It might seem like the music industry isn’t doing too well, if a band as high flying as Dune Rats have to drink that kind of poison, but as vocalist/guitarist Danny Beusa explains, it’s just about being thrifty.
“We’re saving money on the beers so we can buy more weed or something,” he laughs. It’s lines like this that have made Dune Rats so popular with 20-somethings across the country, whether they’re poor uni students or cone-smoking dropouts. Their no-bullshit attitude has catapulted this Brisbane trio to international stardom, with tours alongside the likes of FIDLAR and The Subways, as well as a support slot next to local heroes Violent Soho on their recent Australian headline tour.
With achievements like that, it can be hard for some bands to stay grounded. But not Dune Rats. Beusa explains that the band was never out to make it as big as they have.
“When you get to 18 and start going out, everyone starts wanting to play the big shows and shit. For some reason that seems like the wrong way to be doing it. When Dunies started it was kind of for the opposite reason. It was literally to make 100 bucks each so we could buy some beers. That’s how it all kicked off. So we haven’t tried to change it too much, but we’re getting a little bit more than 100 bucks a show now,” he says.
When asked about his role as a household name, Beusa laughs that he’s the kind of name that floats around derro student households, and certainly not a parents’ kind of household.
Everything may sound like a joke with these guys, but it’s part of the reason that Dune Rats have managed to stick together for over five years. Their charm lies part in their ability to take the piss out of themselves, and partly in their ‘wrote-this-in-five-minutes’ musical vibe. But, as Beusa excitedly explains, it’s the band’s new album, The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit, that is their best effort yet. And it took them a lot of effort.
“We focused on the sound and then made sure the songs were really tight structurally,” says Beusa. “We’ve never really given a fuck about anything more than this album. Even more than our HSC as you can tell because we’re playing in a band and we’re not doctors,” he laughs.
Before the release of this project next year, the band will be hitting up Beyond The Valley, where they’re surely going to crack more than a few bevs. Their hangover cure is apparently some Japanese food and a Bloody Mary, although Beusa is unsure how they’ll fare with the crowds on their upcoming InternationalDisaster tour with DZ Deathrays in Europe. “It’s a weird one. When you do the overseas tours you lose your brain about two weeks in. You start wearing some really weird shit you normally wouldn’t wear around your own street,” he says.
Proving once again that they aren’t above making fun of themselves, Beusa explains how there was a potential spiritual awakening during the writing process, and how they all love to take the piss out of it.
“We did a writing thing in Joshua Tree over in America after the FIDLAR tour. It sounded really fucking wanky if you want me to be honest; going to Joshua Tree to write some shit. We just didn’t want to come out with some U2 shit. There’s a bit of a mystery surrounding it though. We’ll see if the nuggets of gold get approved by everyone,” he laughs.
Of course with all this success, comes a lot of eyes looking at you and what you are doing. But the Dunies make a point of not reading either good or bad reviews, so they can just focus on doing what they do.
“We’ve done the hard slog for five years. Everyone’s been in previous bands where you play for four years and you can’t even get two people to a show. So we take each show as an excuse to drink a heap of piss,” he says.
We wouldn’t expect anything less.
By Jonty Simmons