“Water is the weirdest thing. When I was in America and pissing blood, I came back from the doctor’s and it was all chilled but it was just a hydration thing.”
Dune It on Their Own
By Samantha Garcia
We shot the breeze with Danny, one third of Dune Rats a couple of weeks back at Correlis in Newtown and had a chat about what it was like being back on home soil, among other things.
It has been a whirlwind few years for the boys who dropped their first LP in June of this year, having also just wrapped up a national tour that even included some sneaky shows in Bali, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
“[When overseas] we just become disgusting pieces of shit. The funnest thing about travelling is that we just get to be toss-pots. Yeah we miss the small gigs but that’s why we like going to China.”
When asked about finding a balance between being “healthy” for tour and having the energy to perform, with having fun and being, well, Dune Rats, Danny humbly states “we’re pretty shit at it”.
“Water is the weirdest thing. When I was in America and pissing blood, I came back from the doctor’s and it was all chilled but it was just a hydration thing. Now BC does this thing where he’ll just smash two litres of water straight. That’s what we’ve learnt; drink water, which is probably something our mum’s would tell us.”
Having recorded their self-titled debut album in one week, the boys got closer together than ever before. “We’re just altogether in a circle spoon. We’ve shared a room for like three years but it works pretty easy.” The entire album was recorded in a small town on the South Coast of New South Wales where the boys not only got musically creative but also got their hands dirty doing some renovation and even gardening. “It was just us three and that’s one thing we get there. It’s a really rare space in the middle of nowhere.” Brett’s mum’s house on the South Coast was somewhat of a getaway from the city mayhem. When asked by management and fans: “Where’s your album?”, the boys just thought: “fuck it, we’re going and not getting swept up into all the bullshit [of label pressures].”
The single Superman on the new LP is dedicated to Brett’s mum who broke her collarbone crowd-surfing at a Dunies gig three months back. “Brett’s mum is our band mum. She’s just a legend.” The boys attribute a lot of their success to the support networks they have. “We give a fuck about the music but it’s also really sick to have heaps of help from all over the world.” Danny’s mum lives in Coffs Harbour so he doesn’t see her much but according to Danny “…she’s heaps on the Facebook. It’s so embarrassing.” So if you ever see Danny’s mum comment, feel free to chuck her a ‘like’.
In the past, the boys rarely paid to record, maintaining that DIY mentality along with the support of passionate and like-minded mates, the boys were able to get by. “People knew we were just shit with money and we would just spend it on weed. Everyone who really cared for the band just let us record for cheap.” Even with this album, label-pressure wasn’t an issue. In true Dune Rats fashion:
“We bankrolled it ourselves and sold on the album.”
These Queensland stoner mates make the muso life look damn easy and almost childishly fun. Their American Death Trip of Dreams: Episode 1 Youtube clip, reminiscent of a bogan Project X, has close to 50,000 views and I’m sure countless attempts at recreating the mayhem.
When asked if the boys considered themselves professionals, Danny let off a Seth Rogen style chuckle and very vacantly said “nah but yeah”.
“BC is really switched on with the business stuff and owns all the marketing and Facebook. We are professionals because we do have to get shit done.”
After being picked up by Triple J to play the 2012 Big Day Out, the boys have not stopped gigging and putting their music out there. With a strong couple of years under their belt, the momentum is constantly gaining for the lads. Having just been announced to play Laneway Festival 2015, the climb is all too real for Dunies.
“The boys are all frothing, we’re stoked to be playing Laneway.”
The novelty of fame is yet to wear off on the boys. “It’s weird. We worked fucking hard but how lucky are we? Like anyone in the creative industry, if it fails it’s on us but if we succeed it’s on us as well.” Even though it’s been an intense few years for Dune Rats, they’re still grounded. “We were young dudes in the crowd and we all frothed bands when we were younger. Dudes like Violent Soho who are just killing it. Delta Riggs who are overseas at the moment, those are the dudes I like to see reppin’ Australian music.”
The Australian Music Industry isn’t the easiest thing to be in, especially for a group of broke kids with a whole list of booze they see more worthy of their dollar than a recording studio. “Just with the way the industry is at the moment, we’ve got a want to maybe starting our own label. Just with more of the distributing avenues of physical shit. We just like having our own control over our shit, how we control the band and where we spend money. We just don’t want to be on a big label.” The boys are true to their self-sufficient, grassroots mentality and their very own label would be a genuine fruition of the Dunie-way. -
At the end of the day though, no matter how HAM they might go at the after party (or even before the show), their success is not without hard work. “We’ve just always gotten there because people have always done their shit.” They’ve come to learn the value of doing a lot of the work on their own. “You’re better off managing your band yourself for a year so you know if your manager is doing a good job.”
Now back home from touring the US alongside the types of Cloud Nothings, Dune Rats are getting it done but not compromising on fun. After all, hydration really is key.