From The Desk Of The Dandy Warhols’ Courtney Taylor-Taylor: Digital Recording

Without a doubt, the Dandy Warhols is a band, a meeting of the Velvet-y minds with Brent DeBoer, Peter Holmström, Zia McCabe and Courtney Taylor-Taylor calling the shots. But drummer-turned-guitarist/singer Taylor-Taylor is its handsome face and baritone voice who pushed the band from graceful poetic garage music (1995’s Dandys Rule OK) to guileless glam (2000’s Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia) to sleek-yet-twisted ’80s-ish new wave (2003’s Welcome To The Monkey House). While the rest of the 20th century found the band drifting through three additional like-minded albums, the outfit has grown leaner and meaner with the focused, guitar-centric This Machine (The End). Taylor-Taylor, a ruminative lyricist with a caustic lean, makes the most of this particular Machine moment. He allowed novelist Richard Morgan to write the Dandys’ press notes and found his own icy literary voice in graphic set-in-Germany novel One Model Nation. Taylor-Taylor and his bandmates are also guest editing all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

Taylor-Taylor: Digital recording. The Dandy Warhols recorded our first two records to 24-track tape. On a machine the size of a short refrigerator. On the second record, we for some reason needed to manipulate a drum take and the subject of something called Pro Tools was discussed. I don’t remember how much later, an hour or a week, there was a computer screen showing two long sound waves and they were getting chopped up and slid around. There was some consternation, and then Tony Lash said, “Locks up like a big dog*,” and grinned on only one side of his mouth with the same side eyebrow raised. (Tony often enjoyed amusing me by imitating a dipshit during moments of duress.) Well somewhere in The Dandy Warhols Come Down is my first experience with digital recording and editing, and I think it cost the studio somewhere around $5,000 to purchase. Three years later I would buy a computer, a hard drive, screen and 24-track Pro Tools digital recording platform with hardware for less than half that, and my whole world changed. Around that time a hit song called “Livin’ La Vida Loca” was recorded and mixed on Pro Tools. It went to number one, and the entire recording world changed, too.

*In the mid-’90s there was a trend amongst sport enthusiasts to employ the label “big dog” toward describing things they found impressive.

Video after the jump.