2017 promises to be yet another mammoth year for Australia’s favourite bong-rippin’ band, Dune Rats. The three piece have just released their latest single ‘Scott Green’ which will preclude the release of their new album The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit. I got a chance to catch up with Dunies’ bass player Brett Jansch this week to talk about the story behind the single, recording the new album and scoring weed in the backwaters of the United States.
Our conversation began talking about the creative process behind the aptly titled The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit. Recorded by Zach Carper of Fidlar fame, sessions began in Southern California at the infamous Joshua Tree, best known in music terms because of some Irish band that Dune Rats have very little in common with.
“We went out there for a ‘writing session’, that was the first time we went with Zac, ‘cause we’d been on tour with Fidlar, so we recorded three demos out there and that’s where everything began,” said Jansch.
With Fidlar very much being America’s answer to our Dunies, it’s difficult to believe that these sessions would be productive but Jansch couldn’t disagree more. “He’d always be on our back, making us do shit. Creatively he’s a great producer and we work really good together ‘cause that kinda silly thing with Dunies TV, that really bled into the record and Zac really got a hold of that and took it to the next level.” To those not in the know, the band have their own online TV show, which is essentially tour videos showing the boys at the peak of the stoner-comedy routines that they’re so known for.
After the Joshua Tree sessions, and a few others across Australia’s east coast, the band eventually landed in Melbourne last year to record at Head Gap studios, the same place that their self-titled debut was recorded. “The studio’s not our favourite place to be but this time we upped our game a bit. We’ve all learnt how to write better over the years and we just wanted it to sound bigger ‘cause we’re now playing in larger venues,” says Jansch, speaking about the band’s writing process. “We were always going off the idea that if you’re doing something new or enjoyable everyday, like we’d go off for a surf or whatever, then when we would come back to have a jam we’d be heaps more psyched, way more proactive. Most of the songs didn’t reflect on the places we were so much, but we were happy to be in these places anyway rather then sitting there bored in a recording studio.”
One song that definitely reflects the place it came from was new single ‘Scott Green’. Written about the Dunies quest to score some pot in Joshua Tree, Jansch describes the situation vividly. “We got some off this guy who survived cancer so he had a medicinal card, he was really friendly but a bit of a weirdo. We went back to his house and he was a hoarder, he had all these old grandfather clocks and an emptied out pool with rusty bikes in it. “We waited awkwardly for like half an hour just trying to shoot the shit with him but it came through. I wonder if he now knows about our single, I wasn’t sure if we ever told him about the band or anything but I reckon if he heard it now he’d have a massive chuckle.”
The video for the song is set at a wild house party, with the band in search for ‘Scott Green’. However, the video contains interactive elements, allowing the viewer to pick which doors the boys enter, helping them search for weed they so dearly crave. When the song ends you even receive a score, and I revealed to Jansch that I got 140 points, thinking I’d done well. “I think you got about a third of the way. The lucky 420 number is the highest score. The first time I played it I was rapt about it cause it felt like all the extra work we did when filming it was actually worthwhile.”
While you can watch a standard video clip for the song, the interactive video is likely to be a hit with teenage stoners all over the world. “It was our manager’s idea, there was always a big back and forth about it, but then when we eventually all agreed. It took so much planning, especially when using the technology in the editing stage,” said Jansch.
So now with the album ready for release and a single with a gimmick-filled video to boot, Dune Rats are geared for the next tour, a national jaunt that will take them across the country with their good mates Gooch Palms and Skeggs. “It starts in Fremantle so we’ll be going the backwards way around the country, we’re gonna up what we can do as a show, we wanna make it as sick as it can be and as Dunies as it can be. We’ll have some theatrical shit, it’s gonna be mad.”
The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit by Dune Rats is out now via Warner Music Australia.