Published Mar 12, 2008Blur may have cornered the market on frat-boy targeted song licensing circa 1997 with the massively overplayed "Song 2" and it's drunkenly chant of "Woo-hoo!" but the Dandy Warhols made certain "Whoa Ho Woo, Ooh Ooh Ooh" would be the nonsensical lyric to sell beer and Chevies to in 2000 with retro-hipster anthem "Bohemian Like You." The success of that song as a marketing tool was only part of the Warhols' licensing glut, which became the band's primary source of income.
Signed to Capitol for four releases, the Dandys had a healthy run of respectable selling albums bolstered by extensive synch licenses for songs from their first three albums. After this early success however, relations between band and label began to go awry.
Talking to Billboard.com, guitarist Peter Holmstrom explained the band's mounting concerns, saying, "We started to get really frustrated with Capitol. Our records were recouping and making money for them because of all the licensing, but they weren't promoting us or paying attention."
Capitol made their disinterest abundantly clear when they dropped the band after 2005's Odditorium or the Warlords of Mars shifted just 38,000 units. The band and their management quickly saw the silver lining through the bleak situation. "We were upset for about a week, and then we were overjoyed," Holmstrom said.
Though there was interest from other major labels, the band didn't consider a major as a viable option. "We were all totally done dealing with major-label incompetence," said band manager Lee Cohen. "The last record was literally just dumped in bins at stores and they walked away from it."
Enter World's Fair. The Dandys have worked out a deal to launch their own Beat the World label with the management group that handle poppy musical oddities the Flaming Lips and British Sea Power. In the arrangement, World's Fair will take a smaller cut of of the licensing deals that have been the band's bread and butter.
"We've been functioning on our own as a band for a long time," Holmstrom says. "With World's Fair, they can provide all the business stuff that we need without any of the nonsense of a major. It's great, although a little scary, because if we screw this up, we have no one to blame but ourselves."
The band will have the chance to sink or swim on their own terms with the tentatively titled Earth to the Dandy Warhols, a new album expected to be released later this year.
Dandy Warhols "Bohemian Like You"