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Dandy Warhols: Bohemian Rhapsodises

- Interview: Dandy Warhols

2006-03-29 10:55

We spoke to guitarist Peter Holmstrom about grunge, punk and dressing to kill.

M-WEB: It seems like you make a habit of shying away from musical fashions - like grunge and garage rock for instance?
PETER: Well, we all really liked Nirvana so it wasn't that. By the time we were starting a band, grunge had turned into something and - it wasn't just grunge it was the indie scene. That was sort of very you know, it was just a bunch of grubby guys wearing flannel shirts and backwards baseball caps. It wasn't any fun at all. And we just thought rock and roll was supposed to be enjoyable. We were listening to more of what was coming out of England. You know, like Spiritualised, Primal Scream, The Verve and Ride?

M-WEB: What's your take on the garage rock/punk revival?
PETER: You know at first I thought it was great, just because all of a sudden there's this whole bunch of music that I would actually listen to. But now, after initially being excited with the genre it just all sort of sounds the same. There's obviously a few bands that stand out that have, you know, the superior song writing. You know, the Strokes and the White Stripes and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are as far as I'm concerned the best of the bunch.

M-WEB: You're the embodiment of a band that dresses to kill. It seems hip nowadays?
PETER: Nowadays yeah! It's like everybody's trying to do it. It seems like more bands are about image than actually about the music. You know, there's more "skinny tie and suit-wearing" bands, more of the whole Hives thing? We don't really spend very much time choosing what we wear. That's just what we wear. We actually like clothes that fit more than just baggy store bought stuff. So you know we put a little bit extra effort in. Once we find something we wear it until it falls to pieces - our drummer being a prime example of that.

M-WEB: From the Vonnegut title to the Warhol-esque front cover pastiche, how important is playing with inter-textual references?
PETER: I dunno, it's definitely more than something we play with because we play with everything. We all read a lot. I just read anything entertaining or political. What was the last thing I read...(thinks). I'm not sure actually. I read a pile of magazines in the last month - from National Geographic to Mojo... And before that...oh right! Stupid White Man by Michael Moore. And at the moment I'm reading the new Harry Potter book.

M-WEB: You seem to wear your influences on your sleeves. Besides the glam Bowie and T.Rex references what were you listening to when making the album?
PETER: It's funny, because I actually think the music - at least what I was listening to doesn't show up at all. I had got a bunch of punk rock samplers of bands from the punk rock era. First generation stuff, so I was listening to a bunch of that and of course, Spiritualised.

M-WEB: Any thoughts on what the next album's going to sound like?
PETER: Well, we were kidding around that we were going to do a grunge record. Which would be really (laughs) - but it takes us a while to get things together so grunge may probably have come and gone by then!

They're a paradox. An unashamedly literate American band that gets off on British music and refuse to follow musical fashions yet remain MTV pin-ups. They're the Dandy Warhols. And they've just recorded a glam meets synth rock fuelled masterpiece Welcome to the Monkeyhouse with of all people, Duran Duran.
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