We Are Story Tellers
Today we Spotlight – Queen’s Pleasure. Based in Amsterdam Queen’s Pleasure is a new one for us here so we were excited to check out some new music. Check out the convo we had with the group today and make sure to check out their album Popular now!
We have Jurre Otto on lead vocals, Teun Putker on guitar, Jelmer van Os on bass, and Sal Rubinstein on drums.
Teun: We actually started the band in 2016! We had been playing for four years before we released a single at the beginning of 2020 before the whole pandemic started. That being said, the pandemic made us focus a lot more on our songwriting and inspired us, in a way to make better songs. Songs like “Panic from Dublin” and “Empty Occasion” would have sounded a lot different if we would have had the chance to play them live before releasing them.
Jurre: I think we had a shot at proving ourselves in front of big crowds this summer that we missed because of the COVID situation, that’s what really hindered us in the end. But, I’m sure we’ll get another chance, and otherwise, we just have to keep growing and growing as we have for the past few years.
Teun: My dad had an old bass guitar laying around that I picked up when I was nine years old. I played bass for a couple of years (pretty decently, I might add) before deciding I wanted to sound like Jimi Hendrix and started playing guitar. My earliest influences were mainly blues players like Magic Sam and Otis Rush. After that, I started checking out all the music my dad used to listen to, bands like The Smiths, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Fugazi. Nowadays, I listen to mostly non-guitar-based music.
Jurre: Every time my dad and I would go somewhere by car he would play mainly four artists: Van Morrison, Il Divo, Acda en de Munnik, and Dire Straits. So growing up I mainly listened to those artists. Later, when I got my first phone that had internet access, I discovered so much more music. Arctic Monkeys, The Smiths, and Bob Dylan especially made a big impact on me. Bob Dylan’s lyrics are the main inspiration for my own lyrics.
Teun: I think seeing a lot of the local bands like Tony Clifton, Canshaker Pi, and Electric Motorcombo inspired me to project the same kind of ultra high energy when I’m on stage.
Jurre: A lot of creative people go to Amsterdam to find other artists to make art with. This makes for a unique city with a lot of colors. I also think that when we first started playing, there were so many places we could play. As a band, Amsterdam is a city full of opportunities.
Jurre: When I wrote the lyrics to “How It Feels” I was struggling with how the world works. I realized how lucky I am, but that many people don’t get the same opportunities, especially during this pandemic. It felt so strange to think that if there was a God, why would he do something like this to us, you know? In these lyrics, I criticize the maker of this world, whoever that may be. Also, during the time that we made the song I was listening to Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan, a lot. He’s saying: “How does it feel?”, made such a big impact on me that I wanted to take those lyrics and make them my own. Also “Clicks his high heels” on “Ballad of a Thin Man” really represents the way I look at God, you know? Just sitting there waiting around, not really doing anything.
Jurre: Let us first release the album and maybe after that, we’ll release some music videos. We’re a band that’s really focused on authenticity so we want to keep it close to ourselves and honest. Which is sometimes hard if you want to project it onto other people via music videos.
Teun: That being said, all of our videos have been made by this awesome Dutch photographer Paul Bellaart which is why we tend to not think of anything so he has all the creative freedom he desires. He’s a mad genius and we’re very lucky to work with him. He’s also the one that takes all of our press photos.
Teun: It’s not really something you think about. I personally don’t really care if the music I make sounds currently relevant or not. It just so happens that all of our early rock influences like MC5, The Ramones, and Led Zeppelin shine through in a way that is not distracting or cheesy. Because Jelmer doesn’t really listen to music made before the 1990s, our influences even out each other. If Queen’s Pleasure would have been four guys who only listen to classic rock, we would sound a lot different.
Jurre: Yeah, we don’t think about it really. When we’re all together the music just comes out, and that music happens to be rock. I think the music that we make is relevant because the music is who we are.
Teun: We’re very excited to be playing live again. Connecting with people and feeling the colors that are in the air is a very special thing that we missed greatly. If you come to a Queen’s Pleasure show you can expect four guys playing their hearts out, bouncing off of each other and giving off tons of energy.
Jurre: I like the energy of a big venue, but I also love the intimacy and the struggle of playing in a small café. The best stories come from small gigs. But, I think seeing people dancing, laughing, and singing is why I do what I do and ultimately it doesn’t really matter where that happens.
Teun: We write all the music together and everyone has the same amount of influence on how the tracks turn out. Jurre writes all the lyrics on his own with the occasional help from Jelmer, Sal, and me. As for specific roles in the band; Sal is the ADHD hippity-hop kinda guy, Jelmer is a very poetic and deep soul, Jurre is kind of the dad of the band and I am sort of the mad scientist.
Teun: If Queen’s Pleasure would break up, I would be extremely heartbroken. It’s not something I wanna think about, I’m sorry.
Jurre: We almost broke up a couple times due to some personal issues, mainly with Teun, stuff like substance abuse and mental issues. But we’ve gone through that and we’re still here. So I don’t think we’ll ever split up, these are my best friends and we’ve grown up together. I can’t imagine not playing with these guys.
Teun: By the time this interview is out, we’ll have done our first gig outside of the Netherlands (Antwerp, Belgium to be exact). I don’t really know where else I would desperately want to perform. I do think it would be interesting to play in England to see how they would react to Jurre’s accent.
Jurre: It’s really weird to know that people from all over the world listen to our music. Sometimes I do wonder who that 1 listener in Macedonia is, or who those 2 people from Montenegro are. But it’s cool as well, having our music out in the open and that people can listen to my thoughts. I really wanna play in Japan, England, Belgium, and America. I think doing that with my bandmates will be so much fun.
Jurre: We have some unrecorded songs that we have in mind for album 2 but we will probably make some even better songs because our music grows and develops all the time. I’m already excited to record album 2 and to make some great tunes for it. Hopefully, we can record the whole album now in England and get our feet on dry land over there.
Jurre and Sal can quote every line from the Dutch music documentary ‘Buying The Band’.
Teun has such bad physical balance that he always falls in the weirdest of places. Once, he even fell while sitting on the couch, don’t ask me how he does it.
Sal can literally name every Youtube video that includes a Dutch band called ‘DeWolff’.
Jelmer, makes his own poems (@afgekeurdgedicht), makes his own clothing together with Dutch designers ‘Schepers Bosman’ and when he’s annoyed with us he always talks in a weird way. Also, he once said that flowers are lamps.
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