The Dandy Warhols Interview

by Mark Hensch

It's fitting that Portland, Ore.'s The Dandy Warhols titled their 2009 studio album …Earth to The Dandy Warhols... Four years after its release, 2012's This Machine finds the upbeat alt-rock outfit crashing hard into terra firma.

The carefree psychedelia and snarky synth-pop of old is gone, replaced by stripped down gloom rock instead. It's as if after 18 years of partying, The Dandy Warhols have finally sobered up. Speaking via phone with founding guitarist Peter Holmstr๖m, I tried finding out if The Dandy Warhols are any older and wiser after their latest adventure.

Mark Hensch of antiMusic: You helped start The Dandy Warhols 18 years ago. What is your fondest memory since then?

Peter Holmstr๖m (guitars): We once got to open for the Rolling Stones in Portugal. We had a whole bunch of stuff going against us that day. When we finally made it to the stage, we got an incredible response and that's something I feel is unusual for bands opening for the Stones. It felt like we couldn't get any higher than that.

antiMusic: Your latest album is This Machine. What's that title's significance to you?

Holmstr๖m: It's one of those things where it seemed appropriate for how the record was sounding. Woody Guthrie used to put 'This Machine Kills Fascists' on his guitar and later on Donovan had "This Machine Kills" on his. Eventually we shortened it to 'This Machine' during a music video shoot for Odditorium or Warlords of Mars when I had that on my guitar. It's been there ever since. We wanted something that described the record, and the record sounds overcast and a little gothic.

antiMusic: Going off that, This Machine seems much darker, minimalist and pensive than your previous albums. What experiences led The Dandy Warhols to that sound?

Holmstr๖m: While making our last record …Earth To The Dandy Warhols… we put way too many ideas into every single song. We got carried away with Pro Tools and using them too often too.

The new record is a reaction to that. When we began recording we made a big effort to use say one guitar part per song. If it was used for a chorus, we'd find something to fill in the verse. If it was the verse, we'd find a little change for the chorus or give it a simple lead. We wanted to make things much simpler.

antiMusic: Do you have a favorite song on This Machine, and if so, why?

Holmstr๖m: I really like "Sad Vacation." That's the one that jumps out at me at least. I also like "Well They're Gone" and "The Autumn Carnival."

antiMusic: "Sad Vacation" is one of my favorite songs on the new record too. I feel like it expresses wanderlust and a yearning for escapism. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?

Holmstr๖m: I'm partial to the Maldives as that's where I went on my honeymoon. The experience of being on the ocean like that is spectacular. They're resort islands and the culture is something that is kept largely separate from visitors. You don't really get to interact with the people.

antiMusic: The album art for This Machine was painted by Hickory Mertsching, an artist living in your band's hometown of Portland, Ore. How do you think it captures the mood of This Machine?

Holmstr๖m: I saw his art in a bazaar in Portland and thought it would be a great idea to have him do a painting for us. His normal works are still life paintings with a couple mundane objects just sitting there.

We wanted something that looked like Oregon. He painted it in about a month and he did an awesome job.

antiMusic: The Dandy Warhols also teamed up with sci-fi author Richard Morgan to pen band bios for This Machine. How did your collaboration with Morgan come about, and what did you think of what he wrote?

Holmstr๖m: It's a variation on something we've been doing all along. When we first came up with a band bio we found that most other bands' bios were really boring. We wanted to make something interesting to read. We started making stuff up as we went along.

For this record, Richard Morgan is someone I bumped into in Portland and we became friends off a mutual interest in the band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The short stories are great and I want to read the book they come from, but unfortunately it doesn't exist.

antiMusic: You recorded a cover of Merle Travis' "16 Tons' on This Machine. Why did you want to play that song?

Holmstr๖m: Merle Travis is one of the people who may or may not have written that song. There's some dispute. It's an older song about the life of a coal miner.

I originally didn't want to play "16 Tons" as it's a cover and I like doing our own thing. When I heard the final version I was blown away. I think it's incredible the way it turned out but I wasn't sold on it for a long time.

antiMusic: Outside of The Dandy Warhols, you play in a band called Pete International Airport. Given your last album with them came out in 2010, what future plans do you have for that project?

