THE DANDY WARHOLS
The Dandy Warhols’ afro-haired drummer Brent DeBoer on Carey Hart’s pop career, getting one foot of air and how to get a wild afro into a motorbike helmet.
Can you make my day and tell me you know something about dirt bikes?
Dirt bikes, I love dirt bikes, shit yeah.
Really? So you ride then?
Courtney (Taylor-Taylor, lead singer) and I just went riding dirt bikes in Idaho. We’re cousins, and our uncle owns a ranch there and he’s got a couple of dirt bikes and we were cruising around. We were afraid of the cows though (laughs). I was thinking I was gonna get taken out by a bull or something. So we were kind of limited to the area that didn’t have cows.
What sort of bikes were you riding?
They were Yamaha 125’s I think, they weren’t the fastest bikes in the world, they were four strokes, but reliable though.
So even though you guys are cool bohemian rock stars you can still get dirty on motor bikes?
(laughs) Hell yeah, fuck we can.
How do you get your afro into a helmet?
You just kind of push it back and pull hard, lubricate the inside of the helmet with vaseline (laughs) and then pull it on really hard. And if I can’t get it on myself I’ll just have somebody come up and just pound on the top of it.
With a piece of 4×2 or something?
Yeah, right (laughs), a little lube, a lot of force.
I guess growing up in Oregon, dirt bikes would’ve been pretty big?
Yeah, horse back riding and dirt bike riding was huge man. Oregon’s a great place to live and a shit place to visit (laughs).
When I think of Oregon I think of in-breds, pick-up trucks, flannos , lumberjacks –am I far off?
That’s what it is, that’s what it is (laughs), for sure. And it’s always raining and miserable. Do you wanna come visit (laughs).
Were you expecting warm sunshine out here in Australia? Is the rain a bit of a bummer?
I really like this shit weather, the only problem is it ruins my hair, it makes it flat and crap, man.
So what does one do in rainy weather to protect one’s afro?
Well, one (laughs) gets curlers, no, no, you can’t really do anything. Buy umbrellas, but it’s the humidity that does it. Yeah, it must really flatten it out I’ll bet… Yeah, it flattens it out and makes it look nappy and almost dreaded and frankly it’s just not that hot, it’s kind of scary (laughs).
Sorry to keep dwelling on your afro, but I was wondering if anyone had ever compared you to Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons?
I get Sideshow Bob and MC5 all the fucken time (laughs), Noel Redding, anyone from Jimi Hendrix Experience, someone said Lenny Kravitz and I have to remind them Lenny Kravitz is black. That’s a key difference. I heard that the guys from At The Drive In are asked constantly what do you think about the drummer from the Dandy Warhol’s hair. They’re constantly hassled about my hair and hopefully they tell the truth and say that they ripped my style off (laughs
When you and Courtney go riding do you go for big jumps or are you are a couple of pussies?
One time I was like “okay Courtney I’m going for it” and he’s like “what, what” and I’m like “I’m gonna hit that jump” and he’s like “are you crazy” and I’m like “okay, here I go.” And I went (makes motorbike acceleration noises) and I got like about a foot of air, it was insane, I don’t believe it, I got like a foot. And the motor goes (makes out of control motorbike noises) when I’m up in the air. It was really, really, really fun, I don’t try to pull any tricks, I didn’t try to go for a no-hander or a somersault, but I did get a whole foot of air.
I wouldn’t advise going for a somersault with a foot of air… Yeah, fuck, you’d die a pretty hideous death (laughs). Then I’d be like a dead musician. But was Courtney impressed with your jump? That’s important, you’ve got to impress your mates…
He was fucken blown away. There were these ditches that they had from irrigation, that were maybe three or four feet deep and four foot wide and they were only across this one field and we wanted to go across this field and we got pretty good and just picking up a wheelie, pulling up a front end and dropping down into the ditch and popping up. We’re not really that good and the motors weren’t powerful enough to pull anything insane. I used to ride BMX bikes, I have a whole bunch of really big trophies and everything (laughs). I was like really into it and then my bike got stolen and I bought a mountain bike. But I was making big plans in the BMX world, I was gonna be on the cover of every magazine, I was sure of it, I was positive.
So you just became a bum musician instead?
Well some bastard stole my bike so I got a drum set.
And the rest is history?
Now to test your dirt bike credibility, I’m gonna throw a few key names at you. Carey Hart?
I liked his second record.
That’s Corey Hart.
No, no, it was Carey, his first record was like, you know, a bit poppy, a bit cheesy, not enough thought process in the chorus. I think his second record has more of an edge to it, but you know, he was a teen idol.
Okay, Brian Deegan, let’s see if you do better on this?
Umm, I thought that (laughs) I think I just like Ansell Adams a little bit better, in his work. But as a nature photographer he’s not bad, just he doesn’t do it to me like Adams does. I don’t know, maybe I’m just weird.
Thanks for talking to us Brent, you failed miserably, but you passed on the riding part of the test…
All right, thanks man. If I rode for two weeks I’d be a pro rider you know.