EXCLUSIVE | Danny Beus from Australian band Dune Rats says they've always been 'Hurry Up and Wait' sorta dudes
The time is perfect to chat about the band's evolving sound, attitudes and their very own record label, Ratbag Records
With their humorous, carefree shenanigans and peppy, ready-to-party rock, the Australian punk trio Dune Rats (comprising guitarist Danny Beus, bassist Brett Jansch, and drummer BC Michaels) have taken their DIY indie ethos to brand-new frontiers, and a worldwide audience in the process.
Fresh from releasing their latest album, 'Hurry Up and Wait' on January 31 and having announced a supporting North American Tour that kicks off in May this year, we felt it was the perfect time to chat with Danny Beus from Dune Rats about their evolving sound, attitudes and their very own record label, Ratbag Records.
Check out the interview below!
You've said 'Hurry Up and Wait' defines how you've grown from your previous album. What has been your greatest realization from 'taking comfort in the wait'?
We've always been "Hurry Up and Wait" sorta dudes, so even our songs would just get smashed out really quick. After releasing the last album and touring heavily, there was this constant theme in our lives of waiting... be it getting to shows, studios, AirBNBs, we'd just be waiting around. It became this funny joke to us and it went from frustrating us to making us laugh and fuck around to fill in the time. That kinda gave us some fun stuff to write about and gave birth to this whole "stop and smell the roses" meets "dancing in the rain" mentality, mixed with farts and dick jokes!
Instead of making grand statements about politics and the state of the world, you talk about relatable, everyday life, like relationships and bongs. What influences your lyrics?
We always just write about what’s going on in our lives and given we spend a lot of time together saying stupid shit, there's always this air of fuckery to our songs. Having said that, we aren't always just fucking around. We work hard just like everyone else, so we like to put some deeper shit under the surface. There are heaps of people that write about sex, money, love, and politics, so we're happy to let them keep doin’ that and we'll cover the other stuff.
'If My Bong Could Talk' took 30 minutes to write. What other songs have you written in record time? Is there a creative process or do you just wing it?
I think for us the creative process is winging it. If it was really structured, like, "let’s write a love song with four choruses and two verses," you'd end up with those bland soulless songs that suck. We'll sort of say something funny and note it down or have an inside joke and when we are in the studio, we just say "let's bang out one about that." 'Scott Green' came about that way. We were trying to score weed in Joshua Tree - we just went to the grocery store and start asking if anyone's Scott Green until one dude helped us out! We got home and wrote it in like an hour.
You recently collaborated with K.Flay, a talented artiste who features on the OST of the new Birds of Prey movie - it also stars a fellow Aussie, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Do you guys have a favorite superhero?
Deadpool is hilarious but I will always be a huge fan of Batman. Heath Ledger as the Joker was an all-time classic, RIP Heath! Margot Robbie is awesome, my sister and mum have liked her since 'Neighbours'. We actually appeared in an episode of 'Neighbours' last year, so maybe one day we can get a superhero movie too!
From wanting to collaborate with Lewis Capaldi to someday playing at Coachella, you obviously don't see any limits when it comes to creating music. Do you have any plans about where to take your music from here, or do you prefer to see where the road takes you?
Definitely see where the road takes us, but we also like to think of funny plans that can create something different. We'll always say yes to shit - even if you end up in a bog hole and getting towed out, it still leaves you with a great story.
Can you elaborate a bit on the formation of Ratbag Records? Did it come about as a logical progression after establishing yourselves as reputable artistes in the music scene?
We started it because we wanted to release our music, but didn't want to be just another name on a huge roster. Some major labels make you feel important for a month then you’re background noise. We were happy to have major distribution but always wanted control over what our band was releasing and how it was being released. We didn't plan on releasing other bands, but then Tobes from Skegss (who grew up with Brett) wanted to put out their first album. We felt like we could do a good job and that they wouldn't get fucked over. That ended up doing really well here, debuting at No. 2 on the Australian charts and so we thought, "We'll keep putting out acts that fit with our same work ethic and have awesome tunes." There's a new band called Totty on our label and they are gonna blow up!
Australia is chock full of talented bands like yourselves - there's easily hundreds of brilliant artistes that hail from Down Under, from the likes of ACDC, INXS, Nick Cave, Wolfmother and The Vines to more contemporary bands like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Tame Impala, just to name a few... What do you think has been the biggest influence or inspiration for Australia's continuing love affair with rock music?
Australia has the biggest rock in the world so that's a start haha! We also have a million pubs that are breeding grounds for bands. So growing up with AC/DC as role models - it’s almost a rite of passage to join a band and start playing shows for free beers, then get whatever you can on top of that. I honestly think we have the best bands in the world right now, but I realize I'm a bit biased!