Touring with Klangstof: The Ultimate Traveller’s Guide

Since inception, Klangstof has continued to push boundaries with their musical creations through multi-textural idiosyncrasies and bold invention. Commencing their mammoth ‘Everest’ Autumn/Winter tour, the group will see in a few months of travelling around the continent that will take them to the end of the year.
In celebration of the tour, we asked Klangstof if they would share some of their stories from the road – and share they have. Below, Wannes Salome of Klangstof details the essence of what life is like on tour alongside a selection of video clips from the tour van. Enjoy!

Every musician dreams of being on tour. I’ve never been on a tour longer than two days before I got asked to play in Klangstof a year and a half ago. I was doing my thing at home, slowly building the way, trying to play shows outside of my home city, when I got a Facebook message from Koen (whom I’d never met before) asking me to join this thing called Klangstof. A couple of months later we were playing the biggest festivals in the Netherlands, a few months after that hitting the road to play shows in the US, England, Germany, Norway, Italy and more. My musician-dream coming true.

It all happened so sudden that I never got a chance to slowly ease into the whole touring thing. Honestly, I think the first vehicle I drove after getting my driver’s license was our tour van. Of course, touring is definitely not always as romantic as it’s made out to be. Yes, it makes you feel like a rock star driving from place to place to play shows and festivals, but it also makes your whole body ache. Especially when you fall asleep the wrong way for five minutes. Also, it’s truly amazing how much waste five guys are able to collect. And yes, it smells. I feel like there could definitely be a law of nature describing a correlation between time spent on tour and how much the van smells like sweaty feet.

But there are some things that make the whole experience a lot more bearable.

**Drugs.** Ha! Of course, drugs! How else are we supposed to survive? No, I’m joking. A lot of people still think bands on tour are all about being drunk, high, drunkhigh or highdrunk. And hey, I’m not gonna lie, of course we have some fun sometimes, but in the end, we’re just all about playing good shows. I know it sounds boring, maybe it is. Here’s a drug we do use regularly though: snus. This is a type of tobacco which is especially popular in Scandinavia. It’s basically bags of tobacco that you put under your lip. Since half of the band is Norwegian it made its way into the band. Now basically everyone uses it. The super convenient thing about it is that you can use it anywhere; on the plane, in the van, in the venue etc. The flip side is that it’s crazy addictive and you can only get it in some countries. Also, what some people do with their snus when they’re finished with it is pretty disgusting.

Another drug that comes in handy is melatonin. Sometimes we’re pretty jet lagged or we have some really short nights, so it’s always nice to have a little helper for falling asleep. Melatonin is a natural drug, but of course there are also heavier alternatives (at the risk of being unable to wake up when the alarm goes).

**Vantertainment.** I am originally from the Netherlands. That country is really small. You will rarely have to drive for more than 2-3 hours to play a show there and most Dutch people will think that a three-hour drive is one of the worst things that can happen to them. When we were touring in the US we had to drive up to 13 hours to get to the next show. If there’s something we’ve learned it is to keep ourselves entertained on those traveldays.

Although it’s a lot of fun to be with your friends on the road, it’s nice to disappear into your personal space sometimes. Earplugs are an essential accessory to do that with. Or headphones, with or without some music. I usually do both. Sometimes even while using a noise generator app like Noisli to block out everything around me. Yes, I really need my personal space sometimes. There are more inspiring things you can do with headphones, though. Podcasts are a really nice way kill some time. A couple of our favorites are Reply All, This American Life and Sh*ttown.

The Nintendo Switch had the biggest impact on our touring life though. It’s a handheld console which you can easily use to play single-player games, like the new Zelda, or detach the side-controllers to make two small controllers and do multiplayer games. Our latest trips have basically been a non-stop Mario Kart tournament.

**Happy camping.** Apart from keeping yourself entertained, the best way to stay happy on tour is to try to stay healthy. Most of the time the schedule doesn’t allow for a lot of stops. So be sure to stack up on a lot of water and, consequently, always go to the toilet when you get the chance. Of course it’s hard to not get tempted by all the junkfood at most places by the highway, but I found touring to be a lot easier when I try to not always eat a full bag of chips or having lunch at a McDonalds. We really came to love energy bars as snacks.

Another really nice accessory that saves us a lot of stress on the road is our tour manager. This guy goes by the name Robert Deelder and has unbreakable patience. He handles almost all of the hardest work on tour. Like random drug checks. Apparently a band is a popular target for a lot of random drug and baggage checks. He does most of the driving, makes all the schedules, handles all the contact and is also our sound guy. Seriously we would be lost without him.

And that’s it! I hope when some random dude texts you to join his band this guide will help you make touring a bit more tolerable.

Klangstof’s latest single ‘Resume’ is out now via Mind of a Genius Records – and is available to Stream/Purchase here.

Klangstof are touring the UK and Europe throughout November/December 2017, catch them at the following dates:

Wednesday 15th – Muziekcentrum, Antwerpen
Thursday 16th – Muziekgieterij, Maastricht
Friday 17th – Paard van Troje, Den Haag
Friday 17th – Luxor Live, Arnhem
Tuesday 21st – The Lexington, London
Wednesday 22nd – Pop up Du Label, Paris
Saturday 25th – Covo, Bologna
Sunday 26th – Dude, Milan
Monday 27th – Mascotte, Zurich
Tuesday 28th – Schüür, Lucerne
Thursday 30th – Kantine am Berghain, Berlin

Friday 1st – Chapeau Rogue, Prague
Saturday 2nd – Milla, Munich
Sunday 3rd – Neues Schauspiel, Leipzig
Wednesday 6th – Prinzenbar, Hamburg
Thursday 7th – Vera Groningen, Groningen
Friday 8th – 013, Tilburg
Saturday 30th – Paradiso, Amsterdam

Find Klangstof on Facebook and Twitter.

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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