RALF KNOFLOOK Q&A

Exclusive interview with hotly-tipped Nijmegen rocker



Ralf Knoflook has been releasing some well-received EPs and singles via the Desert Mine imprint over the past couple of years. The Nijmegen-based singer-songwriter is best-known for his work with his band You Should Get To Know Us, but his solo work explores some different sonic territory. 

Ralf's last release was the excellent double-single 'Stuck In My Ways / Tomorrow'. Check out the below interview that we did with Ralf and check out his music that's available at our Desert Mine shop and all good streaming sites.

1. Are you the best singer-songwriter in the Netherlands? 

I only listen to The Beatles and Nirvana, they are not from the Netherlands so... I honestly wouldn't know! 

2. What liquid do you like to drink before doing a vocal take? 

My special recipe for airy vocals: start off with a shot cointreau on the rocks, when you feel the haze kickin in, top it off with some yorkshire tea (don't forget a tiny bit of milk). If that doesn't do the trick and you still want to rock big time, kick balls, you might want to wear leather trousers though. 

3. Do you think that using reverb is a political act? 

I occasionally drain an electric guitar in reverb, those kids love that, you know. However when putting too much reverb on a snare or on the vocals, you might get associated with the 80s... a very poor decade for songs, so yeah. 

4. Are you a mod? 

Hmm, I'm just a middle class guy, raised by 60s hippies, who forced me to listen to cuby + blizzards, 5 meters below sea level. So I don't know, I guess not? 

5. Are your lyrics meaningful? 

I guess I try to, but if the listener decides otherwise I'm perfectly fine with that too. If some listeners have any benefit by listening to my lyrics, then that's cool too. Jobs'n'dogs contains a lot of songs which are just kind of protest songs. I complain about society a lot on that record. But since then I've been trying to write in a more positive mood, hopefully this works out on my new double single as well! 

6. Are you alternative, or the alternative to the alternative? 

Tough question, I guess alternative means 'not mainstream'. So what you're saying here's that ralf knoflook is 'not mainstream' among alternative bands. Of course I would love that, being mainstream is boring! If I could choose I would be super extreme alternative. 

7. Do you have any social media tips for our readers? 

My top tip of the day: don't care what other people say and just do your thing! And also: don't waste your time looking at screens, use your time to get your kicks in the real world. Preferably by rocking out with your band on stage in front of a non-empty crowd in a crappy pub. 

8. Are you getting more slack with each record that you release? 

When you have to put effort in recording a song, you are not recording a song. It has to be easy, otherwise it's no fun right! 

9. How do you cope with the demands of your fanbase? 
 
My fanbase could be empty, in which case their demands are non-existent... 

10. is your solo project better than your band (you should get to know us)? 

It's just different. For my solo project I record everything myself, that means, without the awesome drums of Josse and pumpin bass of Victor. That's why you don't hear almost any drums on my ralf knoflook songs, I just can't play drums that well. It's just kind of an acoustic stripped down thing you know. It's nice to also create something less loud, and moreover, it's fun recording and mixing my own songs.

LOVESICK PUPPIES

Get to know the dynamic Dutch duo

Fans of Desert Mine will know that we released a two-track single from Lovesick Puppies in autumn 2020. There was a notable lack of promotional effort at the time due to our debauched lifestyles, so we thought that we'd catch up with Merlijn and Victor from the band. Here are the results of our in-depth interview with Lovesick Puppies.




1. Lovesick Puppies is a side-project of You Should Get To Know Us. Do you hate the other guys in the band? 

Hate is a strong term, but it's complicated. Lovesick Puppies initially formed because the other guys of YSGTKU didn't want to play some songs that we came up with. But after they heard our recent hits, they were extremely eager to join the Lovesick Puppies supergroup that we formed last summer. So all with all there is a pretty weird dynamic going on. 

2. One of your songs is called ‘I’m Lucky’. Can you prove that you are lucky? 

I bought a perfectly ripe avocado. 

3. The other one of your songs is called ‘Undone’. What is the best thing that you have undone?

Oasis.




4. You are a two-piece band. Do you share royalties 50/50? 

We share them equally 5/5, our label Desert Mine Music keeps the other 90, unfortunately. 

5. Would you rather be lovesick or a puppy? 

A puppy 

6. How do you stay grounded while enjoying your successful musical career? 

Not, we don't stay grounded. We're sky high. 

 7. How did you spend the royalties earned from the sales of your Undone / I’m Lucky single?

Champagne parties. We burned the remainder. 

8. Do you have any fashion tips for Spring/Summer 2021? 

Colourful shirts and tight pants, possibly combined with high heels. We're very much inspired by the style icons from the band Cowgirl. 


9. How do you deal with all of the bad reviews that Lovesick Puppies get? 

Haters gonna hate 

10. Do you feel that your party-boy lifestyle gets in the way of your music? 

Yes, we're too busy drinking champagne and burning money to ever make music again.

