Times New Dutchman #4: Neighbours Burning Neighbours

An interview with the Rotterdam post-punkers
Thu 23 May '19

Boasting a dissonant, guitar-driven sound, and with a first European tour under their belt, Neighbours Burning Neighbours are set to become an integral part of the Rotterdam music scene. Whilst an official release is still yet to appear, fans have familiarised themselves with the band’s dual vocal sound through video sessions available on YouTube. This week they’re playing their first show at WORM, supporting London’s experimental indie outfit, Housewives. In the build up to the show, we decided to find out how it all began, and where it’s going next…

You’ve had success individually as part of other Rotterdam based bands (Cusack, The Sweet Release of Death), how did Neighbours Burning Neighbours come about, and where did the name come from?

Well, some of us know each other from the music scene and others have been friends for a while. Everybody had already played with each other in one way or another, for example with Cusack or in other, more short lived, projects.

But Bart and Alicia, who have been friends for a long time now, never really made music together. When they decided to start playing together we all kind of got drawn back to each other. It started out with Bart, Alicia and Aram, which clicked right away. When Daanie joined, in 2018, it all fell in to place and we became Neighbours Burning Neighbours.

The name Neighbours Burning Neighbours comes from a quote in Caitlin Doughty’s book ‘From Here to Eternity,’ which explores how different cultures care for the dead. The combination of words just stood out to us, but we definitely don’t condone any form of violence, we’re pacifists. To us it’s more an observation of the state of the world today. Everyone on earth is each others neighbour, whatever their background, belief or habits. Maybe if we treated each other more as neighbours, we’d see the uselessness in all our arguments and fighting.

Despite being a relatively new band, you seem to already have a fully formed sound. Was this something that required a lot of work, or did it come about naturally?

Probably a bit of both. The energy was there straight away, when we first started playing. Everyone has had time to develop their own personal sound, with the other bands they play in or have played in, so when we came together we were already equipped with a lot of ideas and it just flowed out naturally.

A wider audience might not immediately associate Rotterdam with guitar music, is that something you’re looking to change?

We love the Rotterdam music scene with all it’s diversity and we’re really happy to be a part of it. We try and do whatever we can to help move it forward. Right now we aren’t actively trying to change things up in the scene though, we’re mainly focussing on creating and playing our music. But if we can open up people’s eyes in the process, to all the cool things happening in Rotterdam, we’re all for that!

You’re playing with Housewives at WORM, how does your music compare to theirs, and what can we expect from the show?

We love Housewives and we’re really excited to play with them. They create these sonic experiences with crazy rhythms and intense build-ups, that don’t seem to follow any predictable rules. That’s probably the biggest inspiration for us. Bands like Housewives help to broaden your perspective on how you can create music and challenge yourself to try something outside of what is familiar to you.

As for the show; we love the energy Housewives bring when they play live, it’s what we aim for as well in our show.

What’s next for the band?

We just finished our first European tour, which was a great experience! We were met with so much love and enthusiasm for the music. It really energised us to just play and tour more and get something recorded so we can share our music with as many people as possible.

Times New Dutchman is written by PR Intern Eddie Smith, with new instalments published at irregular intervals over the coming months.

Neighbours Burning Neighbours support Housewives at WORM on Friday 24th May, 20:30.

Times New Dutchman is written by PR Intern Eddie Smith, with new instalments published at irregular intervals over the coming months.

Times New Dutchman is written by PR Intern Eddie Smith, with new instalments published at irregular intervals over the coming months.