Aussie trio Dune Rats are here for a good time, not a long time. The garage punk band aren’t plotting to be chart-toppers or world domination but just to have a good time and a cold beer. Their new single ‘No Plans’ is the first single from their upcoming third album which is due early next year. Guitarist Danny Beaus, drummer BC Michaels and bassist Brett Jansch brought one of the most entertaining shows of this year’s 2000trees and gave us low down on what makes Dune Rats tick and how to make fish soup.
First off, what is a Dune Rat?
Danny: It was a name given to us by our mate’s dad who always wanted us to get out and do stuff, and we’d always be out in the sand dunes smoking bongs and drinking beers and flirting. And he’d always say ‘catch a wave you bloody Dune Rats’. And when we were first coming up with a name, everyone just said ‘thats a fucking horrible name’, and then it just stuck.
How did you guys come to meet one another?
Danny: We all worked in like a fishing co-op sort of thing. A fishmonger. Brett was on one of the boats. We were the weighing and scaling station. Just drinking heaps of beers, hanging out, scaling fish and weighing them up and then thought ‘fuck could probably play in a band’. Pretty far leap between that but did a couple of nights, quit our fishing jobs and went on Centrelink (benefits) so you can thank the Australian government.
You literally started at the bottom with the fish guts?
Brett: Yeah! Can making a good fish soup though. It’s haddock and cod.
Danny: The trick is honey. You’ve got to get all of it though. The sweetness… honey.
Brett: Sumac, paprika, honey, salt, soy, chilli, tomato. Habanero or grim reaper.
The new single ‘No Plans’ came out a few weeks ago, what’s the reaction been like?
Danny: We have been away over here doing it since it’s been released. We haven’t played at home yet which for most bands I reckon is where the core of their fanbase are. But, here everyone knows it which is sick. The internet is doing its job, and it’s making its way around the world.
BC: Until we figure out we play it shit over here and make it good in a little while.
Isn’t it a testament to how well you’re doing that people over here are paying attention to what you’re doing?
Danny: Yeah, it’s fucking awesome. It’s way better than the first couple of times when we came over, and everyone told us to get off the stage. It’s sick, really good.
Its the same sort people in everyone town. I don’t want to get into the world is one on it, but there is “us” everywhere. When we first got in, we played in Southampton and people like the music similar to us, and when you’re chatting afterwards smoking joints and drinking beers, they’re just the same as people from home. And there is a lot of people from home [too].
Your new album is due early next year, how do you approach making “an album” rather when your most of your songs are single style, sub 3 minute, singles?
Brett: It’s just 12 of those ones. If we were to make songs longer than 3 minutes, that would be the end of us, I reckon. We just spew out an idea, and the song is that. Kind of like a nursery rhyme and we keep that formula. We are not trying to break the shit down.
Danny: There is a huge part of the world today where they get nine writers on a song, and they’ll write the lyrics, verse, riffs, and you can tell that’s how it’s composed. So I guess when that brain fart of that song exhausts its self then we just slap it down, but we have got some fun shit on it [the new album].
At least an album gives you the chance at least for every song not have to be a single. We have some really fucking funny songs that have to be on the album that are good songs but labels and radio stations [wouldn’t allow].
Brett: I think we tried to write deeper songs, but we just realised that they blow.
Danny: There are bands who have that covered. Adele did a pretty good job. Celine Dion. Who’s the new guy? Lewis Capaldi, he’s funny.
So the point is to just have fun then, right?
Danny: It’s well within everyone’s right to be outspoken politically and take themselves seriously as much as they want, but they’ve got that covered.
I remember my mate’s Dad a few years ago; when we were starting to get a bigger, he was like ‘why don’t you just try and have a cause or do something’ and I was like ‘we never started this to be a cause or a spokesperson’.
Our spokesperson is for cunts to come and have a good time and listen to a band and enjoy themselves and not have to get preached to. You should also be allowed to play music just for the fucking fun of it. Spit on each other. Get your small penises out or whatever – on stage, not in the crowd.
Do you ever think about the longevity of doing that?
BC: I think we have already surpassed whatever we were going to do so anything else is just a bonus.
Danny: We are in the cream section. You’ve got that milk, and then there’s that cream. Basically, you’re a bit stale.
Danny: Hahaha! Pasteurised.
Then you can get back to the fish guts?
Danny: Yeah! There is plenty more waiting?! Plenty more fish in the sea… for now, until global warming, you fucking dogs. Oh! We are politicised! That’s why bands do it; it’s such a rush! Taking on big fishing industries.
What’s the scene like back home in Australia?
Brett: Very strong.
Danny: Very supportive. If I could use one word: supportive.
BC: There is such a community of everyone playing in a band. When they do a tour, then tour with friends, or if not, then everyone hangs out together.
Danny: Brett’s Mum puts everyone up. Like a million bands. His Mum’s got a great spread… of pot.
BC: She makes a pretty good fondue, actually.
Danny: A fondue, not a fon-don’t, a fondue.
Taken from the September issue of Upset, out now – order your copy below.