It's been a few weeks since festival season officially kicked off with Coachella. And while there have been plenty of "hot-takes" from various outlets, we sometimes forget the ultimate product when it comes to festivals are the artists themselves. I was lucky enough to meet up with some of the artists and bands that performed those weekends. They provided insight into what it is like to not only play Coachella, but to perform for any kind of large, festival crowd.


Hardly Art is coming up on its 10 year anniversary. And with the success with bands like yourself, you've shown that your music is more than just a genre but an entire scene and way of life. What's it like to play a festival like Coachella and show newbies to your band what you're all about?

It's really rad. It's awesome to have our scene represented because we've worked really hard for a really long time and it's such an awesome community. It's totally legit. We get to bring what we've been doing in smaller locations for the past ten years. It feels good.


Coachella is known for bringing international artists to the forefront for the US audience. Being the first Dutch band to play Coachella, what was it like performing and seeing all the people who came to your set and vibed on what you put out?

It's really crazy. I think it's the perfect step forward for us. Usually, guys from Holland don't get to play outside of Holland. So, we're pretty stoked. To get the chance to play here is a great way to show what we can do and show the people how much fun we have on stage and how much we love doing this.


I last spoke with you two in July 2016. Since then, you've dropped an EP, been nominated for a Grammy, and are now playing a prime late afternoon slot at Coachella. What's it like having everything cementing and now kick off festival season here?

S: I mean, we're in the thick of it, so it's kind of hard to see from the outside, how things have or haven't been progressing. But, we're just on the ride. We're really enjoying it and we've got a long way to go, still.

T: Yeah, we're just grinding. So, for us, it's just work- in the best way. But, it is cool to see that things are happening.


Given the intimacy of your music, when you play a large show like Coachella, how do you capture that feeling from the albums and translate it live?

I think we create that intimacy and that space when the listener is alone in their own environment. But, when we come here, we try to take it and open it up. We try to make it much more driven and a bigger sound. So, we are actually trying to transcend that intimacy and make it wider and more aggressive. And the live show has always been about taking all the parts and stepping it up a little bit and making them into something. I think there are some really driven and intense parts of the music, but they aren't really highlighted on the records as they are more reserved. So, it's for the live shows that it's supposed to be this huge crescendo.

Twin Peaks

You guys are known for your raucous performances. When I last saw you, I was soaked to the bone with sweat. But, the venue being smaller and enclosed added to that house party vibe and rollicking good time. Do you do anything different when playing for a larger, open festival?

I think some of it works as just an across the board kind of thing. With the amount of energy we put out on stage that's pretty translatable to any stage because it's so visual. We move so much that people see that and feel that, no matter how far away from the stage they are. Plus, it helps we are in a tent so it gives it those house party vibes, anyways. We just try to make it a larger version of a house show just times one hundred.


Your sound is very apocalyptic and heavy. And while Coachella has a variety of genres and sounds present, the heaviness from your live instrumentation really stands out. How do you prep for bringing a sound like that to Coachella which is stereotyped as being that festival with the flower crowns?

Well, we've been here since six in the morning. We had no idea what to expect when we got here. But, having performed, it felt like people were dancing around to the apocalypse, for sure. You know, Coachella are for people who like to have fun. Fun is good. While we think our music sounds better at night, people were digging our sound, so that's what matters.