Photo by Scott Green
You originated in the mid 90’s when hip-hop and grunge were a major influence in music, yet you have a very original sound. What inspired you at the time?
Not being good enough players to imitate anyone was huge part of it. I had gone to music school for composition as well as recording school so I knew that music wasn't about being tricky and I knew how to get it to sound cool in recordings. That was enough. Mazzy Star and Spiritualized were the best of the lot at the time and we were also on a VU and T-Rex jag during those years so I guess that pretty much encapsulates The Dandy’s sound.
You have released 10 albums. Is there one you are most proud of?
Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia and Welcome to the Monkey House changed popular culture, which I’m of course very proud of although they are not my two favorites of our records. Currently I’m listening to Earth to The Dandy Warhols and Distortland the most. To be around as long as we have and still make records that cool is quite a feat in itself.
You were the last band to tour with David Bowie. What are your fondest memories from the tour?
Not much about that tour do I have fond memories of. David's closest five or six people were lovely and it was an honor to hang out with them. His entire grunt crew, which were hired by some live touring company were the smallest, mean little creeps I’ve ever been trapped with. It was un-fucking believable. To make matters worse we had a tour manager who was about as spineless as any single celled organism so we just got treated worse and worse as the months wore on.
Can you tell us something about David Bowie that most people may not know? His favorite piece of music. When he told me, he was quite surprised that I asked. I don’t think people really asked him that very much.
Fantastic. You have had some amazing vacations around your tours. Which one stands out the most?
The Greek islands. No bugs, no humidity and friendly gorgeous people. Manageable alcohol culture too. Incredible.
The music industry has changed drastically over the years. How do you feel about it?
I don’t think the industry has really changed so much as the retailing has changed. It’s sad but the music is worthless now. For a few bucks a month you can have just about everything. That means a few cents for huge acts and nothing for everybody else.
Are you currently working on any new music?
We own a studio so we are always working on new music. I’m trying to get the other members to write more songs but so far only Fatty has loaded anything in. I’m not sure what the next record will be shaped like yet.
You've recently played the largest venues you've ever played in Australia after 19 years of playing there. You also sold out the legendary Roundhouse in London this year. What are your plans for touring in the future?
Play less shows in bigger venues. Not get in a tour bus for more than a week. Just really try to make every gig be a singular experience and switch up the set list more drastically so we can sell live recordings directly to "our people". Also taking the time live to really get some good tripper jams going. We are the best jam band I’ve ever heard so why the fuck not.
We know you opened a new wine bar, The Old Portland. Can you tell us how this came about?
Well I don’t really enjoy beer so much and I’m not into hard alcohol and the accompanying garbage that comes with drinking it. Add to that the fact that bars don’t sell good wine and that means I have no place to hang out. I love old well-made wines but wine bars are about the worst douchebag hangouts on earth so I really had no choice. Punk rock bar with country club armchairs and 15 year old Bordeaux by the glass. It’s perfect.
Beautiful. What is your take on Rebellion?
I like their early stuff before they sold out. Thanks Aly for taking your time to include us here. Catchya later.
Thank you! It was a pleasure chatting with you. You've inspired us all to have a nice vintage Bordeaux, go to the Greek islands and listen to Nixon in China. We're definitely looking forward to hearing more from The Dandy Warhols.