13 Questions

13 Questions with Dune Boy

Following the release of his debut album, the Liverpool-based songwriter answers our 13 questions.

While there are many troubadours dotted around Merseyside, some very good, others not so great, Sebastian Westwood is most certainly in the former.

Operating under the moniker of Dune Boy, on his debut full-length We Can Go There If You Want To?, Westwood parts with the kind of storytelling that mixes slacker reverence with that open sun roof sway.

“How does it feel to never have to lose” he sings on opening song, Happiness (Is a Place on Earth). With a kind of optimism that seemingly holds no currency, Westwood almost has the world in his hands.

However it all comes back down to earth on album highlight, Pet Death, as Westwood sings, “I fell asleep on the tram/Now I’m lost in Wigan”. There’s plenty of these observations throughout We Can Go There If You Want To?, as Westwood offers those kind of real life snapshots that blend humour with the mundane.

From the breezy All the While and elusively atmospheric It’ll Take Some Time – the kind of song that should have been used as a backdrop to a scene in After Life – to the Morricone-tinged When You’re Lost, it’s evident that Westwood is the kind of artist whereby songs just come easy to him.

Seamless, unobtrusive and, well… just really nice, We Can Go There If You Want To? is a fine debut LP and arguably one of the best to come out of Liverpool this year. Bill Ryder-Jones fans may have just found their new local hero.

Following the release of We Can Go There If You Want To?, Westwood took part in our 13 Questions feature.

13 Questions with Puzzle

1. Can you give us a bit of history on how Dune Boy started?

Sebastian Westwood: “I’ve been recording music for a long time now and Dune Boy is the moniker I’ve been using after a series of many truly awful names. Home recording has always been a feature of my music, however I’ve recently begun to collaborate with more people during the recording process and have also begun recording occasionally in studios.”

2. Your new album, We Can Go There If You Want To? is out now. Can you tell us about the process of writing and recording these songs?

SW: “I started the album in the 2020 lockdown and ended up writing and recording about 25 finished tunes. I then took these tunes to producer/music genius Paul Rafferty; me and Paul then began to gradually work on tracks and piece the album together, while editing the songs and adding overdubs where needed, the album was then finally mixed by Paul, before being mastered by Stephen Kerrison

3. There’s a real diaristic feel to your songs. Was that the intention?

SW: “Yeah, I can definitely see that, I think because I’m always trying to collect new ideas for songs, the idea of them being a snapshot of a time or mind frame I was in, in a similar way to how a diary can be, is definitely true.”

Polexia! Interview: “We actually have an eerily similar taste in music”

4. It feels like your influences are both past and present. Not a lot of artists can really get that across but I feel like you do? Would that be accurate in saying?

SW: “Yeah, I think this is definitely true. I’ve never really listened to one type of music and when I was writing the album I mainly listened to electronic music as I found it an interesting break from days of recording guitars. Also when I’m writing music I find the ideas either appear in my head or tend to fall out of the guitar while I’m strumming it and I don’t normally tend to think about other references until the production/mixing part of the process.” 

5. You mentioned Stephen Kerrison. How did collaboration with him come up?

SW: “I met Stephen about two years ago when I needed someone to master a song I’d recently finished. I found his name on the credits of an album by Ancient Plastix, a moniker of Paul Rafferty, who Stephen later introduced me to, which led to me working on the entire album with him. Ste is an absolute sweetheart and working on the album with him was a dream.”

Dune Boy - We Can Go There If You Want?

6. The artwork really suits these songs, too. Can you tell us about it?

SW: “The artwork was all done by Kris Brikmanis, a close friend of mine and a really talented artist. I always really loved his art for a long time before working on the album and always like how it is always slightly abstract and never fully gives everything away, so it made sense for me to ask him to do the artwork for the album.”

7. Some fun questions now: do you have any hobbies outside of music?

SW: “Outside of music I work as a baker and really enjoy that as a job. Besides that I tend to just record music constantly really.”

8. Favourite boxset over the last 18 months? 

SW: “To be honest I’m a really bad TV viewer, it’s taken me almost two and a half years to watch The Wire and I’ve still not finished it. But in terms of films, I think my favourite is probably Paris, Texas, I saw it at the cinema a few weeks back and it still moves me just as much as ever.”

9. What was the last book you read?

SW: “The last book I read was The Life Inside by Andy West and it was a really incredible read. I’ve been re-reading all of Rob Doyle’s books recently as well. I really love his work and can’t wait to see what he does next.”

Sun 13’s Albums Quarterly #7

10. Favourite records so far in 2022?

SW: “I think the record I’ve listened to most is the self-titled by the group Fresh Pepper, it’s a pretty strange album on first listen, it’s got some really beautiful songwriting and jazzy instrumentation. It’s also a concept album about working restaurant jobs, which is kind of cool. I also heard the new Cass McCombs album yesterday which sounded great.”

11. Vinyl, CD or streaming?

SW: “Ideally vinyl as I think it’s the best music listening experience. However, I don’t blame anyone for listening to music on a streaming app nowadays, as it’s so easy and cheap to do and it’s what I listen to music on mostly.”

12. Now your album is out there, what’s the plan? Have you got any shows booked?

SW: “I’ve got some really exciting stuff to announce in the future, especially in regards to this new album, which is going to be re-appearing at a future date in a new way. I’m also going on tour this month across the U.K. for the first time, which I’m really excited for.”

13. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Any last words?

SW: “The albums out now if people would like to listen to it.”

We Can Go There If You Want To is out now. Purchase from Bandcamp.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

2 replies on “13 Questions with Dune Boy”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s