In the age of side projects, indefinite hiatuses and reunions 10 years later, bands rarely stay together. More than 15 years and 10 albums after the band’s start, The Dandy Warhols is that rare band – and its members re just as enthusiastic about their music as they were when their first album was released in 1995.
The Portland-based alternative rock band, which features Courtney Taylor-Taylor on vocals, Zia McCabe on keyboards, Peter Holmström on guitar and Brent DeBoer on drums, has had its music featured in everything from countless TV shows such as “The OC,” “Six Feet Under” and “Sex and the City” to video games and even their own documentary.
The Dandy Warhols performed at the Electric Factory on Nov. 7. The band’s set, lit up by Chinese lanterns that flashed purple, blue and red, gave an original aspect to its stellar concert. Although the band interaction with the crowd remained simple for the most part, except a few jokes by Taylor-Taylor and McCabe leaving briefly in the set to go to the bathroom, the passionate, pleasant personality of the band members was evident.
The highlight of the night was Taylor-Taylor performing a solo cover of the haunting song “Your Ghost” by Kristin Hersh. Although it was the quietest song of the evening, its words and tone radiated long after it was finished.
The Temple News: The Dandy Warhols has an original sound that can be difficult to classify. What band have you found the band being compared to most often, and are there any comparisons that you particularly dislike?
Peter Holmström: It doesn’t seem like we get compared to other bands these days. When we first started playing, nobody understood where we were coming from musically and listeners lumped us in with Brit-pop. The tag line “best Brit-pop band from America” was the only one that bugged us. It was mainly because the record company put it in our press kit, and it got repeated over and over.
TTN: What are some of your current creative influences?
PH: I’ve been listening to a lot of Link Wray, The Cramps, Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent.
TTN: What negative experiences in your 15 years of the music industry that you can speak of?
PH: Having money gets in the way of creativity and the record company deciding to withhold money unless we do what they want.
TTN: What album best represents your band or are you most proud of?
PH: “Dandys Rule, OK?” and “Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia” are the ones that I’m most proud of. But I don’t think that just one record represents what we do. We try and push the envelope every record.
TTN: Taylor-Taylor has said The Dandy Warhol were created because a group of friends “needed music to drink to.” If that started the band, what keeps the band creating music more than 10 years later?
PH: I always thought that was a misquote. I thought we started the band to meet other people with similar music tastes to drink with. And if that is the case, it might be what keeps us going.
TTN: What is the greatest accomplishment of your career?
PH: Opening for the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Tom Petty, and Love and Rockets and playing with bands like Jonestown, Darker My Love, Serena-Maneesh, Hopewell and Blue Giant.
TTN: What do you like best about performing in Philadelphia and the city in general?
PH: Cheesesteaks. For everyone in the band and crew except me, since I’m a vegetarian.
TTN: What are The Dandy Warhols’ plans for the future?
PH: More music.
Danielle Miess can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.