NEW RELEASES 2020/21

 Triple hits from Desert Mine faithful






Desert Mine has released a handful of records over the past few of months. A dual single Undone/I'm Lucky by Lovesick Puppies, a double single by Ralf Knoflook and an EP called Crooked Candle by Sam Forrest.

Lovesick Puppies are Victor and Merlijn from You Should Get To Know Us. The single sees each of Nijmegen-based songwriters taking lead vocal duties. Expect to hear more from this talented Dutch duo soon. The dual-single can be streamed at all good streaming sites or it can be downloaded from our shop.

Ralf Knoflook is another Nijmegen-based musician who's had a big impact on the Desert Mine label. His latest double single features the songs Waiting For You and Expectations.

Crooked Candle is the latest release by Sam Forrest. It's a five-track EP that Sam recorded at home in autumn 2020. The EP can be streamed from all standard sites, and it can be downloaded from Sam's Bandcamp page and our shop soon.

SAM FORREST - AFTER TOMORROW OUT NOW

Lockdown era blues from self-quarantine idol






















After Tomorrow is the eighth solo album to be released by Sam Forrest. The ten-track record came out on Desert Mine Music on 10 July 2020.

After Tomorrow was recorded, mixed and mastered by Sam Forrest during the UK coronavirus lockdown between March and May 2020.

The album features ten tracks that take in influences ranging from Andy Shauf and Elliott Smith-inspired fingerpicked folk-pop, to Neil Young-esque panoramic dirges to upbeat country reminiscent of Buck Owens.

Recorded using analogue instrumentation with the exception of a Korg synthesiser bass, After Tomorrow features everything from a divan bed being used as a kick drum to a borrowed 1970s Hammond organ.

SEWAGE FARM - SONGS ABOUT NOTHING OUT NOW

Third album from sludge-pop trio

 

Songs About Nothing is the brand new album by Sewage Farm. It was released as a limited edition compact disc and digital download on Desert Mine on 1 November 2019. The eleven track album was recorded at Greenmount Studio in Leeds over the summer of 2018, and the album artwork comes from acclaimed artist Jade Blood. Buy the album here.

Here's a video for the song Fire


COWGIRL & YOU SHOULD GET TO KNOW US TOUR DIARY: BERLIN

Final day of the world's best rock'n'roll tour



It's the last day of the Cowgirl and You Should Get To Know Us tour of East Europe. With 2,970 km (1,845 miles) covered and a total audience size of 107 people, it's been a resounding success. So how did these kick-ass rock'n'roll bands decide how to end such a climactic tour? With a kick-ass rock'n'roll show in Berlin. Keep reading to see what happened.


COWGIRL & YOU SHOULD GET TO KNOW US TOUR DIARY: KRAKOW

Day seven of the East Europe tour features yet more on-the-road drama



Now that Cowgirl and You Should Get To Know Us have successfully travelled from Hungary to Poland, the bands face their toughest test yet - a very important rock show in Krakow. Keep reading to see whether the Desert Mine signings can succeed and take their careers to the next level.


COWGIRL & YSGTKU TOUR DIARY: BUDAPEST TO KRAKOW

Day six of the summer tour sees the bands heading north


After rocking Budapest, being consumed by parasites, spending some quality time, causing outrage in Prague and satisfying Dresden, You Should Get To Know Us and Cowgirl turned their attention northwards. Find out what happened on day six of the bands' summer tour by reading the latest instalment of their tour diary.


COWGIRL & YOU SHOULD GET TO KNOW US TOUR DIARY: BUDAPEST

Day five sees Desert Mine signings entertaining their fans in the Hungarian capital




The Cowgirl and You Should Get To Know Us summer tour is now past the halfway point. Both bands are now experienced and well-oiled road machines. Check out their latest tour diary to see how to make 21st century touring a massive success.


COWGIRL & YSGTKU TOUR DIARY: PRAGUE TO BUDAPEST

Day four of the exclusive East Europe Desert Mine summer tour



Going on tour means that bands have to travel huge distances to entertain their loyal fanbases. So far, both Cowgirl and You Should Get To Know us have managed to rock Dresden, destroy Prague and had a nice time. Find out how they got to their next destination in their exciting tour diary below.


COWGIRL & YSGTKU: TOUR DIARY - PRAGUE (DAY OFF)

Day three of the Cowgirl and You Should Get To Know Us eastern European tour 




After their massive success in Dresden and controversy in Prague, Cowgirl and You Should Get To Know Us earned themselves a well-deserved day-off. But how do the Desert Mine signings relax and unwind after such epic performances? Find out in the exclusive tour diary below.


COWGIRL & YSGTKU: TOUR DIARY - PRAGUE

Part two of Cowgirl and You Should Get To Know Us tour diary




Yesterday we revealed what Cowgirl and YSGTKU got up to in Dresden. Keep reading to see how these Desert Mine signings got on when they made their first ever visit to Prague.

