By Keith Sharp
Tell anyone in North America that something is `bullshit’, they are likely to get offended. But according to Dune Rats’ bassist Brett Jansch, the word bullshit is trending in his native Australia as meaning cool or positive. Hence the name of the Brisbane band’s second album `The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit’ and their debut single, “Bullshit”.
Set to showcase at Toronto’s Canadian Music Week conference (April 19th The Great Hall and April 21st at Lee’s Palace) as part of an 11-date Canadian tour, the Rats will then jet off to Europe for a 24-date tour of the U.K France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Holland through May and June before concluding this leg of their world activities with a 12-date tour of Australia in July.
“It’s like saying that sandwich wasn’t just good, it was bullshit,” laughs Jansch, on the phone from Brisbane before heading out on what seems to be an endless global sojourn to promote their new release. “It’s like having some slang connection that has a hidden meaning that some people don’t get. Of course, our fans know what means and it’s great when we get them yelling, “that’s bullshit!”.
Formed originally as a duo with Danny Beausa on guitar/vocals and BC Michaels on drums in 2011, the Dune Rats took shape when Jansch,( formerly of The Bleeding Knees Club ) completed the lineup in 2012.
“Our first objective was to record something, anything, the first things we could come up with, play and record. We wrote the first, self-titled album in about a week and recorded it in one day,” Jansch informed. “It sounded like a car accident or that we’d been in a boxing match, but it was the attitude that counted. We captured a `stoner pop sound’, the lyrics may not have been too profound but the key thing was our attitude.”
Immediately on the road in Australia, the Dune Rates quickly broaded their scope and were soon jetting off to play in North America (Canada three times, althought their third appearance was abruptly stopped by customs at Vancouver airport) as well as odd ball places like South Africa where they went down a storm.
Totally embracing social media, the Dune Rats have become infamous for their touring travelogue videos which they’ve turned into a television series. “It’s an opportunty for us to capture ourselves on the road, having fun, telling jokes and generally clowning around and promoting ourselves, it’s a great tool for us to get the word out and keep our fans connected.”
Songs like “Scott Green”, “Demolition Derby”, “Never Gonna Get High”, 6 Pack, “Counting Sheep” and their first single “Bullshit” off the new album are lyrically unpretentious with the band’s staccato rhythms and energetic arrangements establishing the band’s stoner pop mentality.
“Everything we do is positive, some of the songs may have a double meaning but there’s nothing political about anything,” he noted. “Our songs are short and sweet but they’re open to interpretation.
Such was the domestic reaction to the release of `The Kids Will Know It’s Bulshit’ , that it enterted the Aussie charts at No 1 when released in February, strongly establishing the trio as one of the country’s hot new talents.
Totally in control of their own destiny, the Dune Rats operate their own Ratbag Records label which also acts as an incubator for other promising bands like Skegss. “They (Skegss) are a great new band and it’s great for our label to be incubators for them,” Jansch informed. “There’s a lot of satisfaction in promoting other bands as well as just focusing on your own success.”