DUNE RATS

Best Buds

A life that revolves around an office job, rou­tine hours and civil uni­for­mity is usu­ally described as nor­mal, but use of the term ‘nor­mal’ here is mis­lead­ing. It implies that those who devi­ate from this way of liv­ing are out­siders. Of course you can argue that any­one is able to adapt if they try hard enough, but some peo­ple sim­ply haven’t the incli­na­tion.

The arts, and rock’n’roll in par­tic­u­lar, is a para­mount exam­ple of an alter­nate path­way. It’s hard to pic­ture Bris­bane trio Dune Rats clean­ing up and mak­ing it to work Mon­day through Fri­day, all year-round. The band presents an image of mer­ci­less hedo­nism, which would be dif­fi­cult to tame. It’s safe to say these boys don’t like being told what to do.

“We man­aged our­selves for two years at the start, until it got too hec­tic,” says the band’s vocalist/guitarist Danny Beusa. “So this whole per­cep­tion thing… like yeah we smoke a fuck tonne of weed, but we’d also run the band, run mer­chan­dise, run live shows and tour­ing. We trav­elled over­seas twice with­out even get­ting a manager.

It’s des­per­ate when bands think ‘I need a man­ager, I need a this and I need a that’. It’s like, ‘fuck it dude, just write the fuck­ing songs and run the band how you want to run it and don’t give a fuck’ and that’s a pretty easy for­mula for a good time.”

These days, Matty Woo, who Beusa says is “like a brother,” man­ages Dune Rats. With the extra sup­port, 2014 has been the biggest year in the band’s his­tory, encom­pass­ing tours to China, South Africa, Europe, and mul­ti­ple vis­its to their home away from home, the United States. In June they also released their debut, self-titled LP. When it came to record­ing Dune Rats, once again the band mem­bers weren’t going to be bossed around.

“We’re pretty happy with this album, in all hon­esty,” Beusa says. “It was some­thing that we got to write our­selves. We recorded it exactly how we wanted it and then we shopped it around. It’s a way more lib­eral way to write an album. Not because you’re told ‘you should be writ­ing this, you should be writ­ing that.’ So it’s sick that peo­ple are buy­ing the album and lik­ing it. It’s fuck­ing blow­ing our minds big time.”

It’s easy for naysay­ers to harshly deem Dune Rats as a no-good car­i­ca­ture of the rock’n’roll dream, but the twelve-track release proves there’s more to the band than their party-boy per­sonas sug­gest. Dune Rats is hardly a two-dimensional release, as it includes crack­ing up-tempo tunes like ‘Super­man’, infec­tious sing-alongs like ‘Dalai Lama Big Banana Mar­i­juana’ and the chug­ging emo side­step, ‘Lola’.

“The thing with the album is we sort of wanted to make some peo­ple go ‘Man that’s not fuck­ing Dune Rats.’ That’s sick,” Beusa explains. “We just wrote what­ever the fuck us three liked. That’s where songs like ‘Lola’ can come from. We don’t want to nec­es­sar­ily be sit­ting there for three months and just play­ing the same shit – no one does and no one wants to put on an album and hear the same twelve songs.”

Dune Rats mightn’t be par­tic­u­larly inter­ested in fol­low­ing con­ven­tion, but they haven’t strug­gled to hawk their wares. Since drop­ping the Sexy Beach EPin early 2011, the Dunies have been recruit­ing a cult-like fol­low­ing all around the globe. This crazed mob of fans will fea­ture heav­ily in an upcom­ing web TVseries the band’s work­ing on at present.

“For two years we’ve been to every­where around the world, to China and South Africa and all these places, so we just video­taped a fuck-tonne,” Beusa says. “Then some­one said ‘you should put it all together so peo­ple can see’. We got a bit of fund­ing for it from the label, which is sick, so we’re going at it pretty strong and we’re going to have a cou­ple of episodes that show the last two years.

“We’re pretty lucky that we do have a sick crew that comes to every show,” he adds. “A lot of the footage is just gnarly because of the kids at the show. It’s kind of funny, you go to China and stuff where they don’t have Face­book, and it’s the same reac­tion at shows. So I think that’s what it will high­light: a lot of these places peo­ple gen­er­ally haven’t been to yet, they will see that there’s a sick side of these towns.”

Dune Rats are locked in to appear on next month’s Laneway Fes­ti­val tour, which will also be filmed for inclu­sion in the web series. While the band’s an expe­ri­enced tour­ing unit, Beusa says get­ting selected for this respected nation­wide fes­ti­val caused a few more nerves than usual.

“We can’t believe we’re actu­ally on a tour like that. You know when you get given a respon­si­bil­ity and then just fuck it up? It’s kind of that feel­ing, because we usu­ally fuck up shit acci­den­tally a lot of the time. At first we were like ‘Fuck… we’re play­ing Laneway’ and now we’re like ‘Fuck! We can’t wait to have the funnest fuck­ing time on it!’”

 

Dune Rats are play­ing the St. Jeromes’s Laneway Fes­ti­val. For more infor­ma­tion visit www.lanewayfestival.com.

 

Comments