“Suddenly many musicians admitted that they started playing because of us”

In 2003, it was X! NK is the Belgian entry to the first Junior European Song Contest. With the ‘Friendship Squad’, the teenagers finished sixth in Copenhagen and unleashed a real buzz in Flanders. Since they called it quits in 2009, the group’s members have taken more alternative paths. But – James, exclamation points! – New song from X! NK will be released on the 9th of November! The chorus sums up what will follow: “I have no idea what the future holds / My mind knows the truth / We’ll see, perhaps.”

Jürgen Beckers

What alternative paths have the X members taken! NK, you ask? well now,Jonas Mokins He became (33) a programmer in a cultural center and started singing with himsea ​​wonders And theGet off my shoes.Nils Mukens (31) He had a hand in44- The servant of God And thecrack ups.Thomas Valkyries (31) incrack ups And thedouble veterans He runs the Hightime studio in Herk-de-Stad.Philip Valkiers (29), Finally, he kept the music indoors and today ensures – also not unimportantly – that safety is observed at a European Commission nuclear site in Jill.

But now they’re back as X! NK.


Jonas Miukins (vocals/guitar) “It all started when Thomas was sitting in the café with him Tibo Kristiansen From Equal fools. ”

Thomas Falkiers (guitar) After Thibault got quite a few Omers, he said, ‘Why don’t you do something with X! NK again? There was a podcast on Studio Brussel, ‘Popcast of the Week’ withStijn van de Forde In March of this year. There was a lot of positive feedback that we said: Why not? ».

Nils Miukins (drums) “Throughout the festival season, other musicians approached me. colleagues like Joris Cassier Fromthe bet He said: If I were you, I would do it right away.

Thomas “Suddenly, a lot of musicians of our time admitted that they started playing because of X!NK.”

HUMO What was the first thing you played at your first reunion rehearsal?

jonas “” let me go. We weren’t sure if we would, but without preparation we played eight songs. We’ll make some adjustments here and there. We’re not just going to play the originals.”

HUMO “Vote 2022”, was an email I received.

Thomas “We have changed, and we don’t play the same instruments we used to. Philip used to be too small to hold a bass guitar.”

Philip Valkiers “When we started out, I was playing the Fender Mustang. The so-called short-range guitar, so I can handle everything with my hands. Now that I’m completely grown up, I play Fender Precision (Laugh). »

HUMO Was it hard to come up with an X song! NK is single after all these years?

jonas “We have three songwriters in the band, so we immediately had three ideas. ‘Maybe’ depends on what we’re used to doing. A positive, happy song.”

“Our wives and relatives have heard the word ‘maybe’. Our kids – they are about 2 years old – can already dance to it (Laugh). It’s exciting to release something after so many years.”

HUMO What do you think when you hear the old recordings of X! NK now?

Thomas “They don’t look that bad for the time, given our age. We were between 9 and 11, and except for solos here and there, we played everything ourselves.”

jonas «To record” Friendship Squad “producerPaul Despigleri drummerMark Booney brought with him. “We’ll try Niels first,” he said. And after once, to Mark: “You are fired.” (Laugh) ”

Thomas “We were very proud to be allowed to play ourselves, and the other candidates for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest were only allowed to sing.”

Philip “I value our records now more than I used to. We’ve made something that still lasts, right? Our singles were so good: simple, yet so touching.”

HUMO Have you trained hard from the start?

jonas «At that age the main question was: ‘Will you come and play with me?’ Literal.

Nils “I remember that Thomas came to our house especially to play the drums. Until he suddenly became a huge fan of limp And I wanted to play the guitar.”

Thomas “I still played football, but in fact I did not like it very much. For half a year I grumbled to my father, while after the game he stood at the table with other football fathers: “I want a guitar!” Until one of these guys said: They bought it man Now the guitar! (Laugh)

What did we play on Wednesday afternoon? “zombie” and cranberryThe “wild thing” of course. Smoke on the water too. Then Jonas gradually began to sing his own words over it.”

jonas In audio English. It doesn’t look like anything.”

HUMO Finally, I started singing in Dutch.

Thomas “It was becauseHydrosis, who we were big fans of. Our parents took us to their shows. We were there 12 years old in a very large and t-shirt, with a back: “I’m not deaf, I’m just ignoring you” (laughs). ”

jonas “When we won ‘Eurosong for Kids’, the Belgian preliminary selection for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest on VRT, Director De Heideroosjes called our parents to congratulate us.”

Philip Wasn’t “Friendship Band” our first song in Dutch? ”

Thomas No, we also have ‘we are not nervous’.

jonas “We are not nervous / but we are kind” (Laugh). »

HUMO Why did you participate in Eurosong for Kids?

jonas “Actually, we didn’t want that at all.” (Laugh). But if you finished in the top ten, you were allowed to record a song with professionals in a professional studio, and we wanted that.”

Thomas “We didn’t really get along with the look. They wanted to model our style and teach us the dances, but it didn’t work either way. I remember a hairstylist who went home crying because we didn’t want to wear what she was carrying.”

“In the end they let us do our thing.”

Homo how was the final in Copenhagen?

Nils “We especially loved that adventure because we didn’t have to go to school for a week.”

Thomas “We were in a hotel in the Red Light District.”

jonas « Error by VRT. They had to quickly rebook.”

HUMO Were you recognized right away?

Thomas (gestures) “Jonas in particular suffered from this.”

jonas “Girls I had never seen before claimed to be my love. One of the girls had such a hard time that we spoke to her in the presence of our manager. Psychologists were called in to solve it. Really intense. Especially at that age.”

HUMO Are you still recognised?

Nils “On my first day at PXL University of Applied Sciences in Hasselt, someone came up to me and asked: ‘You’re from X! NK, aren’t you?’ I remember finding that very upsetting. The next day he’s back there again: “I told my mom I’m in a class with someone from X!NK.” She said, “Are these guys really going to college?!” (Laugh)»

HUMO on February 23, 2023 will play in AB.

jonas We hope, of course, that it will be the main hall and that we sell it. we will see. Maybe (laughs).”

HUMO Will there also be a new record for X! NK?

jonas “That’s out of the question, but let’s wait for the response to the single and AB’s show first. So: maybe (laughs).”

“Maybe” will be released on November 9. X! NK will play in Ancienne Belgique, Brussels on February 23, 2023.

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