A day with Dandy Warhols (Peter Holmstrom)


“Almeno potrò dire che una volta David Bowie è venuto al mio compleanno!”
Dai Dandy Warhols ai Pete International Airport passando per i ricordi del tour con Bowie

Capita di svegliarsi con un mal di testa post sbornia, magari pure infreddoliti, che non sai se hai la febbre o no, ma decidi di non misurartela neanche perché la sera ci sono i Dandy Warhols e allora il letto, le medicine e tutto il resto possono anche attendere l’indomani. Praticamente è quello che ho fatto venerdì 17 febbraio, in barba alle superstizioni, motivato soprattutto dal fatto che nel pomeriggio avrei incontrato Peter Holmstrom e quindi a maggior ragione non era il caso di dare corda a presunti virus e malanni di stagione. Peter è stato il primo della band a palesarsi al Monk, l’appuntamento era alle 17, ma lui era già lì da prima a suonare per conto suo sul palco, provando arpeggi ipnotici che mai mi sarei sognato di interrompere. Ce ne andiamo nella sala camini e iniziamo la nostra chiacchierata durante la quale mi dirà alcune curiosità riguardo i Dandy Warhols, la sua carriera solista che sta per arricchirsi di un nuovo capitolo, ma soprattutto un ricordo fantastico su un personaggio molto amato, David Bowie.

You had a commercial explosion with ‘Bohemian like you’, but also a negative moment around 2010 and now you’re still on the road. How do you collocate the actual moment in your career and what do you expect for the future?

We’re not really thing about the moment when it’s happening. You know, the success with ‘Bohemian like you’ it was fun, but we also didn’t feel it that real, because it was commercial, so most of the people was not really our fans, so they came and went… what do you mean with the low point in 2010?

I mean when you started to have problems with Capitol, then you had those troubles with the promotion and distribution of an album…

Yeah, there are always trouble… ahah! It’s our life, things we have to deal with. Make these records, you can’t see what they actually are, you try to get what you’re trying for, sometimes it’s more like ’Thirteen tales from urban Bohemia’ was way more than anyone of us expected and ‘Odditorium or warlords of Mars’ were maybe not what we thought it had to be and probably was not right for the time, but in retrospective I think there was some great songs, it just didn’t connect in the same way like ‘Thirteen tales’.

Do you feel like you represent the modern psychedelic music or you don’t care at all about these kind of tags?

I think one of the things we do it’s psychedelic music, I don’t think we represent modern psych at all. I’ve been to a lot of psych festivals. There are bands that are way more that thing, like the Jonestown (The Brian Jonestown Massacre, ndr) and The Black Angels. I don’t understand the “heavy psych” in the same way I understand The Black Angels.

You mean like stoner or stuff like that?

I mean… I truly get Dead Meadow, they’re close to stoner/psych and it’s ok, they’re melodies are really beautiful. But there is other stuff that is not pretty, you know, not that it has to be pretty, but I don’t like that contrast with heavy music and pretty melodies.

What use to influence your inspiration while you’re working on a new album?

Music or bands I’m listening at the moment don’t really influence me because I don’t wanna copy anybody. More often inspiration comes out from the equipment…

Like buying a new pedal?

Yeah! You buy a new pedal and just start to figure it out. You also can play riffs you played a lot of times in a different way, but yeah, new amp, new guitar, new keyboard, whatever… it’s also a good excuse to buy new stuff.

Is there any band in particular that you appreciate from the modern scene?

I absolutely love is A Place To Bury Strangers, the places they came from, you know… My Bloody Valentine, Jesus & Mary Chain… that kind of thing, their influence were very obvious at the beginning and now they really made their own thing. They’re super nice guys and the songwriting too is becoming better and better.

Some young band?

I find young bands are very derivative. I mean, we were derivative too when we started, there’s noting bad with it. But I like the Suuns.

You live in Portland, right?


Are you friends with the Moon Duo? I saw their from Portland too.

No, but I would really want to! We have friends in common and I tried to get them to follow us in tour, but they were busy. And I never met them, because they tour a lot, we tour a lot… you know!

What about Pete International Airport? Are you going to do something new with that project?

Oh yeah, I have a new record coming out soon, I’m almost done with that. It’s going very well and very different from the first one (omonimo, 2010. ndr). I’ve got 7 different singers. Got Robert Turner from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Alex Mass from The Black Angels, Lisa Elle from Dark Horses and others.

You guys had also a strong artistic relation with David Bowie, after one year from his death what are your thoughts about him?

When he died all those memories came back. You know, we realized how lucky we’ve been. I mean, who gets a tour with David Bowie? We toured 2 months on the road and you see him everyday… it’s crazy. I watched every single soundcheck and every single concert, so there will never be any other band that could have watched him more than me! And you keep thinking about all of those little moments you had with him. Just fantastic. Then you came back and started to listen again all his music and just realize how brilliant he was.

Is there any fact in particular that you remind from the tour you did together?

When we were in Berlin it was my birthday and he knew I was watching every check and every show. So he dedicated me a song to me…

OH! What song?

Fantastic Voyage. Then the catering people made a birthday cake so we were having like a little party in our dressing room and he came… He came to my birthday! It was my 35th birthday, you know when we started the band I were 25. So now it’s like… 35th birthday and David Bowie is wishing me ‘Happy birthday’… This is good! ahah!

Intervista raccolta da Niccolò Matteucci

Foto Sabrina Vani