Introducing: KNARS (NL)

KNARS is one of the three music acts that joined Revelland for an exhilarating two-year process to transform their live show to an immersive experience. The Dutch band creates an intoxicating mix of breakbeat, post- punk and drum and bass. Comparisons are quickly made with The Prodigy, Pendulum and Die Antwoord, but above all KNARS has its own devastating sound. Martijn Holtslag – frontman, producer and creator extraordinair – introduces his band.

KNARS saxophonist Pieter van Houte playing live – Photo taken by Cesco Reckman

Martijn, can you describe the sound of KNARS to someone who can’t hear?

“KNARS is all about energy. Raw energy. So the music has a rough lining. Danceable beats that differ in speeds and genres, but always have the same intention: to make you go mad and drive your demons out.”

Two years ago, you joined a brand new Revelland project to research, develop and showcase an immersive live performance. Why did you decide to commit to this? What were your expectations starting this project?

“Complicated question! First of all I saw it as a deeper development for my personal skills in the sense of gaining access to the sense specialists’ expertise. And that’s a twofold: More network, and a personal skill development through new knowledge. It has always been my purpose to make the most engaging art experience, and this massively helps with broadening my horizon. And making cooler shit.”

Why do you think accessibility is important?

“It seems so cruel that nature or tragedy decides how disadvantaged people can experience art. Let’s hack that. Let’s change the way we create and present art! Though immersion we don’t only make art more accessible, I think the added immersivity is also a huge increase of awesomeness for the ‘regular’ visitor.”

It has always been my purpose to make the most engaging art experience, and this massively helps with broadening my horizon. And making cooler shit.
Martijn Holtslag, KNARS

What insights have you gained thus far regarding accessibility in the music industry and in relation to your live show?

“That it can be easier and cooler than people might think. This project is a great example. However, accessibility in form of physical disabilities and the real regulation of it is still a big hassle. Through the various workshops and talks with Ronald (Ligtenberg, red), I’ve come to understand that there is still a lot to be learned and implemented for us musicians, but also for venues and festivals in general. He should educate the nation about these subjects!”

Can you paint a picture of what the future looks like for KNARS?

“KNARS has worked relentlessly on new music. We worked really really hard. And i’m super proud that we’ve improved on two aspects that I find really important. The first is personal storytelling, the lyrics are really about something. They are way more than just a ‘frustration’ in general. Secondly there’s sound design: the music has a lot more character. These two aspects plus the live show elements I learned about through the Revelland process are really gonna benefit the creation of awesome experiences. I can’t wait to play live!”

Crowd going wild at KNARS live show – Photo taken by Cesco Reckman

Want to know more about KNARS? Make sure to follow them on Instagram, Facebook or Spotify.

Header photo taken by Lieke Kooyman

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