The Dandy Warhols Are Proud to Be Hipsters
The Dandy Warhols' 2000 release Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia was more than just a flawless rock album. On songs like "Bohemian Like You," "Horse Pills," and "Cool Scene," the album foretold the era of the hipster, a label Dandy Warhols singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor is proud to carry. "All my friends were hippies with short hair and thrift store clothes. I used to call them hipsters. Ten years later, that became a dirty word. Now it's so uncool, I'm taking it back. I'm ready to call myself a hipster again. I like old movies, good music, and to dress cool, so fuck off."
Over the course of a 45-minute interview on the first night of the Dandy Warhols' Distortland tour, Taylor-Taylor proved as quick to quip and curse as he was in the 2004 documentary of his band, Dig!. Times have changed in the 12 years since that movie won awards at Sundance. The four-piece band continues to produce excellent rock 'n' roll, but there have been some adjustments to their hedonism. "Everyone in the band grew up," said Taylor-Taylor. "We still like to get the party on in an amateur way. If they made a sequel, it would be called, Dig! Up a Poopy Diaper. It would show us recycling and composting, being grown up with a PC twist."
That doesn't mean he won't still down several bottles of Bordeaux. "You drink a nice ten-year-old French wine, and you won't have a hangover," Taylor-Taylor said. "French wine is the greatest achievement of mankind. Way more impressive than the pyramids." He said wine also fueled the songwriting process on their ninth and most recent album, Distortland. "I get drunk, be a dick, make an ass of myself, regret it, then weeks later pick up my guitar and harvest those regrets. Writing a song based on your shortcomings almost makes you feel innocent of them."
It seems as if Taylor-Taylor studied the recipe on how to give a good rock star interview: Add humor with attitude and withhold personal details. Then again, the Dandy Warhols had the opportunity to learn from the greatest rock star interviewee of them all, David Bowie. "It was incredible," described Taylor-Taylor. "We were the last band to tour Europe with him. I was able to reconnect him with [producer] Tony Visconti. It became apparent how frustrating it was to be a legend and people only want to talk about your old stuff. That was a nightmare for him. It's interesting in retrospect how little his legend mattered to him or to us. I could email him any time I wanted. We could stop by the studio any time we wanted. [Dandy guitarist] Pete [Holmstrom] even went to a movie with him."
Taylor-Taylor also said he plans to open a wine shop in the band's native Portland. He recounted brunching with members of Hillary Clinton's staff and his experience writing a comic book about a fictional 1970s German krautrock band. But Taylor-Taylor ended the interview with a question that showed his utmost seriousness in reclaiming hipsterdom's good name: "We've got a night off after the Fort Lauderdale show. Can you recommend any bars down there that play the Pixies?"
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