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Dune Rats : The Waxx Lyrical Interview

You're well across it by now - Dunies' new album Hurry Up And Wait is our March Record of The Month and it has our club frothing. We got on the phone to Brett (centre) from the band to chat vinyl, band meetings and how they got K. Flay, two members of Blink 182 and a member of Violent Soho on the record.


WL: G'day Brett, aside from this pesky interview what are you doing today?

Brett: We're taking out all the bands and crew from the tour we just finished on a rusty old boat past a bunch of shipping containers and factories in Docklands in Melbourne, all dressed in black for an after tour party, or as we are calling it today; the celebration of the life of a funeral party. Cos the tour is dead.

WL: We chose your new album Hurry Up And Wait, for our record of the month. This means that suddenly a lot of extra Aussies that may not know your tunes get your record in the mail this month - given your frothy young audience, how do you reckon your music will strike new listeners?

B: If they are old, hopefully, they turn into old frothers and start to say "yew" heaps and headbanging in the car driving spinning their records in the car 'cause old people have record players in their cars.

WL: You're one of the most hard-working, innovative and ambitious bands in the country - how does a band meeting look? And who has all the amazing ideas for merch, for promo for stage shows, etc?

B: We use those funny face filters on four-way video calls, laugh a stack, try to do some work, then laugh again.. probably why our next song is gonna be called “Thong Face Sitting On The Toilet”. But usually, the inception for ideas with the stage show or Dunies TV always stems from us all not holding back any idea as stupid as they may sound and seeing what sticks.

WL: What does pressing your music to vinyl for album releases actually mean to you? Is it a sonic thing, a merch thing or a band desire?

B: I guess it’s a piece of everything. We have tried to always make albums in the way an LP should be listened to as a whole and how it's a bit of a cheat to jump Into track four / side A. On our last record, we got to do our first picture disc which uses a tricky layout of the artwork in a spinning type or direction that when it’s viewed at a special frame rate creates this amazing animation of artwork which moves in all these cool directions and brings the record to life on the platter which makes another sick way to sit down next to your record player and go on the journey with the record in both senses.

WL: Where did you get the idea for that crazy-amazing wax design?

B: We were thinking of ways to make the picture disc the best it could and with already having the art direction for the sleeve we wanted to make the rat in the wheel come to life and be a real element of the album and it's the title. Our art dude Lee McConnell and us had a brainstorm and we got to the idea of things that run out of time or go in a forever circle so the little dynamites and egg timers came up and then once they were put down flat on the vinyl. it gets like spread on some kinda crazy mathematics equation and springs to life!

WL: If you had your way and this physical record could land in anyone's hands, who would it be and why?

B: Tom Delonge. In this season of Dunies TV the episodes follow us three dudes trying to get the album into space to beat this alien that is trying to blow up the earth. The alien villain is named Tom Blerone and it’s Tom Delonge's head on a body made of Toblerone. We get it up to him in the end but the CD is scratched ... haha check it out.

WL: We've read the story about you heading overseas to work with the big gun producers, but ended up coming home to work with your mate James Tidswell - how'd that process go?

B: Just like a bricklayer builds a wall a piece at a time, that’s what we did In the studio with James, it’s just that our bricks were empty boxes of beer. We made a pretty big wall! We took like a month to record it going pretty easy and never stressing too much and Tidswell was an integral part of that chilled direction of recording. There was always a task to be chipping away on in the studio but we were also chowing down a few chippies and drinks at the BBQ every day too.

WL: How great that you managed to get K. Flay on the record! Was there anyone else you approached but couldn't get over the line?

B: Yeah and K.Flay did such a wicked job with her attacky vocal lines on "Stupid Is As Stupid Does." When we were writing in LA we spoke to Travis Barker on the phone but he just threw down a dick joke about saying that Australia has a bad case of “lickmah” and then he say “balls”! So we almost (kinda) got Travis on the record, and Mark Hoppus too. But he said he was busy that day haha

WL: Who's the strangest reference you'll admit to using on the record?

B: A couple times when we would be talking to someone prior to getting in the studio and the question, "Ahhhhh what are some references of the direction?" We would all just go, "Ummmm, we dunno!" Nirvana, Blink, Green Day - we just like the obvious big influencers of most rock and punk music, otherwise it’s too particular to lean on and less the band in its own way.

WL: What else do we need to know?

B: It's by far the funniest record in every sense we have created - from the crazy songwriting trips to LA and then coming back to record it with a friend. The translation of the music in our dream art direction and delivery across the different ways of pressing the album to the album tour we have just finished that was so monstrous, we got to bring the album to life and it was fucken awsome to see everyone vibe out on it so hard, the mosh was heaaaaving !!

WL: Hey, thanks for your time Brett!

B: Cheers! YEW!

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