Talking Politics and Change with the Dunes

The Dunes Live By: Sheena Lyonnais
October 17, 2008

Arts and culture may have been a hot topic during this week’s federal election, but it is just one of the issues that is always on the forefront of the Dunes’ vocalist/guitarist Kevin Pullen’s mind.  This almost scholarly approach to politics meets radio-friendly music has began painting an intelligent portrait of a Toronto band that demands a revolution.

This mindset has them openly supporting American Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign for change, but when it comes to Canadian politics Pullen is not convinced.

Toronto Band The Dunes at Indieweek“What’s going on right here is nothing.  There are no good choices in this country as it sits right now,” Pullen said. “In the States, the last eight years of government By George Bush were absolutely brutal.  Go watch the movie Zeitgeist or Loose Change.  The world does need a change and we need to rethink and relearn everything we’re doing right now because if we keep going at this rate we’re not going to be around very long.”

This very approach seems to have inspired their new song “iChange,” which may as well be the soundtrack to either Obama’s campaign or one of Bono’s many philanthropy projects.  The name itself plays on the modern notion of iculture, where everything is about technology, cliques, access and self-involvement and society is becoming fragmented as a result.

“It’s important to realize what is guiding our lives.  Is it us or is it the television we watch or is it the government and society that we live in?” Pullen said.  “We could relearn a lot of ways that we think about things these days.  What we see on TV is tons of sex and betrayal amongst friends and that’s not the way it goes.  How are you supposed to find happiness and peace in life if that is what you’re subjected to every day?”

The Dunes Play Indieweek 2008The Dunes have been experiencing some changes as well.  Bassist Ahmed Grim recently joined the line-up after their old bassist left to move on with his life.  Guitarist Alistar Heath and drummer Paul Barry are still there, but keyboardist/organist/trumpeter Jeremy Panda has recently joined to fill out the sound onstage and on their unreleased new album.

“I think I wanted to do it on the first record as well because it makes the song so much fuller,” Pullen said.  “We wanted to expand our horizons and realize our dreams musically by taking a few more risks and filling out the songs more.”

Fans will have to wait for the new album Subject to Change.  The second full-length release from the Dunes was completed in March and produced by renown indie-engineer Siegfried Meier, but has been pushed due to record label and management complications. 

“We’ve been fighting to get this out.  Word now is it is going to be out in 2009, but they haven’t given us the details on it yet,” Pullen said.

Toronto Band The DunesUntil then, new tracks can be found at .  You can also check out their solid rock sound live at one of their upcoming shows:

October 31, 2008 (Halloween) at Sgt Peppers in Markham
November 8, 2008 at the El Mocambo
December 13, 2008 (the Dunes annual Christmas Party with Big Ideas and Shortwave) at the El Mocambo


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