Holmstr๖m: It took me 11 years for the first record and hopefully it won't take another 11 for the next one.

The idea of the project is to record stuff that has never found a home in The Dandy Warhols. It's all my spare guitar licks and leftover parts. I have at least one record full of ideas for the next one.

I really try to push the extremes of both projects and go in directions the other one isn't willing to go. No matter what, though, Pete International Airport will always sound a bit like the Dandy Warhols as I play with them too but it stands on its own merits.

antiMusic: What's next for you and The Dandy Warhols once This Machine is released?

Holmstr๖m: We'll be doing a bunch of touring that should take up the rest of the year if all goes to plan. In 2013, it will be the 13th anniversary of 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia and we'll have to do something special for that. After that, it's our 20th anniversary as a band in 2014. We're definitely going to do something special for that.

Share this article


The Dandy Warhols Interview

Preview and Purchase This CD Online

Visit the official homepage

More articles for this artist

tell a friend about this review




News Reports

Latest Rock News Stories

• Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page Reveals Solo Album and Live Return Plans (top story)

• Unreleased Van Halen Track Streaming Online (top story)

• Fear Factory Involved In Tour Bus Crash (top story)

• Lynyrd Skynyrd Cancel Live Dates Following Rossington Heart Attack (top story)

• Journey Reunite With Steve Smith, Announce Tour With Doobie Bros (top story)

• San Francisco Giants Announce 4th Annual Metallica Night (top story)

• Eagles Of Death Metal's Julian Dorio Releases Statement On Paris Attacks (top story)

• Scott Stapp Does Funny Review Of Creed Movie (top story)

• Papa Roach Pull Out Of Five Finger Death Punch Tour (top story)

• Saosin Kick Out Founding Member Justin Shekoski (top story)

• Slayer Bob Uses Slipknot and Disturbed For Latest Christmas Light Show (top story)

• Motley Crue's Tommy Lee Cured Of Hepatitis C Says Ex (top story)

• Ringo Starr Auctioning Beatles Rarities (top story)

• Whitesnake Release Video For Deep Purple Classic The Gypsy (top story)

• Wolfmother Announce 2016 North American Tour (top story)

• Foo Fighters and Fleetwood Mac Fans Among Victims Of Ticket Fraud (top story)

• David Bowie Avoided Rock N Roll On New Album Blackstar (top story)

• Def Leppard Explains Why New Bands Are Struggling (top story)

• Former Slayer Star Dave Lombardo Returns With Punk Band (top story)

• The Ritchie Blackmore Story DVD Extended Trailer Released (top story)

• Bumblefoot Release 'Don't Know Who To Pray To Anymore' Video (top story)

• The Cure Announce 2016 European Tour (top story)

• Fish Launches Album Reissue Campaign (top story)

• David Lee Roth Band Reunion Show Shut Down (top story)

• Motorhead's Phil Campbell Hospitalized (top story)

• The Word Alive Frontman Telle Smith Breaks Back Stagediving (top story)

• Final Black Sabbath Album Plans Shot Down By Geezer (top story)

• Bring Me the Horizon Top Active Rock Chart With Throne (top story)

• Paris Music Venues Seek Government Bailout In Wake Of Attacks (top story)

• Stone Sour Guitarist Explains Band's Cover Tunes (top story)

• Steve Smith Talks Reunion With Journey (top story)

• Black Star Riders Star Reveals Band's Pre-Concert Rituals (top story)

• Compressorhead Crowdfunding Lead Singer Construction (top story)

• Phil Anselmo's Illegals Guitarist Found Out About Firing Online (top story)

• The King Blues Reunite and Announce Tour With Enter Shikari (top story)

• Children Of Bodom Cancel Brussels Show Due To Terror Threat Level (top story)

• Jimmy Page's Daughter Scarlet Opens Guitar Icons Exhibition (top story)

• Tony MacAlpine 'Man In A Metal Cage' Live Video Released (top story)

• Emerson, Lake & Palmer Extensive Reissue Campaign Planned By BMG (top story)

