Q&A Scene: Thijs Flinsenberg ~ DUTCH MONKS

Tell us about your new single?

‘Never! Not anyone’ was actually the first song that Jesse pitched to me when we started playing music together. As scientists working at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, we met up after work at an old piano that resides in the quiet reflection space. It was well after visiting hours had finished and situated away from the patient wards so we were able to transform the room into a not so quiet reflection space! Even though the piano was a bit off-key, it immediately melded with the sound of the then guitar based song, morphing it into the sound you hear on the recording. 

One thing we kept struggling with though until we got into the studio was tempo. We both felt the intro to be slower than the middle part, but kept trying to play it all in the one tempo. When we finished playing the song for the first time to the session musicians, I can still hear the drummer Peter Maslen say: “well guys, nice song, but I feel it needs a tempo change after the intro”. Jesse and I started laughing realizing that we had tried to force the song into one tempo when it just needed those 2 tempi in the first place…Now it sounds awesome, in my opinion!

What’s your favourite work at this point in time? 

My personal favorite is a song that is on the album but that we haven’t released as single yet, called ‘Home’. I’m a sucker for harmonies and melancholic vibes and this song has both. Even after hearing it hundreds of times already, it still gives me goosebumps.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

One of the sayings that I learned while I lived in Australia is quite applicable to me: “The English (and Australian) are too polite to be honest, but the Dutch are to honest to be polite.” Even for a Dutchie, I’m pretty direct, which sometimes leads to funny situations, such as the following anecdote…I rode my bike to the studio on the first day we met the producer and session musicians. It was quite a way, from Richmond to Upwey (around 50 kms), and therefore my first interaction with our producer (Steve Vertigan, Soggy Dog Studios), was asking to use his shower…I hadn’t thought it strange at the time, but apparently I was the first person to ever use the shower in the studio! A nice illustration of Dutch directness.

What, or who, inspires you?

Mainly bands that know how to integrate keys in an original way. For instance Supertramp is one of my favourite sources of inspiration. Or Queen.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

‘Love of my life’ by Queen. It is just too beautiful. A perfect balance of beautiful lyrics, original song structure and harmonies. Listening to this song, you immediately feel his pain and you start thinking of your own mistakes and failed relations. Such a masterpiece.

What’s next for you?

Well, I’ve moved back to the Netherlands to finish my medical training. Now, in COVID times, it’s impossible to travel back to Australia for more music, but I hope one day Jesse and I will have the opportunity to work on more songs. We’ve got some beautiful lyrics and melodies waiting for some Dutch Monks touch!

What’s your scene?

I’m a big fan of bike-riding. I love to spend as much time as possible on my bike in nature. Looking back at my time in Australia, one of my most precious memories is riding through the beautiful, diverse and often quiet landscapes.

For more information, go to DUTCH MONKS

Never! Not Anyone

‘Impossibly catchy melodies tied together into a progressive rock structure that dares to step outside the conventional form of a pop song. The emotional highs and lows of the track take the listener through a journey of unrequited love.’ Amnplify

About Mary Boukouvalas 1643 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.