On June 7th Klangstof performed at Pianos in NYC and two days later they were already on the road towards their next festival destination. We called the bandleader of the group, Koen van de Wardt, while they were on their way. It was a fun conversation and although we couldn’t see his facial expression, we could definitely feel his enthusiasm by the sound of his voice.
Koen told us that it all started when he moved to Norway at an age of 14. Before that, he had a “normal” childhood in Amsterdam, where he was born. During the first 14 years of his life, he wasn’t much interested in music whatsoever. There were many other things to do in the capital of The Netherlands, as he arguments. His curiosity for music started in Norway. He was living in a smaller city where there wasn’t much to do. So, he turned the tables and started to create something which would fill his time. Koen started making music. Before he knew it, the basement of his Norwegian home was filled with music instruments, synthesizers and other equipment to produce his own music. The first sounds for his band Klangstof were created in this very basement!
After seven years of practice, he returned to The Netherlands. Fortunately for music lovers, he continued his passion for it and turned his hobby into work! First, he played as a bass player in the band called Moss and when he turned 24, Koen debuted his first song for Klangstof in September 2016.
Koen is not only a great musician but knows how the industry works. He soon picked up that being a band in The Netherlands would not take him too far, he needed to get out of the country and present the band to other fans globally. The most logic step is performing in the US. Klangstof is now being represented by two labels in America. Koen explains that his agent here is important for him and his band to be successful in the US. If you want to be successful here, you must know how the system works.
So how did Klangstof get the chance to play at Coachella? Koen told us in excitement that one day he received a phone call, a very special phone call. The best he had ever had; Coachella asked him to perform at the festival! And of course, Koen immediately replied with a “yes”! It came out of the blue, but what an exciting news it was for the band. Klangstof was and will always be the first Dutch band performing at Coachella!
Is playing at Coachella something you had always dreamed off? “Well, in all honesty, I had never even dared to dream of playing at such a well-known festival. It was unexpected, but of course I was thankful that our band got asked.”
Was Coachella festival anything that you expected to be? “The vibe was totally the opposite of what we are used to”, Koen explained. “It was clean, tidy and people were dancing all the way. It was great! In contrary to other cities, where people tend not to dance or are more hesitant to dance. Here everyone was genuinely enjoying our performance.”
What does it mean to have played at Coachella? “It definitely gave the band a boost! The media is full of articles that Klangstof is the first Dutch band to have played at Coachella Festival. Hence, we get more recognized and asked for other performances and festivals, in the US and in The Netherlands!”
What are your further aspirations? “Well, our second album will be finished the end of this year, so that will be exciting. And we would love to play at more festival in the US.”
We from Dutch Culture USA also would love to see Klangstof continue playing at the festivals they want. They are a great band and we would like to thank Koen for his time and great story! Keep up the good work!