Dune Rats have seemingly spent pretty much the whole of 2016 on the road. They’ve played a huge tour with Violent Soho and DZ Deathrays and played festival after festival – but they’ve actually spent a heap of time working on new music too and have recently spent time in the studio with DZ Deathrays and Drapht.
2016 also birthed their biggest hit to date; the impossibly catchy and relatable Bullshit – which was followed up with arguably the best music video of the year and it got so big that even Grouplove covered the track for triple j’s Like A Version.
But if you thought they might be about to slow down you’d be dead wrong. This Brisbane act is loving every minute of living their passion – and now they’ve just been announced on the lineup for New Years’ festival Beyond The Valley.
We managed to convince drummer BC Michaels to take a few minutes out of his hectic schedule to have a chat to us about how much how much fun it is to tour as Dune Rats, getting flown to Mexico to collaborate with Drapht, and that 10/10 music video for Bullshit.
Music Feeds: You guys have had a huge year so far, are you guys having a bit of a rest at the moment or what’s been going on?
BC Michaels: We had two days off, yesterday and the day before – and it’s shaping up to be a busy end of the year. We didn’t actually plan on doing all that much this year and then a bunch of things popped up; we were just going to be working on new music. I love being on the road a lot, so do the other boys. It kicks the shit out of most other things, it’s good fun; having a laugh, meeting new people, playing tunes. It’s not too bad at all. Better than a kick in the teeth.
MF: There was some touring footage released from the tour with Violent Soho and DZ Deathrays of you guys getting pretty loose on tour. Is that an accurate representation of what touring is generally like for you guys?
BCM: I guess yeah. You know, on the weekend when you go out and have a fun time; that’s what we were doing on the Soho tour – just having a weekend. Then they filmed a bit of it. We just like to have as much fun as we can I guess. We were touring with guys who are our friends as well, just having a blast. When we tour it’s mostly us having a good time and that video represented that.
MF: I think more than anything the vibe that everyone gets from you guys from your music and when you’re recording is that you’re having an awesome time. Is it pretty important for you guys that you are making music with positive vibes throughout it?
BCM: I don’t think that you should make music that makes other people feel depressed and leave without some kind of uplifting thing in the music. What’s the point in that? I think it’s good to make music that makes you and other people feel better. I don’t know if it’s a real conscious thing that we talk about but if we find ourselves writing a tune that makes us feel like shit, we probably won’t release it – even though it might get a bit of shit off the liver for a certain amount of time. There’s not real point; it just makes you and other people feel like shit.
MF: Bullshit has been a massive comeback release for you guys this year. We also heard you guys were making music with good mates DZ Deathrays recently too; is there much else that’s been written that we can expect to hear anytime soon?
BCM: I hope so, we gave it a little crack and we’re going to be in each other’s pockets for a couple of months so it’ll be sick if we could churn something out with them. I’d love to because then it’d give us something else to play with them on stage for this tour. I reckon we’ll have another song out this year, whether it’s with DZ or not, which will be sick. At least one more song out this year.
MF: You guys worked on music with Drapht earlier this year as well. What was that like?
BCM: He’s a dude, he’s a legend. Hadn’t met him before and we’d never really collaborated with anyone before so we were like ‘yeah, sure we’ll give it a shot.’ We met him in the studio to do the chorus for the song, then went out to dinner. I went to Groovin The Moo with him as well, and met up with him for a few times for dinner and drinks – then we became pretty good friends, and he offered to fly us to Mexico with him just casually. We were like ‘fuck yeah let’s do it.’ It was just unreal. I still call him up all the time and have a yarn about whatever, he’s a good dude. A stand-up bloke.
MF: Who else do you think you guys would like to collaborate with in the future?
BCM: I dunno, but I’ve been listening to heaps of Frenzal Rhomb recently and doing something with them would be sick. Or actually, maybe it’d just be better to let them be Frenzal Rhomb and let us do our thing. It’s kind of the same with Violent Soho; it’d be sick to do something with them but I think it’d just be best for them to be them and us to do us. Maybe Gooch Palms.
MF: The clip for Bullshit is such a fantastic piece of video. Tell us about how it came together?
BCM: It actually started out with us trying to con someone into giving us heaps of money to go to Bali; and film the clip in a skate bowl, just having skaters and having a holiday out of it instead of actually spending heaps of money on a serious concept. Then that didn’t quite work out. So we thought why don’t we just do a bunch of fun stuff and get all our mates involved. And we did that, and it was fun. It just beat doing one of those clips where you spend heaps of money on doing something that no one enjoys watching or making.
MF: Did you catch that cover Grouplove did for Like A Version? What were your thoughts?
BCM: I reckon it was cool that they gave it a crack. I like watching bands do the Like A Version thing but I always notice that people are really critical in the comments section on YouTube. I just feel like if someone’s going to make soundwaves with bits of wood, using their mouth and other fuckin’ instruments, then what’s the fuckin’ point in making them feel like shit and bringing bad vibes in by saying “these cunts are fucked, fuck them, go and die.” Grouplove played the song and gave it a crack; and it looks like they had fun – I’m not going to rip them to shreds like some people do. If you don’t like it then watch something else.
MF: You guys have locked in a slot for Beyond the Valley. For anyone that caught you on the Violent Soho tour or at Splendour – can we pretty much expect more of the same?
BCM: Well as I said we’ve been working on new music that we want to release, so if we can get our shit together, which I think we will; it’d be sick to play some newly released music. We haven’t organised it but it would be sick to get together with some of the other legends on the bill and do something that’s really fun and entertaining. We’ll see how it goes.
Dune Rats are currently touring internationally and will be back in Australia for string of festival appearances including a spot on the Beyond The Valley lineup.
Beyond The Valley 2016
Wednesday, 28th December – Sunday, 1st January 2016
Lardner Park, Warragul
Tickets: Beyond The Valley