DUNIES SANDING SO GOOD
Brisbane’s wayward ‘dunecore stoner pop’ trio Dune Rats find they have less time to bum around at the beach when at home these days
According to the old saying, idle hands are the devil’s tools. So it is good that Brisbane “dunecore stoner pop” trio and general mischief-makers Dune Rats are so busy these days.
In fact, they are possibly the most productive beach-bum slackers in Australia.
“If we’re ever at home and there’s nothing to do, we get bored really easily. The thing to combat that is to write songs,” bass player Brett Jansch says.
“We should always be doing something. I feel like when we’re just sitting around that’s a pointless waste of time.
‘‘We could be trying to make better and better songs and then put out another album, which would hopefully allow us to keep on touring.”
Since releasing their debut EP Sexy Beach in early 2011, Dune Rats – Jansch, Danny Beusa (guitar, vocals) and BC Michaels (drums, vocals) – have been travelling the globe as self-styled punk rock Pied Pipers, taking their wild live show as far afield as the US, South Africa, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Canada and Singapore.
All the while they have also been selling out concerts across Australia and supporting the likes of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, The Hives, Children Collide and The Vines.
The trio took time out from their hectic schedule earlier last year to write their longawaited self-titled debut album, which they recorded in Melbourne with producer Woody Annison and released on June 1.
“The travelling aspect, learning about culture, that’s what we all feed off and love,” Jansch says.
“But in recording you see the rewards of spending time with your friends and writing songs and playing music together. You can listen back to it and be super-satisfied about the process you went through to do it.
“We got the job done, with our friends, on our own merit – we paid for the recording ourselves, did it all of our own accord – so I’m super proud of what we’ve achieved in getting the record out.”
The album features the radio favourites Funny Guy, Dalai Lama Big Banana Marijuana and the latest Dune Rats single Superman, an ode to “the lord and lady hellmen” who go the hardest at the band’s “raucous” live gigs.
There is one in every group of friends – and in the Dune Rats’ crew apparently it is Jansch’s mother.
“Mum had been revving up to crowd-surf for so long,” Jansch says.
“She’s always at our shows, and in Brisbane (in June) she was like, ‘It’s the last show of the tour, I’m gonna do it’.
“She ran up on stage and jumped in, and went straight through the crowd, smoked herself, ended up breaking her collarbone.
“She didn’t tell anyone. She was just cruising around and then all of a sudden she was gone. I called her up like, ‘Mum, where are you?’, and she was really reluctant to tell me that she was in casualty at the hospital. So that song is for my mum, she’s the superwoman.
“I don’t know if it’s a good story or a bad story, it makes her sound like a crazy drunk.
‘‘But I think she just loves BC and Danny as much as she loves me, and it definitely puts a smile on her dial whenever we play.”
The Dunies certainly know how to have a good time – there is no doubt about that.
But there is a serious side lurking underneath the party antics – even if Jansch is not quite ready to grow up just yet.
“But if the band was ever to come across some money we’d all want to invest it and be smart with it – we’re not wasters and I never want to be labelled a waster,’’ he says.
“At the shows everyone’s having a good time and we all get pissed. But the next morning it’s always about how we can stay on-point, be happy and get better as a band, that’s for sure.”
Ill-advised it might have been, but even a band member’s mother could not help but crowd-surf to the Dune Rats