Photo Credit: Tom van Huisstede
Named by Paste Magazine as one of the best acts of SXSW in 2023, Iguana Death Cult is already on a roll this year, and they aren’t planning on stopping anytime soon. From their new album, ‘Echo Palace,’ dropping on May 12th to a release tour, Iguana Death Cult has a lot in store for fans both overseas and stateside. To find out more, keep on reading on when it comes to this back-and-forth exchange.
Kendra: Before we get into the album, I’d love to talk about your impressive SXSW run in 2023. Congrats on being named one of the best acts there! Y’all played nine showcases, which sounds exhausting but also thrilling. Of the nine, do you have one that you’ll carry a little closer to your heart for years to come than the others?
Iguana Death Cult: In the end, we did eleven actually, which was super exciting! Tough question though. The SXSW experience as a whole was so great that it’s hard for me not to see it as one thing, but if I had to choose I’d go for the Do512 show at the Far Out Lounge. At this point, we started to see some familiar faces, people that came to see us for the second or third time. That was very heartwarming. The place was packed too and the show just went really well.
Kendra: Also, being in Austin, TX – I’m sure there was plenty of good food to be had. Was there anything you tried for the first time that you’d never experienced over in the Netherlands?
Iguana Death Cult: Our stomachs are still sore from all the great food we had. Our friends from Holy Wave took us to a Texas barbecue place in Lockhart, about 45 minutes outside of Austin, called Kreuz Market. When we entered I felt like I walked into Isengard. Massive fire pits, colossal grills, and grumpy men cutting up giant pieces of meat.
We had some brisket, some turkey, and our favorite: a couple of jalapeño cheddar sausages. We didn’t eat for 24 hours after that. Another mind-blowing food experience were the birria tacos we got at the purple truck outside the White Horse. I was instantly addicted. I went back three times to make sure everyone had tasted it. Yea, Austin would be a very dangerous place for me to live.
Kendra: So from food in Texas to wine overseas, you would have a glass or two during the pandemic when you were able to get together and work on music. You’ve noted how these moments were therapeutic for all of you. Which, I think any facet of normalcy we could grab onto during the past few years felt very much like that. On that note, what wine would you say pairs best with the 2023 release, ‘Echo Palace,’ and why?
Iguana Death Cult: Darling dear, are you trying to portray me as a snob? Well, if you must I’d say let’s open up a nice Côte de Rhone. Fruity on the nose. Spicy but well-rounded with a surprisingly vibrant finish.
Kendra: A few singles from the record have been dropped, including “Oh No,” which was inspired by writer Jan Cremer and represents the idea of how we present these wonderful (yet fictitious) versions of our lives online while really being mental messes in real life. Why do you think we’ve been trained to only post the polished versions of ourselves?
Iguana Death Cult: I don’t think we were trained to do so. I think it’s intrinsic to human nature to only display our better sides. Look at 17th Century portraits showing only wealth and beauty, or even the conversations you have in a bar. For the largest part it’s just talking about what’s good, isn’t it?
Kendra: For the video, you went with a knightly theme but shot around Rotterdam, which reminded me a lot of DC and New York City. Was there any location in Rotterdam you wanted to feature but didn’t get a chance to?
Iguana Death Cult: Yea, not for this video per se, but it would be great to do a video in the Feyenoord football stadium sometime.
Kendra: Now it’s time for a side note – with it being May, I always think of the end of the school year and all those memories of field trips, parties, and yearbooks. With that, I’d love to know what your fondest end-of-the-school-year memory was?
Iguana Death Cult: Sorry to sound bitter, but I have zero positive memories of my high school. To go to a place to learn stuff I didn’t care for, from people I didn’t take seriously (with a few exceptions) day in and day out was absolute torture for me. Luckily I wasn’t alone and I had enough mates to skip school, get high, and play guitar with.
But, to end on a positive note, There was one thing that made every summer a magnificent adventure: sailing camp. Tobias and I would go on scouting summer camp for two weeks every summer and spend our days sailing, making bonfires, and sleeping under the stars. Thinking about those days brings a tear to my eye. It made up for a whole year of uninspirational misery.
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘Echo Palace’ out on May 12th, what else can fans expect as we continue towards summer?
Iguana Death Cult: Well, first we’re gonna do a little release tour over here, and after we’re gonna try and get back to the US. Can’t say too much about that I’m afraid but I’d keep your eyes peeled if I were you, we just might pass through your town.