Q&A with Zia McCabe of The Dandy Warhols

Zia McCabe at 2012’s Frequency Festival.
Picture by Christopher Johnson, used by permission.

Zia McCabe is the bassist & bass/synth player for multi-platinum recording artists The Dandy Warhols of Portland, Oregon, who have released 10 full length records, several EPs, and a full length live album, since 1994.

Z came to Tacoma and partied down with us at the House of Cannabis – Tacoma location in June of 2019. She had our crowd dancing in line as she laid down a thick catalogue of urban dance to brit-pop with a fog machine and laser show.

Thanks for agreeing to do a little Q&A for the House of Cannabis blog. Here are a few questions we have decided to ask you!

1. What Dandy Warhol’s song do you most want to play live, that you all haven’t?

[Our song] “Easy” (Spotify | Apple Music). I think this would be so fun live. Especially for me because I would get to play bass guitar for the first bit and synth bass for the last section. 

Editors Note: This is one of my favorite The Dandy Warhol’s songs…. I’d love to hear it played, live.

2. Do you have a ritual or standing tradition of consuming cannabis before or after shows, and if so, what is that ritual like?

I have learned the hard way that I just can’t play stoned. I forget parts, I forget when to, and when not play. It’s a mess! But, I can get high right after soundcheck for a little attitude adjustment with plenty of time for any confusion to wear off. I also enjoy getting stoned after the show. I don’t drink all that often anymore so it really helps keep me entertained by all the people that have been drinking all night. 

3. Do you have a great weed story from the tour/road archives?

Hmm, well, I had grabbed an ounce before hopping on the bus to start a month long US tour. Enough to split up and keep everyone pretty well stocked for the month. Before I could split it up or really even smoke any of it, we got pulled over on the I-10 in Arizona. The idiot bus driver lets the cops on with their K9 to search the bus. The dog didn’t find anything (I now believe this was no K9, just a silly cop’s dog that he tried to train with german commands [as] the other cops seemed a little embarrassed). Anyway, they went back on without the dog and found the big bag of weed sitting in my bunk. Of course no one stepped up to take ownership (even though I had picked it up as a convenience to everyone) so I raised my hand. Not sure it would help at all, I showed them my carrier card for medical marijuana (I can’t remember what year this happened but pot wasn’t legal in Oregon yet).

As they walked me across the highway to their mobile offices, I told them this was my medicine, they replied, “in Arizona, we call this a drug”. So they put me a cell of sorts, metal walls and chain link door. I sat in there in my pajamas, with my hair in curlers and tied up in a bandana.

The cop came back and asked me how much I was allowed to carry. His eyes about popped out of his head when I told him two pounds. Ha! He then left me alone for a while longer. Finally he let me out and led me to his desk. He informed me that they were actually feds (gulp), and that there jurisdiction starts at 40 lbs (small sigh of relief). He said he’d been trying to find a local officer to come arrest me but since it was Sunday, no one wanted to come in on their day off (huge sigh of relief!).

So he led me back to the bus, came on behind me as I’m quickly sssh-ing the cheers from my band mates and crew. He gave us some silly lecture and we were on our way. The best part (besides not getting arrested) was that they didn’t search my purse with has a personal stash and pipe. Which I immediately passed around and we all had a good laugh. Crazy thing is, same thing happened two night later in El Paso but we had smoked every last crumb and just rolled our eyes as the cops tried to intimidate us by letting their dogs hump our luggage.

****Note to self, don’t bring enough weed for the entire tour and don’t carry anyone else’s share.  

Zia gets lit on 04/20/20. Picture used by permission of Zia McCabe.

4. Do you have a favorite strain, and what is your favorite way to consume cannabis?

I don’t have a favorite strain, because it’s more fun to switch it up and keep it fresh. Typically what I’m looking for is a heavy duty Indica. I mostly consume cannabis for relaxation and sleep. So I want it to turn my brain to mush and knock me out. I do dabble with Sativa hybrids during the day when I want to be creative or just enjoy my back yard. 

The Dandy Warhols, London, England.
Picture by: Aurelien Guichard, used with permission.

5. “Why You So Crazy” is a great album, but when is the next one?? Is it underway, already?

We do have another album on the way! I just tracked three new bass lines yesterday in fact. As you know we are slow pokes when it comes to getting new albums out so don’t hold your breath but do know it’s in the works. : )

For more on The Dandy Warhols, visit their website, facebook, or YouTube pages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *