INTERVIEW: Dunes | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Graeme Baty

Easily the region’s best kept secret, ultra-cool guitar gods Dunes have often stood on the outside of the local scene rather than finding ways to force themselves into it. In keeping with their alternative beliefs, it leaves the trio with a mythical reputation as being the type of dangerous outlaws who turn up, plug in, rip the place apart with dangerous riffs, and then split. 

Yet for all of their dirty rock sounds and their greased-back quiffs, the image of Dunes as rebellious, moody figures couldn’t be further from the truth; it turns out they’re just busy.

“We like to work,” confirms vocalist John Davies, further shattering the Dunes reputation as a band always at the centre of a wild party, “and when we work we like to push ourselves into new spaces looking for strong melodies.”

Just as with their reputation, the true essence of Dunes requires some digging; and whilst their core sound may be loud, heavy, stoner rock, ripping the music apart reveals their strongest weapon is their sense of melody. Dunes have the sweet ear-worms to accompany their aggressive, robotic boogie, sounds.

Their soon to be released debut album, Take Me To The Nasties, sees Dunes at their melodic best; a feat noticeable on early singles Denim Casket and the album’s title track. A protestant work rate and strong collaborations have been key to its success. “We work hard together as a three-piece, but we’ve also needed support on the production side to finally create the sounds we’ve been hearing in our heads.  We really wouldn’t get anywhere without the help of those around us.”

we want to be the type of band who people will come to watch and know that our shows are a safe environment

Already chomping at the bit to record new material (“we’re writing the next album already, mainly because we like spending time with each other”) and loving the output from the album (“to have a physical piece of vinyl showcasing the work of the band is surreal”), Davies confirms that Dunes are excited to get on the road to tour the release. “We’ll be doing an instore at HMV in Newcastle, which I’m really excited about as I worked there for ages, and then a launch at Nemix Studio with a bunch of friends.” 

Of central importance though is the environment for their live show. “What I’m most excited about is that we’ve chosen support bands and venues which will help us create a really inclusive environment; Dunes really, at our centre, want to be a band who play songs that people enjoy but also be the type of band who people will come to watch and know that our shows are a safe environment. We’re all family men and we’re all really driven by wanting others to come and enjoy a friendly atmosphere. Our music may be heavy but our shows only work if we know people are enjoying them.”

Looking for the perfect melody, and making sure their gigs are more about having fun than rock posturing, clearly Dunes aren’t interested in a mythic reputation; they’re content to just be known as a great rock band.

Dunes release Take Me To The Nasties via Sapien Records on 6th September. The band play HMV, Newcastle on Friday 6th and Nemix Studio, Newcastle on Saturday 7th September


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