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Track-by-Track: Dutch Alt-Rockers Queen’s Pleasure Expound Upon Their Album ‘Words To Live By, Suits To Die In’

In honour of today’s release of ‘Words To Live By, Suits To Die In,’ we connected with Dutch alt-rock band Queen’s Pleasure for a track-by-track rundown of their new Excelsior Recordings release.



What’s all the fuss about? Well, it’s all that Panic From Dublin coming courtesy rock n’ rollers Queen’s Pleasure. The Amsterdam-based band released their Panic From Dublin EP this past spring, and are now here to follow it up with their debut full-length record, Words To Live By, Suits To Die In today, via both Bloomer Records and Excelsior Recordings.

Mature beyond their years, the quartet of early 20 somethings have splendidly crafted an ambitious collection of songs that feature the modern indie alternative rock flavour of The Arctic Monkeys and Dandy Warhols, along with the supercharged power of The Ramones, and that sombre touch of The Smiths. The riotous drums and distorted riffs of Panic From Dublin are again a featured element on display here, sounding more put together and better aligned than ever before.

In honour of today’s release of Words To Live By, Suits To Die In, we connected with Queen’s Pleasure for an exclusive track-by-track rundown of each song on the album where they take you to the time, place, and circumstances in which each song was written and recorded.

1. “Niels”

Teun Putker: “This song came from Jelmer van Os (bass) toying around with this bass synth pedal he has. He stumbled upon a weird sound that was an octave below, filters and some other fun stuff. We just jammed around with a simple groove for ages and over the course of a couple of months we finally put the pieces together and made it into a ‘real’ song. We always open our shows with this song because the intro sounds so menacing and always has some kind of impact. On the bridge section I wanted it to sound like the freak-out on ‘Whole Lotta Love’ so I did some crazy stuff with a free Theremin app.”

2. “Empty Occasion

Putker: “For as long as I’ve had a smartphone I’ve been recording different ideas for songs, riffs, and chord progressions on the voice memos application. I must have like a thousand little recordings by now and our manager knows that. So as we were finishing up the album, he asked me to go through all my old voice memos to see if there was anything in there that could turn into a new Queen’s Pleasure song. I brought five of my best ones to the group among which was the opening riff to this song. Everybody dug that Robert Fripp-inspired guitar line the moment we played together and so it turned into this song we really love.”

3. “Words To Live By, Suits To Die In”

Putker: “One of our favourites, for sure. I remember (lead singer) Jurre (Otto) showing us the lyrics in which he had written this line ‘words to live by and suits to die in.’ We all immediately jumped up and were like, ‘Dude, that has to be the title of the record.’ Fun fact: I totally ripped off the little accents that are in Pearl Jam’s ‘Alive’ around 0:25 for the pre-chorus of this song.”

Otto: “For me the song is about seeing things like they are, the cruelty of the people of this world, and witnessing people doing bad things. But also to check if I am still a good person and if the people around me are sincere.”

4. “Alex Sender”

Putker: “This song started with me trying to rip off the chord progression to John Frusciante’s ‘Going Inside.’ Eventually it turned into this groovy, zingy little number that has some really funky and almost but not quite syncopated rhythms in the second verse.”

Otto: “When I wrote the lyrics I was working at this bar in my hometown and I would see people drinking there who were so self-obsessed and so close minded. But they were also cool in a way, at least I thought so. I wanted to get to know them, and quickly found out they weren’t, because having such a big ego and hate for the world is such a bad thing.”

Artwork for ‘Words To Live By, Suits To Die In’ by Queen’s Pleasure

5. “Panic From Dublin”

Putker: “When we were recording in England I was playing around on this Danelectro baritone-guitar that was laying around in the studio and eventually started playing something resembling the opening riff of ‘Panic From Dublin.’ I quickly got Jurre to sit with me to work out some melodies. Then we brought it to the band where (drummer) Sal (Rubinstein) instinctively started playing that banging drum beat you hear in the intro. By the way, that distorted drum sound was created using a toy cassette recorder, which was pretty fun.”

Otto: “When we wrote this song in England I was struggling with Teun. I didn’t really know how to get to him and how to help him. So I put all this confusion and all this feelings for him in these lyrics. When we play it in the band I still feel that emotion, but I also feel the love for him.”

6. “Nico 1995”

Putker: “A song I originally wrote for a school assignment. But, I didn’t feel quite comfortable singing on it so I brought it to the guys to see what they thought. They all quickly created a vibe I would have never come up with myself. The chord progression in the outro is heavily inspired by the slow section in Radiohead’s ‘Paranoid Android.’”

Otto: “The lyrics are about my grandparents, that’s all I’m going to say about it. It’s a bit personal, you know. The vocal melody was inspired by lullaby songs and I really wanted get a more conversation vibe.”

7. “Big Boys Loan”

Putker: “One of the few songs where the bassline was the starting point. Jelmer came into the rehearsal space with that opening riff and we all loved it. While we were working there were a couple of moments we were like, ‘Fuck, we can’t do this, it’s way too cheesy and poppy for us.’ But we powered through and it turned into a song we’re all very proud of. The outro has a not-so-subtle nod to a hit song by the band our manager was in.”

Otto: “My sisters did an exchange program in the U.S.A. and I really had the feeling I wanted to do that too but I was unable to… I wanted to escape the memories here and start over, and also I wanted to relive some old memories, but with new people.”

8. “Starlet”

Putker: “A song named after the car Jurre borrows from his grandma. This song has a very explosive energy live which was very hard to recreate in the studio. It’s one of the most takes we have ever done on a track.”

Otto: “Yes, the lyrics are about the car I borrow, a Toyota Starlet. I kind of wrote it like the car was a girl or something and later I found out that the definition of starlet means a girl who wants to make it in Hollywood. And I think my car can relate.”

9. “Come Around”

Putker: “This song is one of our older songs, we played it at our very first gig in 2016. It’s the only tune that survived from that era. It just stuck with us because it has such a melancholic vibe to it which is something that we miss in some of our other songs.”

Otto: “For me, the lyrics started to transform into a whole different story a few years back and I guess the feeling behind it will always change for me. It’s about loving, it’s about missing people, but ultimately it’s about me.”

Putker: “I had always wanted to start a song with an augmented chord. When Sal started playing that drum beat out of the blue in rehearsal, I saw the perfect opportunity. After that, the song came together pretty quickly. When we play live, we always play this as our last song because it’s just the perfect song to create a mosh pit with.”

11. “How It Feels”

Putker: “This is one of the most complicated riffs I’ve ever written, it took me ages to play it somewhat correctly. Around the time we wrote this, I was studying ‘60s backing vocals a lot which is something that really shines through on this track, I think.”

Otto: “On the track, I struggle and attempt to make sense of how imbalanced and unfair the world can be, and that everyone doesn’t get the same start in life. I feel I’m really lucky in life, some people are treated so unfairly.”

12. “To Mirror”

Putker: “A friend of mine showed me this guitar technique where you play chords in a way I had never seen. The first thing I wrote with that concept were the chords to this song. After that, this song took a long time to get to the place it is on the record. The structure of this song had been turned upside down several times until we got to the version that’s on the record. The production on this song is my favourite on the whole record, for sure. My  classmate Philip ‘Maestro’ Kars plays some awesome Hammond organ on the outro of this track. Also, this track has three (!) guitar solos, all played live.”