Zia McCabe has been the keyboardist, percussionist and bass guitar player of the world famous The Dandy Warhols since 1994. In 2004, her band, together with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, have been the subject of the Sundance Festival award winning rockumentary "Dig!"
She has been DJing diverse sets playing from Bowie to Beastie Boys around the world for over a decade....
Rock Overdose and Semis Petrakis contucted an interview with Zia, and you may read the chat below...
1. Have you ever imagine life without music? How would that be?
I have tried a few times to think about how I would feel if I went deaf. It's a scary thought. It makes me want to run and put on my favorite albums and never take music for granted. What music does to my soul is very special and living without it is one of the saddest things I could imagine happening to me.
2. Dandy Warhols are a great part of music from 1994 up to now. Having a view from the outside of the band, can you see what's the band's influence in the global music scene?
It's always been quite surreal realizing that we've actually had an influence but yes, I can see it. Like a family tree, we are a branch that many branches have sprouted from. We made it OK for bands to stop making grunge and new metal music and helped usher in the next lush, pop-psychedelic music wave. It's an honor to be part of rock and roll history.
3. Can you tell us what is the band doing at the moment?
Yes! We released This Machine in Spring of 2012, an album that's a bit darker and stripped down. Now, we've been celebrating the 13th anniversary of the release of 13 Tales From Urban Bohemia in 2013, known as the "13, 13, 13 Tour". We got two extra musicians for the stage so we could play 13 Tales from start to finish just like the record, with trumpets, extra keys, guitar, vocals and percussion. Next we will be recording a new album, we have some demos and in December we will be turning them into songs.
4. You follow two different paths at the same time. We mean your involvement on the dandy warhols and your djsets around the world. How is that? Are you stepping heavily on both or sometimes loose your balance between the two?
The Dandy Warhols is alway priority number one so my DJ career only comes in to fill my free time. I also, use quite a bit of my time being a mom and having a vintage country band side project called Brush Prairie. I love that DJing permits me to have work when we are home and also to travel between and during tours with The Dandy Warhols. It's a great second gig for me.
5. You are travelling a lot with the band and for djing. From all your travel adventures what is that, that survives strongly at the end? Is it the people? The cultures? The music? If all these will maqke up a painting what will that painting consist of?
Sadly, I have a terrible memory so my impression of all my travel isn't sharp, if it was a painting it would be a water color with all the details swirling and blurring together. It's typical to only spend one night at a time per city or country but over the years I have managed to put some puzzle pieces together to get a feel for the people and places I have revisited repeatedly. Sometimes growing to love them. For example, as I answer these questions I am looking out over Platy Gialos, Sifnos. It's my fourth time visiting this island and my love for it has grown deep. It's been a while since The Dandys have played in Greece so the chance to revisit because of DJing is a great blessing.
6. A friend of mine told me that lot of people say for your dj sets that you throw the right level of heat and at the same time is absolute music madness. So, are your sets based on the people on the floor? Your mood? Or you always follow a certain music path?
Hahahahaha, I love this description. I think I will add it to my bio. I can't say I follow a music path that anyone could see but me. Yes I for sure play to the venue, the audience and my mood. Bringing a very eclectic and sometimes surprising set. For the first time, I have a partner with me, Dar Sernoff. It's been great to have a collaborator and someone who enhances the technical aspect of our sets. A partner in crime is always handy!
7. Which are the three most powerful moments in your music life that you will never forget?
- Listening to Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger album with my dad.
- The first time I hear Black Sabbath's Paranoid
- Opening for David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty (ok, I kind of cheated there, but I can't pick one)
8. I would like to close with the soundtrack of your life through 5 favourite songs or albums.
OK I go in order from kid to now:
13-Pink Floyd- Dark Side of The Moon and Janis Joplin-Pearl
14- Guns & Roses -Appetite for Destruction
22- Suicide- Suicide
36- Niel Young- Harvest Moon