• Sky Release 1983 Performance Video of 'Troika' (top story)

• Ghost Announce One-Off Show In London (top story)

• Corrosion Of Conformity Originally Wanted To Be Black Sabbath (top story)

• Bring Me The Horizon Release Tour Diary Video (top story)

• Fall Out Boy Want To Score A Movie (top story)

• Panic! At The Disco Lead Slam Dunk Festival Lineup (top story)

• Dillinger Escape Plan Classic Gets String Quartet Makeover (top story)

• Megadeth Stream New Song The Threat Is Real (top story)

• Black Sabbath May Release Extra Songs From 13 Sessions (top story)

• Sammy Hagar and The Circle Releasing DVD and 2 CD Set (top story)

• Eagles Of Death Metal Want to Be First Band To Play Paris Venue Reopen (top story)

• Geddy Lee Optimistic About Rush's Future (top story)

• Lamb Of God Expand North American Tour With Anthrax (top story)

• Corey Taylor Covers Radiohead's 'Creep' With Japanese Band SiM (top story)

• John Frusciante Giving Away Music Collections Online (top story)

• Metallica's Kirk Hammett Shrugs Off Popularity Polls (top story)

• Scout Acord Announces Departure From Issues (top story)

• Plain White T's Release American Nights Video (top story)

• Billy Gibbons, Walter Trout, Warren Haynes On Supersonic Blues Machine (top story)

• The Temperance Movement Release Video For Blur Cover (top story)

• Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow A Dream Come True To David Keith (top story)

• Rush Release Lakeside Park And Anthem Live Video (top story)

• The Quireboys To Headline HRH AOR On The Road Tour (top story)

• Henry Rollins Has 'Muscly Beast' Fossil Named In His Honor (top story)

• Gus G Releases What Lies Below Video Featuring Amaranthe's Elize Ryd (top story)

• Rhys Marsh Streaming New Song Wondering Stars (top story)

• Blues Historian Mack McCormick Dead At 85 (top story)

• Jack J Hutchison Forthcoming Unplugged EP Streaming Online (top story)

• Martin Barre Will Never Abandon Jethro Tull's Music (top story)

Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

Latest Day In Pop News Stories

• Adele Smashes Record For Biggest Album Sales Week With 25 (top story)

• Justin Bieber Cancels Stephen Colbert Appearance At Last Minute (top story)

• Christina Aguilera, Ed Sheeran Lead 'A Home For The Holidays' Lineup (top story)

• Nicki Minaj and Tyga Cast In 'Barbershop: The Next Cut' (top story)

• Meek Mill Reveals New Drake Diss Track 'Winnin' (top story)

• Lana Del Rey's Ex Was Blindsided By Break Up (top story)

• Pusha T Plans Cruel Summer Pt. 2, Mini Movie (top story)

• Sam Hunt Meets 9-Year-Old Fan Battling Cancer (top story)

• Adele's (top story)

• B.o.B Releases 'NASA' Mixtape (top story)

• UFC Star Holly Holm Didn't Know Who Beyonce Was (top story)

• Puff Daddy's Alternate Video For 'Workin' Features Big Sean (top story)

• Rebel Wilson Is Teaching Dakota Johnson How To Be Single (top story)

• Video Of Adele's Tonight Show Appearance Goes Online (top story)

• Nsync Reacts To Adele Breaking Their Sales Record (top story)

• Kylie Jenner Denies Tyga Breakup Rumors (top story)

• Wu-Tang's Secret Double Album Reportedly Sells For Millions (top story)

• Clint Black Announces Short Christmas Tour (top story)

• Kelsea Ballerini and Tori Kelly Perform 'Should've Been Us' (top story)

• Trey Songz Previews Two New Songs 'Everybody Say' and 'Walls' (top story)

• 2 Chainz Reveals Ugly Christmas Sweaters And 'BFF' Video (top story)

• Charli XCX Documentary 'The F Word and Me' Goes Online (top story)

• Rapper YG Looks Back At Nearly Fatal Shooting (top story)

• Granger Smith Talks New Single Backroad Song (top story)

More News

Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2015 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.