank god for The Dandy Warhols! American indie psych-pop legends, The Dandy Warhols whose worldwide hits include Bohemian Like You and We Used to be Friends, will be in Australia this weekend for their now sold out twenty-fifth anniversary shows in Melbourne on Sunday November 3 at The Forum and a Sydney show on Wednesday November 6 at The Enmore Theatre.

To add an extra dose of 90s indie rock, The Dandy Warhols have announced Melbourne’s iconic three-piece EVEN will bring their glorious riffs and top flight melodies to support the band at both shows. Hi Fi Way spoke to Peter Holmstrom about the tour and what lies ahead for this great band.

Congratulations on twenty five years as the The Dandy Warhols. Can you believe how quickly the time has just flown by?
No, I can’t. I really can’t believe it. I don’t feel a whole lot different. I know there’s a lot of things that have happened, so it must be true.

Do you get nostalgic? I’d imagine as part of this anniversary, you would probably be going back and looking at old photos and video footage.
Not really. When we did The Capitol Years, the first compilation, there was a little bit of looking back. Right after that, we did the anniversary of Thirteen Tales. So there was a couple of years of looking back and I just didn’t really like the feeling because it felt like that’s it. We’re done. We’re just going to start looking back at everything and not really focus on what’s next. So, I don’t really look back. I certainly enjoy looking at old pictures when they pop up or old videos and stuff. I never really read interviews… I still don’t. Any kind of looking back is to figure out songs we haven’t done in a while or things like that.

As a band did you do anything special to commemorate the anniversary?
We did for the twentieth. Well, I think that Zia was out of town and Brent wasn’t here, so it was just Courtney and I who went out for dinner for our twentieth anniversary. Zia and I got tattoos. There was a little bit of celebrating back then, but not this time around because we were actually on tour in Europe on our proper twenty-fifth anniversary. We played a show in Berlin that night. So, nothing special this time. Maybe our thirtieth, if we make it that far.

Is there anything that you’d change when you look back on certain things? Would you have done anything differently, or would you record any albums differently?
I think if I went back, it would be hard to view the mistakes that had been made, or you know, I’m sure I couldn’t help myself from messing around and changing some things. But it came out pretty good, so I wouldn’t want to mess it up too much. Definitely our approach to dealing with the major label I would change. We were just young and naive and just fighting them on everything and every chance we could get. There’s so much about when they went away, when we realised, “Oh you know, that was pretty good.” I just think that we could’ve handled some of the personal relationships or the business relationships, a little better. Besides that, no. I think we did all right.

One of my favourite albums is the Odditorium or Warlords of Mars album. Was that a challenge dealing with the record label who were expecting another Bohemian Like You? Did some of that rebellion you mentioned come out here?
The record company complained about Thirteen Tales and then Monkey House wasn’t Thirteen Tales part two. You can’t make them happy. You can only make yourselves happy. The rebellion I was talking about was more just dealing the promotion of the records and them wanting us to do things that we didn’t feel comfortable doing, like getting up early and doing radio interviews or just silly stuff like that.

I find it hard to believe that anyone could complain about any of the Dandy’s albums. I think they’ve all got their own unique character, and I think they’ve all got great moments. We’re just a little bit shattered that you guys aren’t coming to Adelaide this time?
I know, me too. It’s a long trip for us to come over. So I personally think, “Why aren’t we doing more shows?” Then we could stay a little longer. It’s always nice in Australia this time of year, when it’s starting to get kind of shitty here. Yeah, I’m disappointed we’re not coming to Adelaide too.

So are these shows going to be a marathon three-hour epic this time round doing the entire Dandy Warhols back catalogue?
No, we haven’t done that since like 2004 or ’05, somewhere in there. Those three-hour shows just about killed us.

I still remember them.
It’s a long time.

The Dandy Warhols have a very special relationship with support band Even. It must be great touring with them again?
Yeah. They were the first band that we played with in Australia. For the first, I think, four times we came over, they were the support band on every tour. We started getting complaints from fans and stuff. They just wanted just a change, a little change. But it’s great. It’s their twenty-fifth anniversary too, so it was just perfect, so we had to do it.

Wally’s parties are renown in Australian indie rock folklore here, and no one’s ever really been able to say what they were really like. But what are they really like?
What happens at Wally’s stays at Wally’s!

Is there new music on the horizon, or are there going to be any re-releases of previous albums giving there are more milestones to come?
We’d like to get everything on vinyl. It’s been a bit of a problem just dealing with Capitol Records. I don’t know what the hold-up is, but I don’t know if we’ll do any special release with other anniversaries. You never know. There’s definitely new music. We’re always working on stuff. There’s an idea for the next record, which we’ll probably get finished next year and would probably come out the following year, I would assume. I don’t know. Can’t ever predict that. There’s talk of doing a very special project that I can’t give any details on unfortunately, but there’s some cool stuff that should happen next year that will get announced, I think, maybe towards the end of this year.

Awesome. Is the band still the number one focus, or is everyone taking time to pursue other projects?
Unfortunately, life gets in the way of making art, so there’s not as much touring, and that’s how bands make money. Zia’s got a realty job, it’s to help her with taking care of her kid and all that. Courtney has a wine bar. I’ve been working at a guitar shop, that’s kind of just for fun now. I have other bands that I do and Brent has another band too.

Interview By Rob Lyon

All the tour information at SBM Presents…

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