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Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 12:19 UK
Dandy Warhols' subscription plan
by Kev Geoghegan
Radio 1 music reporter

The Dandy Warhols have been explaining why they've taken the step of selling their first album in three years themselves.

The Portland psych-rockers were dropped by their record label Capitol in 2006, and are making ...Earth To The Dandy Warhols... available to fans via a subscription website.

For a fee of around £17, fans get to download the album plus they recieve a CD ahead of the physical release on 18 August.

They are also entitled to a limited edition poster and money off the band's merchandise.

The band's frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor has told Newsbeat about the difficulties in setting up a record label but ultimately why it is worth following your own path.

The Dandy Warhols
The Dandy Warhols have set up a subscription service to sell their new album

Courtney, it was Radiohead who allowed fans to set the price for their album In Rainbows. Are you being forced to come up with new ways to sell your music?

"Well, when you're a band that sells six million records, you can do whatever you want and God bless them, it was cool but they were just being Radiohead. It just proves that you have to make your own way.

So you created Beat The World, your own label?

Courtney Taylor-Taylor
We've probably made about two records worth of material to promote this one record
Courtney Taylor-Taylor

"We're not even remotely as big as Radiohead and yeah, we created our record label and what a shock that was. The guys in my band have been working fourteen hour days for seven months.

"Doing it yourself, you just have to work out which countries you want to be in. We've recorded in French, I re-recorded Mission Control translated into Russian. I love Germany, Australia we love. So, this is how we're going to do it. The thing about being independent as well is that any idea that you get, you can do."

But it also means you have to pay for everything.

"You have to swap favours, like if you want iTunes to help you out and give you some visibilty, you don't the have the money like a corporation does to just buy the front page. So what do we do? We create some more music, bust out two remixes, maybe cover a couple of songs and some live tracks. But what about the retail stores? We can't afford to buy the front racks or the window space. We've probably made about two hours, that's two records worth of material to promote this one record."

The new album is called ...Earth To The Dandy Warhols..., what's the title about?

"We like phrases and if you're going to use one little short statement, it should probably have a whole lot of layers and meanings in there. People assume it means 'Earth calling The Dandy Warhols', like we're so out to lunch or we're out in space. But we've been travelling this planet for a long time and it looks different to us. So, it's like, this is what earth looks like to The Dandy Warhols or it can mean we're so out there and crazy."

But you have embraced the space thing with your space suits and songs like Mission Control. Are you sure this isn't a concept album?

"No, we've talked about a concept album, to write a story and stuff but the nature of our personalities is that if we can do it, we can pull it off for like three or four songs which is going to make it the concept EP. I think I might be starting work on a concept record but I think I'll only get as far as a couple of songs."

The Dandy Warhols
Courtney Taylor-Taylor added the extra Taylor to his name in 1999
The album tracks all have very different sounds, Welcome To the Third World sounds early 80's Talking Heads / David Bowie, while the closing track is a 15 minute instrumental.

"We've just gotten better at the craft side of it. We always have, like, one country s**tkicker, some straight up rock songs. We spend years in the studio, every record we've made has taken a year and a half to two years to make. I'll sit there saying 'Yeah, can you drop the hi-hat 2dbs and pan it to the left ever so slightly and play it to me again when I come back in the room and see if it grabs me'.'"

Are you a perfectionist then? Would you describe yourself as a control freak?

"You want the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up and you want them to stay there. How you get there, I don't really care. Whether it's panning the hi hat or making the guitars go huge, as long as the vibe is there. But, when it's ready, then yes, it must do this to me."

What was the last album to make your neck hair stand on end?

"Jack White does it to me all the time, he's just so consistently brilliant. The guys from Kasabian, again, really consistent. But also, The Duke Spirit. There's just a lot of really cool music right now.

The Dandy Warhols
(L-R) Courtney Taylor-Taylor, Brent DeBoer, Zia McCabe, Peter Holmström.

You are on a world tour right now, what have you been up to?

"We were hanging out with Kasabian and Oasis last night but I went to bed early because I didn't sleep the night before when we came over from Oslo. I think everyone else stayed up until the sun came up."

What do you rock stars talk about when you're on downtime? Mortgages? Fishing?

"Everything. It used to be that you didn't really get to hang out with bands because they were just d**ks and now everything is really cool, bands are into hanging out with each other. It was like Kasabian and their crew, and Noel and his guitar techs. It's kind of like a boy's club. Bands don't really hang out with models anymore, they leave that to celebrities. It's just cats who are into guitars and classic cinema and probably mortgages and whatever."

Do you get sick of playing your biggest hits Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth and Bohemian Like You?

"It depends on the night and where in the set they are. Bohemian is awesome, Junkie is awesome, those are just great songs. You know, we haven't played Cool As Kim Deal or Junkie for a while, there's a bunch of songs we've laid off because we've played them so much. But because our music is very simple, you don't really get sick of them. They're like a wave that if you lock in and you're all in the same vibe, then they're just a great ride."

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