Dune Rats indie surf pop makes splash in US

Ben Smith

Brisbane band Dune Rats are making a name for themselves on the international stage, having recently returned from a one-month tour of the USA. Dune Rats

The indie-surf-power-pop two-piece played venues throughout California as well as a number of shows on the east coast, including the CMJ music showcase in New York.

Band mates Danny Beus (guitar and lead vocals) and BC Michaels (drums and backup vocals) found the experience eye-opening.

“It was good to see a few places on the tourist map in the USA, but being over there made me realise how very little I knew about the place,” Beus says.

“It was just amazing, though, everyone we crossed paths with over there got what they want, whenever they wanted it and it’s almost as if they deserve it all.

“[It’s] such a strange place and made me appreciate Australia.”

In the first leg of their American tour, Dune Rats supported punk band Guttermouth alongside fellow support act The Queers.

The east coast leg of the tour was a big success for Dune Rats, who played a number of shows throughout the New York area over a 10-day period.

Dune Rats currently have two EPs under their belt, Sexy Beach and Social Atoms and are planning to release a third EP in the next six months.

Two of their singles – “Pogo” and “F**k it” – have also received a lot of airplay on Triple J, which has helped build their exposure and fan base among the station’s listeners.

The American tour isn’t the first time Dune Rats, who incorporate a low-fi sound mixed with a laid-back attitude in both their music and their on-stage personas, have scored high profile gigs.

Since the band formed in late 2010, they have supported a wide range of prominent acts throughout Australia, including The Vines, The Grates, Best Coast, The Drums, The Cults, Bleeding Knees Club and DZ Deathrays.

“Best Coast has been one of the best bands to tour with,” Beus says.

“This tour in particular started making people see Dune Rats, so it probably won’t surprise, but the tour itself was fun.

“The guys were awesome as people and even nearly a year on since the tour with them, they helped us out in the USA,” he says.

Before heading over to the US, the two-piece completed a national tour in supporting prominent Melbourne band Children Collide, which increased their exposure in the Australian music scene even further.

“It was a lot of shows, I think we did 30 shows in 35 days, so for us it was just good to see what we can do live-wise,” Beus says.

“Playing with Children Collide was awesome – the guys, their crew and the crowds – it was insane.”

“I think most people were there for a good time, but there were a few shows where the crowd would take over security or just smash the stage, it was wild.”

The national tour also gave Dune Rats the opportunity to develop a low- budget film clip at one of their final shows, which was fittingly filmed with an iPhone, in line with their ongoing low-fi image.

With so many successes in their short history, bigger and better things may be yet to come for Dune Rats.

Leave a Reply