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Queens of the Stone Age’s Dean Fertita announces solo project Tropical Gothclub, gets wild with the guitar for lead single Wheels Within Wheels

Dean Fertita
(Image credit: Mauricio Santana/Getty Images)

Queens of the Stone Age multi-instrumentalist Dean Fertita has announced a new solo project called Tropical Gothclub.

The project will be launched with a self-titled studio album – due November 4 via Jack White’s Third Man Records – and has been previewed with a freewheeling lead single, Wheels within Wheels.

It truly is Fertita with no filter. Operating well outside the QOTSA wheelhouse, Wheels within Wheels delivers a series of experimental six-string sucker punches, from the moody, fuzz-drenched intro soundscapes to the crazy pitch shift-loaded solo.

By way of a whirl of layered electric guitars, which have been treated to a multitude of gain-driven effects, Fertita fills the three-minute run time with punchy riffs, sporadic upper-string bends, zany lead lines and chaotic cameos from a handful of unexpected motifs.

Of the track he decided to launch his solo project with, Fertita simply noted, “One thing can influence another on levels we don’t see. All of our experience is chemical alteration and total DNA demolition.” 

Expanding on the purpose of Tropical Gothclub as a whole, he continues with an answer that is as wild as his newest single: “Tropical Gothclub as a concept is futuristic nostalgia, going through the seven stages of escapism, understanding the subliminal messages I’ve been sending and receiving to myself, and letting fantasy take a machete to the darkest corners of my mind. I want subculture shock and volcanic rock.”

Tropical Gothclub was conceived way back in 2020, when Fertita, like many others, set up a small recording and writing space in his backyard to keep him occupied over the pandemic.

With the rare spare time, Fertita began revisiting and reviving musical ideas that he had collated from over the years, fleshing out tracks from across his prolific career.

Though he initially had no intention of releasing the music under a solo project, Fertita soon recruited The Tempermill recording studio owner Dave Feeny to help him develop the songs even further.

The result is 11 tracks that promise to create a showcase for Fertita’s “wide-ranging songcraft and visionary imagination”. And, if Wheels within Wheels is anything to go by, Tropical Gothclub certainly sounds like it could be one of Fertita’s most adventurous additions to his discography to date.

Check out the tracklist below.

  1. Needles
  2. Wheels Within Wheels
  3. Captivated
  4. Where There Is Water
  5. Infernal Inside
  6. No Wonder
  7. Death Rattle
  8. Double Blind
  9. Future To Follow
  10. Thunder Towards You
  11. Uniform Looks
  • Tropical Gothclub is available to preorder now (opens in new tab) via Third Man Records ahead of its release on November 4.

Dean Fertita Tropical Gothclub album cover

(Image credit: Press)

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.