By Ryan McCloskey
Dutch/Norwegian Indie Rockers Klangstof will play the Theater at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on May 9 as the opener for the Flaming Lips. The Dutch-based band, fronted by Koen Van de Wardt, released their debut album Close Eyes to Exit in 2016 after signing with the label Mind of a Genius. However, at the time, Van de Wardt was the only member of the band and “never thought about releasing it.” Now Klangstof is a four-piece act soon-to-be touring with the Flaming Lips and later Miike Snow and playing festivals including Sasquatch in Washington and Bonnaroo in Tennessee. “Coachella was sick.” said the 24-year-old Van De Wardt, currently in Amsterdam. “It was something we wanted to do for a long time.“ The California festival was the first time Klangstof played in the United States. Playing in the United States differs compared to playing across the Atlantic. “The Europe festivals are more dirty.” Van De Wardt answered with a gentle laugh. Putting together a live version of his solo production was no quick feat though. “It was a process that took 3-4 months to figure out how to play with four people instead of 95 tracks.” He explained. They worked towards recreating his songs for the stage with the original tone and feel still intact and learned to worry less about “missing a vocal on track 5.” “I’m one of those guys who likes to lock himself away for a week.” The self-described gamer explains of his creative process. He loves videogames and even turns to Nintendo and Mario for solace in his song “Sleaze.” “I’m a PlayStation guy but PlayStation was not the coolest word to use in a song.” He is a man who enjoys solitude and creating something with his hands because “films and series and TV are boring.” Now he is no longer working alone. “We’re going to spend 1-2 months in a cabin in Norway,” when the time comes to do a follow up to Close Eyes, and will include the other members of Klangstof. “I always find it important to challenge myself and keep my eyes opened.“ Van de Wardt says. He will have plenty of opportunities to do both in the coming months. Klangstof, which translates into echo dust, begins their American tour on May 7th playing the Observatory North Park in San Diego. Then on May 9, they’ll open for The Flaming Lips at Ace Hotel, Los Angeles at 9PM. 933 South Broadway in Los Angeles. For tickets and more information (213) 235-9614.