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.