Words Mikaelie A. Evans.
Eight full length studio albums, ongoing world tours, countless controversies and over 20 years in the making; The Dandy Warhols are back on the road, strong as ever. Amidst their current world tour that is supporting the release of their latest 2016 album, Distortland, The Dandys have refuelled their untamed energies, topping the freshest icing on their musical cake. Bringing new elements and sounds to their latest record, fans were given teaser tasters to raise the anticipation to new levels that will be ongoing until their live show is in your city… And probably beyond until you’ve had your mind blown X amount of times.
Having the opportunity to grab a quick chat with Zia McCabe, the keyboard player of The Dandy Warhols, she shared a bit of insight into what it’s like being on the crazy train that is the ongoing musical project for the five piece. Currently in Atlanta, Georgia, The Dandy’s have still got a massive way to go around the world though, they will be hitting our Australian shores late October / early November. It’s a huge run of shows, and although it’s what they do best, it can take a toll on their personal lives.
What may the future for The Dandy Warhols be? Personally, McCabe would “like to slow it down a little for the next couple years, have some more time with our families, more time for our side projects and other interests, have a little bit more balance of a lifestyle. These last two years it’s just been go, go, go, tour, tour, tour… And that was fine when we were kids and didn’t really have anything else going on in our lives but now that we’re older and we have established families and other established interests and side projects, everything else goes quite anaemic when we just focus on The Dandys.”
So how do they manage it when they’re not on the road? McCabe has her own personal projects, alongside her family and the band, and finds that taking these breaks to focus on other interests can also help keep their musical fire burning. “To prolong your career, is to not totally burn out, right.” Going back onto the fact that they have released so many albums, McCabe acknowledges that “we’re 22 years into this little endeavour, and that is awesome and something to be immensely grateful for. I would love to see years of touring, still in our future. Just not years of touring, back to back to back.”
They’ve got the years of experience to enlighten us younger musicians as to how to keep the stamina going without totally fucking themselves, so how did they survive the ’90s?
“Urrrrhmmm… Drink less, practice more.” Now laughing, I acknowledged that it was good advice. McCabe continued the laughter, “no one gave me that when I was in my twenties!” I pocketed her sincere words. “Yeah… Drink less, practice more and save. Save your money.” More words of advice to remember.
Reminiscing on the ’90s and hearing these words, I couldn’t hold my tongue anymore, I casually stuttered to ask: “you guys were close with The Brian Jonestown Massacre… Would you say that a part of the relationship that failed was that their partying got a bit out of control? What do you think kind of happened there?” McCabe drew out a seemingly strenuous breathe. This must be a boring question by now. “Ummm… Surrreee… I think people don’t make as much sense when they’re drunk, or hungover, or hungry, or didn’t get enough sleep. Y’know, but none of those things contribute to healthy relationships, that’s been proven time and time again, so of course that’s got some impact of the falling out.” They’ve maintained individual friendships within the bands, and she continues, “I still love the idea of one day touring together.” The conversation flows, “the most important thing you have to know is that Dig! (a 2004 documentary film based on the two bands) absolutely exaggerated the falling out.” I awkwardly apologise for having to ask, to which McCabe responds with, “Yeah. Yeah fair enough.”
Despite their partying antics, The Dandy Warhols decided pretty early on in their careers that they wanted to make the band work, so they controlled their lifestyles and focused on their art; “One of the things that separated us from a lot of the other artists was not showing up, already damaged.” Hmmm… So that’s how they survived the ’90s and beyond!
With their tour beginning tomorrow for us Aussies, what can we get our eager ears excited for? “We always try to represent every album with at least one song, so let’s say, between one and four songs from each album and with, and definitely, at least four or five songs from Distortland… Y’know, the classics.” There was also the mention of there being “DJ rescue parties after almost every show.”
At these rescue parties, it’ll be different every night however McCabe will be hanging out behind the decks with opened arms when she can. “I always do my very best to make sure that my DJ booth is accessible so that people can come up and take selfies and hugs and autographs, while I’m DJing.” We got the confirmation that McCabe will be hanging out, but as for the rest of the guys in the band, she doesn’t really know when they’re going to come… So it’s probably best to dot in an after party after their shows if you want to take those selfies!
Dandy Warhols Australian Tour October 2016
26th Oct – PERTH – Metro City
27th Oct – ADELAIDE – HQ
29th Oct – BRISBANE – Eatons Hill Hotel
30th Oct – GOLD COAST – Parkwood Tavern
3rd Nov – CANBERRA – ANU Bar
4th Nov – SYDNEY – Big Top
5th Nov – MELBOURNE – Palais Theatre
Tickets from Metropolis Touring HERE.