Iguana Death Cult

Interview by Maija Jussila
Photos shot by Eva Reinalda in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Costume design by Noor Mulders.

It’s hard not to take note of Rotterdam’s psych-garage rock act Iguana Death Cult. Whether you’re describing their music or the band members, it’s safe to say they’re of the impulsive, hyperactive type. They’re a crowd-pleasing band who love to see the audience go nuts. They blare fuzzed-up surf beats and release their energy at full force. Suspecting they have some wild stories to share, we met up with frontman Jeroen Reek to talk about driving around in a fire truck, the feat of finding Sahara sand in The Hague and what it takes to join the Cult.


What did you do last night?

I went to see my grandmother and played cards, Rummikub. I was in the village where my parents live, it’s a really small village of about 3,000 people.

Is that it? An easygoing evening.

Well, I also visited two friends yesterday and drank some whiskey, played some music and then I went on a nightly walk, out in the countryside. It was really dark and quiet, really relaxing.

Only Tobias remained sober but the rest, well, we had a nice party

Word has it you have a fire truck. Why?

Why? Well, four reasons. One of them is that it’s big: we can transport all our stuff in it. It has eight seats in it so we can bring along a lot of friends if we want to. It looks cool. Another big reason was that it was almost brand new. It’s an ’81 model, but it was a fire truck from a volunteer fire squad in a small village in Germany, so it was always inside and only had 25,000 kilometres on the clock. It was almost brand new.

That’s pretty cool. How did you get it?

Through Marktplaats, just looking for vans and then I saw the fire truck and kind of fell in love, I thought, ‘That’s so cool.’

That’s pretty wild.

Yeah, it is. We’ve also had some parties in the truck.


What’s been the best party so far?

The best party was Halloween because we had three shows all over the country. The first one was Oss, then Arnhem and then in The Hague at 3am. We were dressed as pretty slutty women. We took some friends who were also dressed up. Only Tobias remained sober but the rest, well, we had a nice party because we spent eight hours on the road that day between shows. It started in Oss and got wilder and wilder. We were playing good music in the truck and dancing.

No, you can’t stop a fire with it but we do have sirens and lights that work.

How did it end?

We ended up in The Hague playing our last show at 4am, very, very wasted. I don’t know if I should go into details, maybe it’s not the best idea.

Could you still put out a fire with your fire truck?

No, you can’t stop a fire with it but we do have sirens and lights that work.

Is that where you got the title ‘Sirens’?

No! I didn’t even realise that until my father said it. He said, ‘You bought this fire truck just because of the song’ because we got it just before the single release. But the song ‘Sirens’ is about the Greek sirens, the mermaids.


Now it has unintentional double meaning. You recorded that in Henk Koorn’s (of Hallo Venray) Sahara Studio in The Hague. How’s the studio?

It’s really small, it’s got no room. It looks like a bunker or a squat building. It’s really messy, it smells humid – it is humid – but it has a really nice atmosphere to it, especially for us because we started with rehearsing in an old gunpowder store when we started the band. That was a good place to rehearse because the walls were two metres thick, so it felt kind of familiar. We spent two days in the studio recording the single and one day chilling and mixing. It’s pretty cool though, he calls it the Sahara Studio because he isolated it with sand from the Sahara. It’s this big sea container they use on ships, and around that there’s all that sand.

Wow – how’d he bring all that sand from the Sahara?

I don’t know. That’s a pretty good question.

…people who are driven by their instinct, mostly. I like that.

So I’m curious. What’s an Iguana Death Cult?

It kind of came unconsciously, it popped into my mind, but I’ve been thinking about it, and maybe it has to do with the fact that we’re all big fans of Iggy Pop. His first band was called The Iguanas, maybe that was somewhere in my head. I was really obsessed with cults at the time, like Jonestown, so I just thought it sounded cool.

Who would belong to the Iguana Death Cult?

Completely free people who can shake themselves loose from any judgement and can do whatever they want and like while they don’t care about what other people think – people who are driven by their instinct, mostly. I like that.


Iguana Death Cult play the L.A.N. stage in the Cyclecentre at 02.30 on Friday, 04 March.