2020 is set to be a banner year for NSW South Coast rock sensations Dune Rats.
After a meteoric few years, the band traveled both nationally and abroad to construct their forthcoming LP Hurry Up and Wait, which is set to drop this Friday, January 31st.
Ahead of the release, and subsequent mammoth national tour, we caught up with Brett Jansch (bass) to chat about chatting with members of Blink 182 on the phone, explaining Aussie slang to LA producers, and why the band feels this is their best record yet.
Brett, how are you? Where are we catching you today?
I’m at my house down the south coast – it was pretty gnarly over New Year’s Eve period, but there’s been a bit of rain so hopefully, things will be all sweet!
Do you find it hard to keep tabs on the local scene on the south coast, given that you’re now traveling all over the world?
I think we always do – it’s like coming back and seeing all your mates and seeing what’s going on with their lives – some of them have had kids while we’ve been out on tour. We wrote our first record down here in the shed, just bunkered down and hanging out, so it’s a pretty special place for us.
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Was the writing for this new LP a similar process?
Nah it was heaps different! We took our time with it, we didn’t want to rush anything – we just decided to get into the studio and do heaps of songs and slowly figured out which ones would be the best to make a record. We went to America to do some writing and we also hooked up with Ross Knight from Cosmic Psychos and did some writing in his shed. So, on the one hand, we were in LA chatting to Travis Barker (Blink 182) on the phone, and then the other side of it smashing it out on a farm.
Travis was so funny – he tried to do a joke on us, he called us being like “hey I heard Australia has a bad case of ‘lickma’, and we were like ‘you mean lick my balls?’ haha! It was so weird. The whole thing was crazy, I was playing Mark Hoppus bass, and we’re rubbing shoulders with all these people in Malibu, and the entire thing felt like a big fucking joke, because who the hell are we to be over there chatting with these people?!”
Did that influence how you went about the record, being a fly on the wall around those crazy people?
It totally did, because we worked with all these producers who wanted to steer the ship, so the band was just treated differently. The producer is just trying to have as much influence over the song as well. I remember one time there was a suggestion of saying ‘going out the club’ – but Danny was like ‘dude, in Australia the club is the bowling club haha!’, so we definitely were playing ping pong with ideas. We also had words put in our mouths when we had to sing them – it made sense when we went to do the take, we had to do it with all our gusto because we want to care about the shit we’re talking about.
Was there a case that you had to back that ‘free-spirited’ side of yourselves way more than in the past, perhaps?
I realised that we could have confidence in our songwriting, and how we wanted them to sound in a production sense. When it came to actually tracking, we had a good team of people who were on the same page about how we wanted to do it. It was definitely different from the writing trip for sure. It definitely takes a few years to really get an understanding of what you know works though. In the writing process, we wouldn’t revisit them and change them until way later in the process, but sometimes when we revisit a tune they can sometimes fall apart a bit, so you can sometimes find yourself straying away from the idea that was originally happening. I kinda learned that you don’t want to break it apart or go too deep because you can kind of foil it that way sometimes.
The live aspect of your show is so much more important for you guys than it might be for some other bands. Was it tricky divorcing the idea of how something might go over live with what was going to be suited for the LP? Or do those two things have to be really deeply intertwined regardless?
Well, this time around there was way less jamming, they were more birthed in a studio, so only now are we figuring out how we can adapt the stuff to being played live. Because we’re trying to cover a whole heap of different sounds, to make that work live there’s a bit of sparkly acoustics on the studio takes, for example, so now were really trying to think through how to make it work. It’s probably our best music that we’ve ever created, so that makes us really excited about the tour.
I mean, we finished recording this record a year ago, so we’re very excited to finally play them. I remember thinking ‘ah, fuck are people gonna be annoyed with us doing this slow drip-feed single thing’, because I definitely found that frustrating. But it’s sick now because we can go out and do the shows and signings – and we’re also really keen to go back and write again, which is an awesome feeling.
That’s sick to hear! Do you already have a direction?
We did more than enough tunes for two records this time around, so we already have some banked away – and those ones that we have banked away are kind of cut from a different cloth, so to speak. They weren’t quite what we were doing now, so we already have a vibe of where we want to go, and what we want the songs to sound like and what they’ll be about.
Theme-wise, is there anything that really ties this one together? It sounds far more reflective upon listening.
I think it’s more reflective for sure – I think that’s because we write the lyrics as one. It’s always talking from a third-person perspective – but also it’s us talking about stuff from each other’s perspective. There’s some important shit to us here – there’s nothing political, that’s not who we are, but it’s more real-life shit about us and how we’ve grown as friends.
Dune Rats Hurry Up And Wait Australian Tour 2020
With special guests Ruby Fields, Dear Seattle, & Totty
Saturday, February 29th, 2020
Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA (AA)
Sunday, March 1st, 2020 (Labour Day Eve)
Metro City, Perth, WA (18+)
Friday, March 6th, 2020
Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD (AA)
Saturday, March 7th, 2020
Big Top Luna Park, Sydney, NSW (AA)
*SOLD OUT* Sunday, March 8th, 2020 (Labour Day Eve)
Festival Hall, Melbourne, VIC (AA)