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The Dandy Warhols - Fine And Dandy

Author: Carlisle Rogers
Monday, 21 July 2008
Immortalised in Dig!, the 2004 documentary charting their tug of war with the Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dandy Warhols are now taking it to another stratosphere with their eighth studio effort Earth To The Dandy Warhols. 3D’s Carlisle Rogers contacted them from ground control.

The Dandy Warhols are not afraid of some horns.  They laugh in the face of high-pitched hooting – all the way to the bank.  In a sense, they came to embody the beginning of this century, what with all the advertising licenses, Hollywood soundtracks and television synchs beginning with their second album in 1997 and continuing right through their appearance in the 2004 documentary DiG! Three years since their last LP, the band has dropped their eighth studio album, Earth to The Dandy Warhols.

No strangers to aligning themselves with strange bedfellows, the Warhols decided to launch the album in America via a chain of digital jukeboxes run by AMI Entertainment; obtuse grey boxes that look uncannily like ATMs at the Pokies. Music content manager for AMI, Brian Hoekstra, says it’s a marriage made in heaven. “It is a piece of cake to put out the new album from rap artist and hip-hop producer Kanye West – the kids will play that no matter what! The Dandy Warhols are a rad band, however, and deserve a little face time with our customers. Jukebox people like to drink, and they like guitars, and The Dandys cater to both of those interests.”

The band has said they got together to make music to drink to, which makes the new album a kind of lovechild. “There was some sort of deal in 60,000 bars across America,” says drummer Brent De Boer, ensconced on a couch somewhere in Portland watching a baseball game waxing hysterical about Waylon Jennings. “We usually take a couple of years to write a record, we noodle a lot, change direction and experiment and sometimes come right back to where we started. We spend a lot of time on it because we’re going to live with it for the rest of our lives, so we want to make a record you can put on and not have to get out of bed and change a song or anything.
“We go for, the whole record. As long as you make each song decent, later on you can put it together in an order and come up with some cool shit to put between the songs to texturalise the whole trip and not break the spell, we like that kind of thing.”

Brent says there are no rules when the band is writing in the Odditorium, a massive theatre complex over a quarter of a city block in Portland, Oregon the band bought with proceeds from licensing tracks from Welcome to the Monkey House. “Normally Capitol would fit the bill, you go to LA, they build a set and tear it down, but we have really good film company here in Portland called Food Chain and we just shot it there in our own studio, decked it out and had all our friends who are really talented in woodwork and electricity and painting murals come in a deck it out for the video. They got paid nicely and it was a permanent installation. Now we just have this big studio with all these wonderful rooms, a kitchen and a big old dining room and we just sit in there and make records. We made a bare bones record, which is not the way we always work or a rule, but just how we did it this time.

“Court writes all the chords, lyrics and vocal melodies and then we work out how we can play it the best. There is a lot of jamming and experimentation and trying to sing in different things, and getting the grooviest trip going. We all texturalise it freely. Zia, Pete and I have a really great rapport with Courtney and we just kind of gel on it, just trip and it works out nicely. We go in and record and then the sky is the limit. There are no rules, we just lay it down and pile it up.”

WHO: The Dandy Warhols
WHAT: Earth To The Dandy Warhols through Speak n Spell
WHEN: Out now