Dune Rats are nothing if not the real deal. If they seem like a bunch of hard-partying, nihilistic Brisbane punks, it's because they are, and don't know how to do it any differently. Over breakfast beers in Sydney's Newtown (that's right, brekky beers), they talked us through their take on the process of making their sophomore effort, The Kids Will Know It's Bullshit.
"It took us nearly three years to write the fucker," says bassist Brett Jansch. "We'd work a song into our set and then scrap it. You're stuck with them like kids if you record them." When asked if those songs will resurface later, he scoffs, "I don't know why we'd go back to an old song. It's kind of like we've chopped the baby's head off and let them die in the gutter."
Singer/guitarist Danny Beus almost spits his beer out. "Oh shit, the Dune Rats talking about chopping baby's heads off. What a great start to an interview!" Taking the conversation away from infanticide and back to the album, we ask how this process differed from recording their 2014 debut. "The first album we just banged together because we needed to write an album," says Beus. "Whereas this one, we just slowly started writing songs and the sound was the biggest thing we tried to work on. Obviously having Zac [Carper] involved helped with all that."
Carper is the guitarist/frontman of L.A. punks FIDLAR, who spent the best part of 2016 working with Dune Rats on their new album. Jansch says Carper helped them focus on what was important. "He's a really good producer, he was very much like, 'Get off the couch and fuckin' do it!' And there's that sound of urgency on the record. There are definitely bits on there where I think I could have done it better, but why would you do that? What was recorded was the real deal that actually went down."
Beus says having an American perspective helped them make a uniquely Aussie-sounding record. "He thought 'bullshit' was so funny, that we used it as a good term. He was like, 'Write about that.' Things like 'Scott Green' and trying to get weed. He thought that was fucking hilarious. It's that infatuation with our stupid stuff and vice versa. By the end he almost had a bloody Aussie accent."
When asked what the album says about being a young Aussie male in 2017, Jansch shrugs. "It's cool to write songs that just mean something to us. We love the record. I know people always say that, but we genuinely think that if cunts don't like it they can go get fucked."
From issue #785 (April 2017), available now. Top photo: Dune Rats, from left: Beus, Jansch and drummer BC Michaels.
Topics: Dune Rats