Ratbags making records

From global touring exploits to recently dropping their much anticipated debut long player, Brisbane three piece stoner garage-surf rapscallions Dune Rats have managed to cram a helluva lot into their relatively brief musical existence. Taking a breather following their just finished Australian tour, Anthony Gebhardt catches up with bass player Brett Jansch to talk record labels, family crowd surfing mishaps and future touring wish-lists…
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June was a massive month on the road for the Dune Rats lads. On the back of the release of their self-titled debut record, the guys took on a 10 date tour of Australia, with their rapidly growing rabid fan base ensuring sold out signs across most venues.

Laid back and chatty bass player Brett Jansch elaborates; “I can’t believe how sick the shows were, so many people were having a good time. And the bands that we played with were all great too…and so much gnarly stuff happened! The other night my mum stage dived at our show at The Zoo (in Fortitude Valley). She like busted her collar bone and shit – she even took herself to hospital, she’s the biggest trooper ever! I think my whole family actually crowd surfed during this tour!!” A memorable moment for sure! And as for the musical highlight of the tour; “I had a really good time in Melbourne. The bands we played with were really good friends of ours, and the Corner Hotel is a great venue, I can’t believe it was sold out before we played. And the show was amazing, that was the best fun for sure!”

Having slotted a show in far-flung Ballarat into their most recent tour itinerary, I ask Brett how the band find the vibe of playing to regional audiences as opposed to their potentially more jaded and spoilt for choice capital city brethren.

“Yeah we loved going to Ballarat, the crowds are really amazing and appreciative and it’s sick to go out there through the middle of the week when we were just chilling in Melbourne. Our friend manages the Karova Lounge out there. We’re actually psyched to do some more regional shows pretty soon…figure out some sick places to go like Ballarat haha!”

Following on from the mayhem and killer vibes of the most recent shows ‘The Dunies’ are currently attempting to take the foot off the accelerator for a bit and partake in some much needed rest and relaxation. But according to Brett the rock and roll lifestyle is very much in the blood, so not too much rest for the wicked is on the cards it would seem.

“It’s a bit weird now after the (recent Australian) tour, because I’m already bored! I guess we’re so used to constantly being on the road that’s it’s like – what do we do now?”

Although not too bored to hit the beach, with Brett keen to surf the waves of idyllic Bryon Bay. “Every time I make it to Byron I psych myself up to get into the water. After weeks of being a drunk, washed up person it’s good to get back into living for a bit.”

Impressively for a bunch of young carefrees the band own and run their own record label, the aptly monikered Ratbag Records.

“Ratbag is our record label, which is put out through the distribution of Warner. We’re hopefully gonna be putting out some records by other bands soon, stuff like that. We have so many friends that are making awesome music and if we can put their music out through our own label then it’s like win/win! Now that the tour’s over we can start working on that sort of thing.”

For a band still fairly new on the scene relatively speaking, the guys have managed to tour their music to some impressively far flung and exotic locations – Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Singapore and South Africa to name but a few. But that may just be the tip of the iceberg.

“We’ve all been talking that we want to go to South America, that’s the next place. And Antarctica as well! We want to get to every continent in the world. So if anyone wants to pay for us to go there and play it’d be much appreciated haha!” So any ‘Dunie’ loving musical philanthropists out there, hop to it!

But at the end of the day home is still where the heart is for our intrepid global rock and rollers…

“Oh for sure man, it’s so amazing to come home and play. Going overseas is so awesomely special, we’re so stoked that we’re able to do that.  But doing this current run of gigs showed how awesome it is to tour Australia, it’ll be our best place always!”


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