Klangstof, the Hobby Project that went Completely Wrong

By Holly Vasic

Koen van de Wardt landed in a remote town in Norway with his family at age 14 and found the isolation to be a huge struggle. He turned to music as an outlet. “I just kind of wanted to help myself by making my own music that I could listen to to feel less lonely. I would say that is why I started making music in the first place” Van de Wardt explained. Now, at age 25, he and his post-rock electronic band, Klangstof, are on a two month tour, in a completely different country, feeling like rock stars. Klangstof was a happy accident after Van de Wardt moved to Amsterdam and kept creating music for recreation and leisure.

“It was really meant as a solo project [Klangstof]  in the beginning, not really even a solo project, it was just me having some fun in my bedroom. All of the sudden I got labels sending me e-mails and I was like wow now I got to take this serious. So it was just kind of a hobby project that went completely wrong” Van de Wardt revealed, all because he put together a few songs and uploaded one onto SoundCloud.

Koen realized he needed a band if he was going to be able to play live shows. He called up two of his friends from back home in Norway and asked them to move to Amsterdam to play with him. They both agreed immediately. He still needed a synthesizer so he turned to social media, “I found him on Facebook, I guess that’s the good thing about Facebook you can just stalk the hell out of people. So that was pretty nice” Van de Wardt laughed. Now the Amsterdam based group consists of Van de Wardt, Wannes Salome, Jun Christian Villanueva and Jobo Engh.

Radiohead has been a huge influence in de Wardt’s life and listeners have noticed. The Portland Tribune said “Klangstof may be Holland’s answer to Radiohead.” Van de Wardt is flattered by this and found Thom Yorke (lead singer of Radiohead) to be a sort of refuge for him. Despite the adoration, Klangstof’s future may differ from the English alt rock band. “When I moved back to the city again, Amsterdam, I started to get more into urban music. So I wouldn’t say the next album is going to be hip hop but there’s a lot more inspiration going on now then when I was back writing the first record.”

Radiohead fans or not, Klagstof definitely has their own style that will continue to form as their journey unfolds. They were recently named “Best Alternative Act” at the Edison Awards in Holland, the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy’s. Klangstof has also been on tour with the Flaming Lips and is the first Dutch band to ever play the Coachella Festival. This summer they are touring with the Swedish indie-rock synth-pop band Miike Snow and will be making their way to Ogden Utah.

As part of Ogden’s Twilight Concert Series Miike Snow and Klangstof will perform Thursday, June 29 at the Ogden Amphitheater, 343 East 25th Street Ogden, UT 84401. Tickets are available at www.24tix.com. Only $5 or $8.50 day of show for general admission.

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