Dune Rats kick up a dust storm
Bassist Brett Jansch strums the break down to the song “Dalai Lama.”
Singer Danny Beausa smiles eagerly at the crowd waiting for chaos to unfold.
Drummer BC Micheals hits the crash cymbals, igniting the final chorus.
Under the red lights of Calgary’s Nite Owl, the band rhythmically shouts “marijuana” repeatedly over the thick wave of driven bass, guitar, and thunderous drums.
The transfixed crowd moshes and sweats profusely, as each crowd surfer goes for multiple surfs.
The venues speakers are pushed backwards onto the stage as the band slowly becomes one with the crowd.
The self-proclaimed pied pipers of punk rock, Australia’s beloved rag-tag stoner-pop gem, the Dune Rats, are in the building.
“My dad used to just make me play it, and if I didn’t he’d scream at me, so sort of something I’m addressing at the moment,” said Beausa explaining how he got into playing guitar and singing.
“Danny’s dad yelled at me too,” said Micheals.
“He’d yell at Brett too actually, come to think of it,” added Beausa.
The band hails from Brisbane, Australia, and this past February their sophomore album, The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit, spent five-weeks topping the Australian Charts.
The band’s first Canadian tour spanned from coast to coast for April 2017. According to Beausa and Jansch, the highlight up to the Calgary show on April 26 was having, “A good arm-wrestle with this bloke named Damo from Ottawa.”
According to Jansch, there were a “ton of Edmonds” in Edmonton when the band played there on the 25th.
“Ton of Edmonds,” slurred Micheals.
The Dunies said their time in the city was better than expected. They’ve been enjoying Canada, but think that maybe we Canadians should call poutine “chips and gravy” instead.
As for what the band has in store for the future, Beausa said to, “Get money, get heaps of drugs,” and to release their third full-length studio album. The album is already written, recorded and ready for release.
“All the assets are in movement,
“It’s going to be ingested into the market,” said Beausa.
The Dunies said that, “Assets, buy low, sell high, and ‘Pushies,’” were some key buzzwords for fans to keep in mind for the new record.
According to The Dune Rats, their name was inspired by a boat in a harbour they used to work and fish at. The Dunies said they had to make it their own.
“One day Brett came in with this massive bag of fish and chips and I was like ‘you beauty,’” added Micheals to the story.
Jansch interrupted, “I was on this other boat called Greened Out but it was always breaking down, so we just called it,
“Green Doubt,” said all three.
“Better than Unsinkable Two which was my boat,” said Beausa.
“And that’s how the name came about.”
Surf-rock band Hockey Dad, a fellow Australian band hailing from Windang, opened for the Dune Rats. According to drummer Billy Flemming the duo got their name from a Simpsons episode and now they can’t change it.
“We’re stuck with this name forever,” said Flemming.
As to how they ended up on the tour with the Dunies, Flemming said they were, “in America, and the [Dune Rats] said they were going to do a tour here, so we decided to ask.”
“It’s cash in hand,” chimed in Beausa.
“When they saw the cash that we offered them they just said ‘how can we not?’”