COWGIRL & YOU SHOULD GET TO KNOW US: TOUR DIARY - DRESDEN

The latest on the road news from hot Desert Mine signings


This week sees Cowgirl and You Should Get To Know Us hitting the road across Eastern Europe. The week-long tour sees the Desert Mine signings playing cities in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

We asked the bands to keep us updated with the latest road gossip by writing a tour diary. Check out the latest Cowgirl single and the critically acclaimed You Should Get To Know Us album and see what happened on the road.

THE SORRY KISSES - PLAY IT COOL VIDEO

French New Wave-themed video for UK/US three-piece



Play It Cool is the brand new video from The Sorry Kisses. The video was filmed by One&OtherCreative and it was shot with the loan of a vintage Citroen sports car in the countryside of North Yorkshire. The song is taken from the Sorry Kisses' fifth album, Life's An Illusion that's available to buy from the Desert Mine shop.

SORRY KISSES - LIFE'S AN ILLUSION OUT NOW

Fifth album from the Sorry Kisses - Exclusive video for It's a Killer



The Sorry Kisses' fifth album - Life's An Illusion is out now. The ten-track album is available to buy as a compact disc or as a digital download. Life's An Illusion will also be available from all streaming sites.

Check out this album review from the Here Comes The Flood weblog, and watch the band's new video for It's A Killer.


SORRY KISSES - LIFE'S AN ILLUSION PREORDER

Fifth album from UK/US trio 




The Sorry Kisses' brand new album - Life's An Illusion - is now available to preorder from the Desert Mine shop. The album will be released on June 28 2019, and it is available as a strictly limited edition CD and digital download. Life's an Illusion will also be streamable at Spotify, iTunes etc. Check out the brand new video for the album's opening song, City Rhythm.

Life's An Illusion was mixed by The Sorry Kisses with the assistance of Josiah Mazzaschi (Built To Spill, Rilo Kiley), and was recorded at The Cave Studio in Los Angeles, as well as the band's home studio in North Yorkshire, UK.

SORRY KISSES - LIFE'S AN ILLUSION ALBUM TRAILER

Watch the exclusive video trailer for the fifth Sorry Kisses album





Life's An Illusion will be the fifth album from The Sorry Kisses. The UK/LA based band have been working on the record for five years, and it will be finally available as CD/DD from the Desert Mine shop in June 2019. The Sorry Kisses showcased the video for the title track from the album last year, and you can check out a teaser trailer for the Life's An Illusion album right here.

RALF KNOFLOOK - JOBS 'N DOGS EP

Debut solo EP from the You Should Get To Know Us singer



Jobs 'n Dogs is the first solo EP to be released by Dutch singer-songwriter Ralf Knoflook. The six-track EP was recorded by Ralf at his home in Nijmegen, and is a world away from his work with the noisy indie rock band You Should Get To Know Us. Instead the EP features atmospheric tracks like the accordian-led The Road that recalls the likes of Iron and Wine and the Elliott Smith-influenced lo-fi groove of World of Stone.

Jobs 'n Dogs is available on CD at the Desert Mine shop, or at Liedjescollectief, and can be streamed at all of the standard live streaming services. Check out the video for World of Stone below.




COWGIRL - DIFFERENT WAYS AND EXCLUSIVE PLAYLIST

Breezy pop smash from garage rock duo



Since the start of 2019, we've been releasing some singles by the acclaimed garage rock duo - Cowgirl. From the primitive J.A.M.C cruise of She Picks Me Up to the Brian Jonestown-esque boogie of You're Not There, Cowgirl have shown that they are way more fun than most rock bands.

Their latest track, Different Ways, showcases the band's poppier side and has already been picking up some rave reviews. The song is available to download from the Desert Mine shop and can be streamed from all regular streaming sites. Check out the video for Different Ways below.




YOU SHOULD GET TO KNOW US - HOLE IN WHATEVER ALBUM

Debut album from Dutch power-pop four-piece




You Should Get To Know Us will be releasing their debut album, Hole In Whatever, through Desert Mine and Liedjescollectief on 19 January 2019. The twelve-track album was produced by Sam Forrest (Nine Black Alps) and features guest backing vocals from Hayley Hutchinson (The Sorry Kisses).

The Dutch indie rock band recorded the album in just one week during Summer 2018. Sessions took place at Crooked Room Studios and Granny Flat Studios near York, UK in the midst of a successful tour of Northern England.

Hole In Whatever features the brand's trademark slack-pop sounds, but broadens the sonic palette to take in influences ranging from the low-down acoustic boogie of My Baby to the ramshackle indie rock of Happily Misused. Whether it's the emotionally fraught drama of When You're Gone or the intricate songcraft of Pie, Hole In Whatever represents a big step up in the sonics of the Nijmegen-based band and has already been receiving rave reviews in the Dutch press.

The Hole In Whatever album is available for preorder on CD and will be streamable via all the standard digital outlets. You Should Get To Know us will be hosting a special album launch show in Nijmegen on 19 January 2019 with hotly-tipped post-punkers, The Klittens, in support.

Check out the video for lead single, The Ride.