Newcastle-based slam stompers Dunes had a great 2017, releasing their debut EP and gaining a reputation for explosive live outings.
Damian Robinson caught up with the three-piece to talk about their new EP and upcoming shows.
Great work with the new Dunes EP, ‘Dunes 2’, which sounds even angrier and more ferocious than normal. Tell us about the EP…
Thank you! We don’t hang about so we were already in the process of writing new material as we’d finished recording the first EP last May/June. We definitely feel like the new songs are a progression from the last EP. One of the main differences was these songs were all written as a three-piece (some of the songs from the first release were written when there were four of us), so there was a bit of stripping back and embellishing what was there and we’ve found our own sound a lot more.
Lead track ‘Everything is Okay’ includes handclaps and, I think, cowbells. Were you trying to expand the normal Dunes sound with this EP?
Yeah. If something suits the song, and we have the capacity to record it, then it’ll end up on the recording. We really wanted to capture a live and lively sound so nothing was off-bounds, to be honest. That said, there were several ‘woos’ and ‘heys’ that ended up sounding ridiculous so they didn’t make it onto the recording; but who knows, we might release a bloopers and outtakes CD one day.
As a whole, the EP feels more confessional than previous Dunes releases. Was this deliberate? And what was your rationale for this?
No, this wasn’t a deliberate decision at all, in terms of the lyrical content anyway. I would say 50% of the lyrical themes and concepts on the EP are more based around phrasing and words that work with the riffs, style and beats opposed to something personal which I feel I need to get off my chest.
Speaking of confessional, what is ‘killing you slowly’ on ‘Black Bridge’?
Cigarettes. An anti-smoking song might be the most un-rock n roll theme for a tune ever recorded but this was going through my head a lot while I worked on the lyrics.
The whole EP feels pumped up and releasing anger towards a certain group of people. Who are the ‘monkeys with too much money’?
The monkeys in question are humans. I’m a big fan of Tom Waits and I stole this from an interview he did years ago. I just liked the imagery linked to that phrase and it fitted the feel of the riffs. That song is definitely the angriest one on the EP and the lyrics are directed at the current Brexit mess and social network driven, fake news/materialistic world we live in.
We’ve seen you a bunch of times in 2017 and have never been disappointed, but when can we see you next?
Thank you – we do try to avoid disappointment where possible. Our next North East gig is our first headline gig at Think Tank? in Newcastle; we’ve got Ashes Or Iron and Creature on the line-up as well who are both mint local bands so it should be a great way to kick off 2018.
Finally, what would a great year look like for Dunes?
A good year for Dunes would be like 2017 but better, which is going to be difficult. We worked really hard last year writing and gigging and were lucky enough to get some amazing support slots with bands like Idles, Red Fang, Monster Magnet, Lionize and Mutation.
Dunes’ new EP, ‘Dunes2’, and details of their future live shows can be found at facebook.com/dunesNCL.