Contributor’s Note: Monokino the alias for Dutch comp George van Wetering has released his single entitled “Your Underground.” The music transcends genres, combining sonic dreamscapes while refusing to be placed in a box. Monokino’s single “Bend or Break” has received a significant amount of airplay on BBC, NCB, exilefm, The Netherlands Kingfm and Pinguin Radio. “Your Underground” is a hyperpop with alternative rock flavor that explores his pent up frustrations with the music industry and his own struggles with anxiety. Monokino gets into the single, along with mental health awareness and the state of the music industry with Madness To Creation. Fans can find Monokino at the following locations: Facebook, his official website, SoundCloud, Twitter and Instagram.
Madness To Creation: What is your mentality when you step into the studio?
Monokino: I think with the Pippi Longstocking mentality: ‘I’ve never done it, so I think I can do it’. I think if I were someone who could play the guitar really well, I’d still think I can’t play the guitar. But there’s something noncommittal in that quote and it’s sweet: if it doesn’t work out today – that’s okay too. Later when I found out that that quote wasn’t from her at all, I felt a little bit sad.
Madness To Creation: What have you learned about yourself personally and professionally through Covid?
Monokino: I didn’t know I could be so lazy and live so unhealthily. And that I could be so obsessed with the news! And that there are so many people with opposing views, and that when you see them again in real life, it’s not at all that bad. It was often a battle between serious sounding experts and casual semi-experts who also all have huge egos. And then all those talk shows on TV for a year! I didn’t think it was a fun period and I’m glad it’s sort of over. However, I never fully understood that people become depressed from not being able to go to the office. I’m ignoring everything related to corona and covid that makes the news at the moment. Sometimes the question ‘yes, but what about corona’ pops up when you see all the supporters in the football stadium now, but I’ll quickly put that away. So yeah, I guess i’m a professional looking-the-other-way kinda guy by now.
Madness To Creation: What are some personal goals you have for the next couple of weeks?
Monokino: I would really like to go to a concert or theater again and see people. I also want to make a music video for ‘your underground’. I want to play the guitar and the piano more and think less about whether I can cope well with everyday life. I’m hoping for a kind of go-with-the-flow period.
Madness To Creation: What are a couple changes you want to make in terms of making underground music more accessible?
Monokino: I think accessible or mainstream music is not worse than underground or alternative music. You’re pretty dumb if you immediately reject accessible music. But on the other hand, musicians are now more than ever asked to remove, for example, an intro to a song because it doesn’t fit the attention span of a social media audience. You should not change anything about the music itself and the choices of an artist – but I do understand that it’s difficult when you grow up today and people tell you that you have to be successful….. But what I find more scary is an underground scene that doesn’t want to evolve, some sort of elite club that says you can’t go inside if you don’t know which DJs are playing. People are drawn to subcultures because they feel rejected from society and even though I appreciate the underground and DIY mentality, there is often a kind of exclusion lurking that people don’t even notice. I’m not saying that if you’re throwing a costume ball you can’t ban people without costumes – there are just so many people in the alternative scene who think they know everything better. I’m glad that that’s changing a little bit now.
Madness To Creation: Any shows planned coming up for Monokino? What are the next plans for your growth?
Monokino: Lots of new songs are coming and shows at the end of the year!
And there you have it! Give “Your Underground” by Monokino a stream or 50 and add it to your playlist!