The Dandy Warhols are a US rock band formed in Portland, Oregon, by Courtney Taylor-Taylor (vocals, guitar), Zia McCabe (keyboard), Peter Holmstrom (guitar), and Eric Hedford (drums). Hedford left in 1998 to be replaced by Taylor-Taylor’s cousin Brent De Boer. The band’s name is a pun on the name of American pop artist Andy Warhol.
The Dandy Warhols are strongly influenced by The Velvet Underground, Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, The Shadows, and The Rolling Stones as well as including implicit musical references to My Bloody Valentine in some songs. Front man Courtney Taylor-Taylor describes the band’s beginning as a group of friends who “needed music to drink to.”
The Dandy Warhols performed live shows in bars throughout Portland and released their first album, Dandys Rule OK on Tim/Kerr Records in 1995. This album was influential in Capitol Records‘ decision to sign the band.
The band first achieved success in Europe after the release of their second record …The Dandy Warhols Come Down in 1997. The promotional video for lead single “Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth” was directed by celebrity fashion photographer David LaChapelle and it earned them acclaim outside the United States. The band, popular both with their visuals and with their sound, gained a reputation throughout Europe and Australia for selling out their live shows.
Following the release of Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia, whose singles “Bohemian Like You” and “Godless” were produced by Dave Sardy in 2000, the band gained a firm fan base in the college radio scene before garnering further critical acclaim and mainstream recognition. The album reached platinum status in the UK, Greece and various other European countries. It also went platinum in Australia where they tour extensively. Judd Apatow‘s TV series Undeclared used the song “Solid” as its theme song. Also, Bohemian Like You was featured in the indie film Igby Goes Down, the animated film Flushed Away, in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and was featured in the opening credits of Delirious. It was used in a Vodafone advertising campaign throughout Europe and Australia in 2001 as well. The song was also used in the PlayStation, Dreamcast and PC game Le Mans 24 Hours 1999.
Around this time, Taylor took out a loan to acquire an industrial warehouse space in downtown Portland, Oregon (the band’s hometown), dubbed “The Odditorium,” occupying a quarter city block. The Odditorium is the band’s eclectic rehearsal space, recording and mixing studio. It also serves as an art space and clubhouse for parties and other events.
Welcome to the Monkey House, released in 2003, was co-produced by Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran and engineered by Brian Coates of The Great Northwest. The album takes its title from Kurt Vonnegut‘s collection of short stories of the same name. The recording features an eighties synth-rock sound that alienated some devotees of the band’s earlier harder-edged guitar sound. It also won critical plaudits for its polish, panache, and the band’s capacity to reinvent itself. One of the album’s singles, “We Used to Be Friends“, was used as the theme song for the American cult drama Veronica Mars, and later for the Australian reality series My Restaurant Rules. It also was used on an episode of The O.C. (Season 1, Episode 12) as well as on an episode of Wonderfalls (Season 1, Episode 4). “I Am a Scientist” is featured on most episodes of the British television program Brainiac: Science Abuse (it plays in the background of the “I Can Do Science Me” segment). The album’s art is an homage to Andy Warhol and features an original painting from artist Ron English
Odditorium or Warlords of Mars, partially named after and recorded in the band’s The Odditorium studio, was released on September 13, 2005. “Smoke It” was the first track released for radio play. The album has been described as a return to form for the band, moving away from the synth-heavy sound of Welcome to the Monkey House and back toward the largely guitar-oriented, diverse arrangements of Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia.
The band released their eighth record, …Earth to the Dandy Warhols… digitally through a subscription service on May 19, 2008. The CD version was released on August 18, 2008. The double-disc LP includes a CD version along with the full album on vinyl. The album also featured collaborations with Mark Knopfler and the Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell.
On the Dandy Warhols website, under the ‘Gigs’ page, it is stated that they are currently recording. Although indefinite, this hints at a new album sometime in 2011. However, while playing in Sydney’s Enmore Theatre of May 2011, lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor announced a new album would be released in February of 2012.