Coming off of their 2019 European tour, we had a chance to catch up with Rotterdam band, Neighbours Burning Neighbours, as well as share their latest video “Hesitate”. While, initially their sound comes of tinged with the sounds of an early Sonic Youth, their collectively pulsing nature and dual vocals create a unique cocktail of noise, post-punk and krautrock. The video for “Hesitate” exemplifies this contained chaos best. Their new live video was created together with Dutch music magazine Front, director Marèl Jap-Sam and cinematographer Esther Kool. Utilizing the ocean as a metaphor to illustrate the way in which life may push and pull one in many directions, “Hesitate” revolves around challenging one’s self to embrace the unknown without hinderance. Check out the interview below, and be sure to watch the video at the end!
RW: Could you tell us a little bit about Neighbours Burning Neighbours? Just some general things you would like everyone to know.
NBN: Sure! We’re Neighbours Burning Neighbours from Rotterdam, we started playing together in 2018 and since then we have released two live video’s and played shows in the Netherlands.
We are Alicia Breton Ferrer (Guitar and Vocals), Daanie van den IJssel (Guitar and Vocals), Bart Kalkman (Bass Guitar) and Aram Scheeve (Drums).
Currently we just first European tour. We’ve played some great shows in Maastricht, Freiburg, München, Vienna, Wolow, Wroclaw, Poznan, Warsaw and Berlin!
RW: What is the significance behind the band name?
NBN: It’s actually part of a quote taken from Caitlin Doughty’s book “From Here to Eternity”. After multiple tries to find a name that fitted, this one just clicked with everyone 🙂
Contrary to how the name sounds, we are all pacifists and don’t condone any form of violence. It’s more an observation (of the state of the world today). To us everyone on earth is each others neighbour, whatever their background, belief or habits. Maybe if we saw and treated each other more as neighbours, we’d see the uselessness in all our arguments and fighting.
RM: What’s your creative process like?
NBN: It’s pretty organic and intuitive. We all have our own tastes in music and our own way of playing, we kind of just let it melt together. When we started playing we found that we all have the same sort energy, so that’s what holds it all together.
When we play we just try and let that energy out. During our creative process it sometimes flows together and sometimes it clashes in to each other. That combination makes for interesting sounds and songs, we think.
RW: Could you tell me about your latest release?
NBN: Our latest release is “Hesitate” and we released it as a live video, just like our first song “Lunar Hair Care”.
The video was filmed by Marèl Jap-Sam (director) and Esther Kool (camera). It was precisely choreographed to follow us up close and quickly switch every time someone plays a new part, without hesitation.
It was inspired by the subject of the song, which revolves around challenging yourself to set off into the unknown, without hesitation. When we were working on the song we had difficulties counting it in, because everyone starts on a different timing. So it would only work if we all just jumped in together, without thinking to much about it.
RW: Were their particular records, artists, or experiences that influenced your music?
NBN: Musically we all have our own influences, Daanie (Guitar) for instance loves the minimalistic guitar lines in DIIV and Mothers. Bart (Bass Guitar) loves the basslines in Warpaint. Structurally and soundwise we get inspiration from bands like Girl Band, Housewives, Women and Space Siren.
RW: If you were stranded on an island, what would be the three records you’d bring with you?
NBN: Alicia: Desert Sessions 9/10
Daanie: Big Thief Masterpiece
Aram: Bram Vermeulen Tijd
Bart: Chastity Belt I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone
RW: If you could bring three other items (other than records), what would you bring?
NBN: Alicia: My stuffed animal rabbit Annie
Daanie: Pocketknife (Because I want to survive)
RW: What would your dream concert be? Festival, venue, band, etc?
NBN: Bart: Queen at Wembley Stadium
Alicia: Julie London on a cruise ship (with Cocktails)
Daanie: Siouxsie and the Banshees in caves of Han (in Belgium)
Aram: I really want to go back to the Great Escape in Brighton (and play there)
RW: What are three things you need to make music?
NBN: Instruments, snacks and hugs.
RW: If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
NBN: Alicia: Teleportation, to help me with my long distance relationship
Aram: The ability to talk to dogs
Bart: The ability to grow and change the color of my my hair and nails at will
Daanie: The power to heal people
RW: What do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, and how would you answer it?
NBN: What’s your favorite snack?
Bart: Pizza. Is it a snack? Yes, it is. It’s breakfast, lunch, dinner AND snacks.
Alicia: Sweet and salty popcorn
Daanie: Licorice. All sorts
Aram: Pretzel/Bretzel (sticks)
RW: Do you have any tour tips for someone new to the road?
Get an extra driver and always have enough snacks.
RW: How do you find alone time on tour?
NBN: In the shower and on the toilet.
But we are enjoying our company so much this tour, that nobody’s really craving away time 🙂
RW: If you could soundtrack any film, what would it be and what would you do for it?
NBN: James Bond.
RW: What would your SoundCloud rapper name be?
RW: Gucci or Goodwill and why?
NBN: Gucci from Goodwill.
RW: What records are essential to a good music education?
NBN: Any record, all music can inspire and educate.
RW: What is your favorite audio format (mp3, cassette, CD, vinyl, etc.) and why?
NBN: Cassettes and Vinyl, because we love artwork.
RW: Famous last words?
Be sure to watch the video for “Hesitate” down below!