2017 is looking to be a massive year for the Dune Squad with a killer new album about to drop on February 3rd before they embark on what will probably be their biggest and loosest headline tour to date with Skegss and Gooch Palms.
We sat down with all-round bloody legend BC Michaels to hear his thoughts on the chaos and carnage of the last few years of the Dune Rats.
Congrats on the new album BC, it’s so sick! Now that this is the Dunies second full-length album, do you miss the old days where you would just ping out an EP or a track here or there, or do you prefer releasing full albums?
Well that was our original plan, we were just going to put out an EP and then we had too many songs and we didn’t want to chuck any out, so we figured we’d do a mini album. But then we just thought, “fuck it, let’s just go back in and write a whole bunch more and then do another recording session.” So we basically recorded 18 tracks but wrote more than that and picked the best 11.
How did you end up working with Zach Carper from FIDLAR on this one?
We toured with FIDLAR in 2013 for some Splendour side shows and then we toyed with the idea of working with him because he’d done some producing and recording with Kiss Chasey years ago and has a bunch of American bands he’s worked with. Then he offered us the chance to tour with him in America for a couple of months and we played a million shows with him.
We wrote ‘Bullshit’ in an RV at, like 2 in the morning after a show and wrote other bits and pieces here and there on the road with him. We went out to Joshua Tree for a week and tried to write as many songs as we could and ended up going to the studio together and recorded a bunch of tracks and that became the album.
What kind of influence did he have on the sound of the album?
We wanted to make an album that we could replicate live and Zach challenged that by saying, “You should just make something that sounds the best and something that people can constantly listen to.” Then we kind of push and pulled on the different things we wanted.
So he influenced it that way. We made it sound as good as it could on the CD but now we’re trying to replicate it live and we’re getting there and it’s coming together, so we’re getting the best of both worlds in that sense.
There’s a track on the new album ‘Never Going To get High’ which sounds like a bit of a cautionary tale. Where did that one come from? Does it mean the Dunies’ notorious love for the occasional jazz cigarette is changing?
For the other guys, it’s not. For me, it has. I ended up having a drug-induced psychosis a few years back, just before we recorded the last album. So I can’t really do psychedelics anymore. I’ve never really spoken about that before.
What was the story behind that?
It went down at Brisbane airport. It was pretty hectic. The federal police were there and it wasn’t too good. I don’t know how much I want to go into detail about it, but I ended up writing a song about having to stop smoking pot and doing it because you have to stop smoking pot, not because you want to.
So that song comes directly from you, does it?
Yeah, I mean, we were all writing the lyrics but I’d give a fucking million dollars to smoke bongs all day, every day again. I have nothing against weed.
You’re about to head out on the biggest headline tour you’ve ever done with Skegss and Gooch Palms. What’s it going to be like hitting the road with them compared to being on the road with Violent Soho and DZ Deathrays?
Good question. What’s it going to be like? Skegss are more of a bunch of smart-arses than Soho and DZ. We toured with DZ last year through UK, Europe and Canada. That was just chill. We’ve started touring with them over six years ago so we’re already used to them.
I’m not sure what it’ll be like, we’ll have to find out. We’ll see… we’ll see how it goes.
You sound kind of apprehensive about it.
Well, on the Soho tour everyone was getting pretty loose and I can’t imagine it will be any different with Skegss. I don’t know if it can get anymore insane because, fuck, I don’t know how much more loose it can get.
I’ve been told we can expect to see Season 2 of Dunies TV this year. I think Dunies TV Season 1 is where I first saw the shoey. Is there another punishment on the road that you guys have come up with that we might see in Season 2?
I think we’re hanging up the boots for the shoeys.
Why is that?
It’s gotten out of hand. It’s just shoey galore everywhere. Everyone’s drinking out of shoes. We stole that from Luca Brasi, that’s not our thing, but they don’t even do shoeys anymore. It’s fucking gross. We stopped doing shoeys ourselves. We just get other people on stage to the shoeys.
We’ve recorded a bunch of stuff over the last album cycle and there’s a bunch of funny stuff in there. The guy who edits it is good at finding the nuggets of gold. We always come up with stupid shit to pass the time. When we’re touring, 23 hours of the day is spent sitting around trying to entertain ourselves and putting it on camera so we can hopefully entertain others.
Some of your fans have got ‘Scott Green’ tattoos to celebrate the new single. Have you got yours yet?
I won’t get a ‘Scott Green’ tatt. That whole tattoo thing started because Danny, Brett and I got stick and poke Dunies tattoos in South Africa and made a tour poster out of it. Then everyone started getting ‘Dunies’ tattoos and that snowballed into people getting ‘Bullshit’ tattoos and ‘Scott Green’ tattoos.
I dunno, fuck. I dunno if I’d get a ‘Scott Green’ tattoo. I could get an album related tattoo, like the album artwork.
The ice-cream would look sick.
Yeah, that’s a good idea. I might get a small ice cream on my body somewhere because I like this album. Even if it comes out and other people think it’s shit, I like it.
It’s a great album. You don’t need to be worried about that.
We’ll see how it goes. There’s always a couple of fuckwits out there who like to say you’re the worst fucking person for making a sound out of a piece of fucking wood. But I don’t give a fuck. They have a go at you for just having a laugh. Danny didn’t even play guitar when we started the band.
What’s the most fucked thing you’ve seen at your shows recently?
I’m not sure what the most fucked thing was, but we played this show the other day and before the last two songs of the set we got this young kid up on stage to play whatever he wanted and he played ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. The whole crowd started jumping for this kid who was shredding ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and I was on drums. I’m sure that kid got laid at his campsite later that night.
The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit is out Friday 3rd Feb via Warner Music. Grab yourself a copy here. They’re also playing Laneway Festival and touring nationally in March.