Dune Rats approach each day like a truly sick party


What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas, at least where the permanently wasted Australian lunatics known as Dune Rats are concerned. Reached in Sin City after what’s been by all accounts an epic two-day binge, bassist Brett Jansh is happy to confess he’s not entirely sure what’s become of his bandmates.

“I just woke up and rolled out of the Bellagio, and now I’m lying in the back of the van,” he says, sounding deceptively bright-eyed while talking on his cell. “Everyone else is sort of scattered all over Las Vegas. We’re going to have to drive around and pick up the pieces so we can get the fuck out of here.”

Not a moment too soon, evidently.

“Yesterday, there was kind of no yesterday for me,” Jansh reveals with a laugh. “I walked out of a club at 10 o’clock—10 a.m.—and then had to walk halfway across town to get to the hotel. Then I fell asleep, woke up at 6 o’clock, and then we just partied out again. It’s kind of been a weird shift of living hours.”

As a quick visit to YouTube will confirm, the Brisbane-based DIY kings are no strangers to getting mammothly fucked-up. Consider last year’s video for “Red Light Green Light”, in which singer-guitarist Danny Beusa and drummer-vocalist BC Michaels hunker down at a table with a simple mission: do as many bong hits as possible over the song’s two-and-a-half minutes. Getting an A for effort, they each clock in with around 10, hoovering enough herb to incapacitate Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, and the ghost of Bob Marley.

Just as entertaining are the American Death Trip of Dreams documentary-style videos shot as promos for the band’s first North American tour last year. “Episode 1: The House Party” looks like a Down Under version of FUBAR, highlights including an ecstasy-addled host too wrecked to get up off the living-room floor, a giant backyard bonfire, and a bedroom mini-orgy where Beusa sums things up with “our mate was eating out the ass of some girl with her underwear still on.”

Episode 2 has Dune Rats landing in L.A., promptly filling out a couple of medical-marijuana forms, doing some coke rails, and then partying like Robert Downey, Jr. before rehab. There is no Episode 3 despite one being promised, perhaps because everyone involved got so incapacitated they forgot to turn the camera on.

Somewhere in the middle of the drinking and drugging there is music, with two EPs—Social Atoms and Smile—casting the band as proudly lo-fi purveyors of psychedelicized beach pop. Songs like the electro-tinted “Fuck It” and the gauzy postpunker “All We Do” will make you wonder what the hell you ever saw in Wavves.

Jansh stresses that the Dune Rats are serious about delivering on the musical side of things. A full-length is due this summer, the Aussie describing it as a major step up from the band’s output to date.

“We went to my mom’s house and lived in this little garage for a month where we wrote all the songs,” he says. “Then we recorded the whole thing in seven days. It’s really sick.”

In the meantime, there’s business to take care of, namely finding the other Dune Rats in Vegas.

“We’re making progress—we just located Danny,” Jansh suddenly hollers. “Apparently, he’s about 20 miles out of the city. He’s either face down in the desert, or face down in something else.”

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