In this very special installment of BackStory, Courtney Taylor-Taylor of The Dandy Warhols tells us the story behind their hit “We Used to be Friends” and a little bit about the new music he digs and where he finds it.
Leona Laurie: What new/emerging artists are you excited about, and where do you find new music?
Courtney Taylor-Taylor: There’s a Belgian band called “Vismets” that I really dig. We played with them at festival Le Nuits Secretes. They’re what I like to call “danger rock”. ”Paint your Golden Face” is a tape loop and drum project from Tasmania who opened for us in Hobart and is doing some cool stuff. You’ve gotta check out Dan Black who is truly amazing. He’s from the “boys with guitars and laptops” genre and is probably the best singer in it. All-around superstar. A natural. New Young Pony Club is someone else you should check out. The 80′s genre is played out but they somehow make it the most exciting thing I’ve heard lately. Weird. I’m curious to hear them recorded since I’ve only seen them live twice. I tend to find music by touring the world and either seeing them live or because I hang out in a lot of bars that play cool music. And I mean A LOT. OH, Imelda May. Irish rockabilly. Awesome.
LL: What’s the story behind “We Used to be Friends?”
CTT: There is a song on our first record called “ride” which is about my friend Mark. Growing up, Mark and I were in the same grade although he was nearly a year older than I. He still is. When I was about 13 Mark would sometimes take his dad’s Audi 5000 turbo out in the middle of the night and come pick me up. We would listen to Candy-O. I wrote a song about it. Strange as it was for me then to have written a song about a dude, even stranger yet is that I wrote another song about the same dude several years later. That song is “We Used to be Friends”. My friend Richard was living down the street with my girlfriend back in about ’93. I was over there, having a serious discussion with her when Rich comes down the hall, says “Mark’s on the phone” and asks if I need to talk to him about anything. I say “no” and continue with the ex. Years later I realize that I haven’t heard from Mark in a dog’s age so I get hold of him and meet for dinner. During the course of the evening he tells me that he thought I was pissed at him for something way back when I declined that particular phone opportunity and so he hasn’t bothered trying to get in touch with me since. To me that was so completely bizarre, sad and idiotic that I apparently couldn’t get it out of my head for quite a while. Long enough to apparently write an entire song about it. I can honestly say were that to happen now I probably wouldn’t think twice about it. Just wouldn’t really care. Strange that it bothered me so much back then.
Oh well. Its a good song.
We Used to be Friends
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