Dune Rats’ Danny Beusa talks Laneway, learning from Powderfinger & The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit

Self described as ‘three hyperactive stoner cunts that didnt come here for a haircut’, Dune Rats have created their own niche with their no-bullshit, stoner rock. I’m chatting to Danny Beusa, vocalist and guitarist, as he’s ordering avo on toast in the leafy, green suburb of Indooroopilly, Brisbane. He’s the epitome of chill, considering he’s just been pulled out of a supposed holiday to play the Laneway Festival circuit last minute, ahead of the release of their second full-length album, The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit.

“We thought we were going to be on holiday,” he says. “Then we heard from the Laneway people… BC [Michaels, drummer] had to fly back from Thailand. It’s a pretty good reason to fly back from Thailand though.”

I guess Laneway is a pretty good reason – but I saw a bit of hate flying around for you replacing Young Thug on the lineup.

[Laughs] Oh yeah, I heard about that. I don’t really read a lot of the comments and stuff, we just kind of post dumb shit all the time. BC was like, ‘Yeah, heaps of cunts are off it’, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’d probably be the same’. [Laughs] I dunno, I don’t think about it too much.

That’s a good way to think. Will we be hearing much off your upcoming album at Laneway?

Yeah, yeah. I think we’re going to try to do a couple of songs and not try to fuck them up heaps bad, but I think we’ll get through it.

How would you describe your new album – give me a summary?

Umm. I’d probably say it’s like 30 minutes of anxiety. It kind of like starts and doesn’t really stop until the end of it.

[Laughs] I guess we’ll have to see what the general public think – I had a listen and I don’t know if I’d call it anxiety inducing. Tell me a bit about writing and recording the album – you got to work with Zac Carper [FIDLAR]?

Yeah, he’s a great dude. So when they first came down here we played with them, we were mates from there. We’d just see them when we went over there and play with them, and they’d come to our shows, we’d got to their shows, and then they asked us to do this tour in America last year. We’d decided that we were already in the headspace of writing a new album and stuff, like we’d written a bunch of songs for it, but we needed to start getting more serious. So it was an awkward time to go tour for two months. [Laughs]

We were already saying then [to Zac] that we really liked what [they] did with the second album, that they did something different, which made them fucking stoked, which we kinda wanted to do. So he said for us to come over, do the tour and stuff, and then just work on shit – we were stoked to do that, wouldn’t knock that back. Went to do the tour in America for two months, fucking heavy, got no songs written. [Laughs] We sort of got it together by the end of that tour; stayed in Joshua Tree and started writing some songs.

And that’s where “Scott Green” came about, hey?

Yeah, about trying to get on in Joshua Tree – it wasn’t fucking easy. [Laughs] Nah, it’s a very desert-y town. We originally didn’t want to go there, because it just sounded like a bunch of U2 wank shit, and then we eventually got convinced because it was just somewhere none of our mates could get to us  and give us beers and waste time. [Laughs] Then we loved it, because it was fucking awesome out there. Can’t judge until you go and see it.

Last year had a lot of awesome tours for you – there was the Violent Death Rats tour [Violent Soho, DZ Deathrays, Dune Rats], and then there was you and DZs vs the world. The tours looked insane – what were some of the highlights? Except for the tour bus getting stuck…

[Laughs] Yeah that was definitely up there… Well to start, the Soho one was just fucking epic. All of it was the highlight. [Soho have a] big crew, fucking legends and good mates, and DZs and Gooch Palms, and it was a touring party of fifteen dudes… and a girl (sorry, Kat) – it was just a good family. Then at the end of it, had a big old party and got on heaps of drugs.

The comedown from the Soho party was too severe, so we had to go out and play with DZs to get it out of our system, which was sick. Drank heaps of beers, and Simon [Ridley] brought back two of the dudes who shot their latest video with them, and one of the dudes pissed the bed all over our bus. That’s… pretty memorable times, right?[Laughs]

You’ve got another tour coming up in march with Gooch Palms and Skegss – I’m assuming it’s also going to be pretty outrageous?

It’s going to be a weird one ‘cause everyone, like all our management and stuff are saying, ‘You should try be not so washed up and start trying to learn your instruments and stuff’. I reckon the hardest thing is going to be having Skegss and Gooch Palms on that, ’cause we’re all going to end up having beers every night. I reckon it’s going to be a really fucking fun one.

What would you say you really need to survive a tour? What do you have to do or have with you to survive?

I can’t remember who told BC this but I think it was one of the guys from Powderfinger… But anyway, he said eat heaps of Asian greens with oyster sauce. So we eat heaps of that when we’re hungover and drink heaps of water. And then that helps the tour, I reckon.

So when you play at Laneway do you want people to throw Asian greens at you?

[Laughs] as long as they’re still good and edible, that’s alright.

Take-away containers then?

I’d probably prefer [if you] just eat them, then come and see us so you got something in your belly.

You gotta have some party fuel. Speaking of partying, you guys have some wild music videos – they feature some pretty impressive partying. How do you come up with all these ideas, and how is it filming these?

Well we’re kinda just sitting around being dickheads a lot. There’s just a lot of time when you’re travelling and stuff where you have a lot of time to waste just sitting in a tour van or on a plane just being dumb, and I think it all comes from that. BC just wanted funny as fuck stuff, same as Brett. We mainly just crack each other up and that ends up involved in something Dunies puts out.

Has anyone axed themselves really badly on set? it looks like it gets pretty loose.

Well Brett’s currently got a torn something; pretty much a monitor went up his butt, like really close up. [Laughs] I’ve got a cracked disc in me back which is pretty gnarly, and BC’s always got fucked up hands and stuff. I think it’s pretty worth it, beats bloody a lot of other shit.

Can’t deny that. The reception to “Scott Green” – not just the video clip – has been pretty insane, and I’ve seen a fair few Scott Green tattoos as well. How many Dunies tattoos do you think are out there?

Ohhhh, shit. I dunno, but thanks [to] every cunt that’s got ‘em… it still fucks with our heads when we see ‘em. When we went to South Africa we got our stick and pokes… the guy that owns the tattoo parlour is the same dude who does a lot of Die Antwoord stuff. We really like that kind of stick and poke, it doesn’t have to be beautiful and all that. So we started doing all them; [we] have hideous ones all over our bodies, then we started seeing other people doing it. It just shows that they’re just like you. We’ve always been about not being fake as fuck dudes.

Yeah, you’re as down to earth as they come –  the kind of dudes everyone wants to smoke up with. What are you currently listening to when you’re having a session?

I really like the new Chance the Rapper album, that’s cool; the new AB Original album is sick. We listen to a lot of hip hop and pop and stuff. We listen to sort of everything…

And have you got any parting words of wisdom for readers out there?

Just wear earplugs if you’re listening to loud music. Especially if we’re playing, wear two [sets of] earplugs. So you can’t hear it! [Laughs]

Dune Rats are currently performing on the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival tour. Check out their new album, The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit, on February 3rd – see for yourself if it’s really 30 minutes of anxiety.

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