Terrorizer Speaks To Roadburn’s Walter Hoeijmakers

By on 31 March 2014


Roadburn is next week! As the first days of April roll by, Roadburners around the world are already sitting on their hands, trembling with anticipation, nervous about all the clashes they will need to manage after the schedules have been made known, bags packed, holding the tickets feverishly, all those bearded men and women (okay, most of the girls do shave, but it’s a known fact that Roadburn grows your facial hair) acting like children at Christmas tenfold. It’s a yearly experience and we all love it. Among the Roadburners, there is a very special person who is both more excited and more anxious than all the rest of us – Walter Hoeijmakers, or more simply, to the ones who follow the festival’s artistic director and main figure on social media, Walter Roadburn (I teased him about it on an interview a while back and he maintains it’s because his last name is frequently difficult for non-Dutch speakers, but it’s nevertheless rather fitting to think of him as Mr. Roadburn). Much praise has gone to Walter and the rest of the Roadburn team during this series of weekly features – on which, trust me, we’ve barely scraped the surface -, so we couldn’t be happier to end them with a few words from Walter himself regarding the big event next week. Walter isn’t a band, as such, but he might as well be – he’s the true headliner of it all. Ladies and gentlemen, bearded or shaven (but mostly bearded), Walter “Roadburn” Hoeijmakers.


What are you overall expectations for the festival this year?
Walter: “I think that Roadburn 2014 will offer new experiences that many of us may find unforgettable. From Goblin to Magma, from Trettioåriga Kriget to Promise and the Monster, from Lenny Kaye & Harsh Toke to Obliteration, Mikael Åkerfeldt pushed the boundaries of the types of music that fit in at Roadburn. Plus, it inspired us to open up the styles and sounds of Roadburn a little bit more, too! I’m pretty sure that all of this will create a unique atmosphere, and spur other bands into great performances as well – I expect many bands to support each others’s gigs.

“There will be many highlights, artistically and musically, bringing true emotion to all involved, bands, staff and attendees alike! Roadburn 2014’s sonic tapestry is a testament to the open-mindness of all of us, and I’m proud to be a part of this.

Do you get particularly anxious when the time for the festival to start draws near, or have all these years of success and a lot of hard work helped you relax a little about it?
Walter: “The last couple of years, I could draw from experience to feel a bit more at ease in the weeks prior to Roadburn. I’m a nervous guy by nature, it’s hard for me to fully relax. I want Roadburn to be good for both the bands and the attendees so I always go the extra mile to make the “Roadburn experience” unforgettable for each and every one of us. This year, it was all pretty hard, my mother-in-law barely survived her battle against pancreatic cancer in the beginning of the year, then there was the cancellation of both The Heads and Buzzov•en among others, and last month, Selim Lemouchi died. I was about to quit – I simply couldn’t get my head around things anymore, but thanks to Jurgen, Yvonne, the very fine folks of the 013 venue, and other really close friends (and Esther, my girlfriend, of course) I could pull myself through, and here we are, only ten days to Roadburn 2014. I’m still a bit nervous, but I can’t wait for the festival to happen.”

On a previous conversation, you mentioned that difference between the “dream” list for the festival and the one that ends up actually happening. How big of amdifference is it this year? Is Roadburn 2014 closer to your “dream Roadburn” than usual?
Walter: “Roadburn 2014 is pretty close to what we had in mind, and more, especially in the face of various setbacks. I’m extremely happy with the entire lineup, from LOOP to Bölzer, from Änglagård to The Body, and last but not least from Opeth to Joe Buck Yourself!, we keep pioneering – the arthritic growth of Roadburn has become more important to me than realizing my dream lineup, as you should have dreams to cary on.

What would you consider some of your personal highlights, as a festival-goer, if you can step out of your Mr. Roadburn mode for a little while?
Walter: “I’m extremely happy that I will see LOOP for the very first time, coz I’m a massive fan since the beginning of the band. For many years, I have said that having LOOP at Roadburn would be a dream come true, and it’s going to happen now the band has reformed for a series of gigs. I’m extremely excited. I’m equally excited to see YOB and Triptykon among others. Plus, I’m also looking forward to finally see Crowbar, as I haven’t seen them yet. As far as newcomers go, Beastmilk and Nothing are on the top of my list!

Personally, I love going past you during the festival. You’re always tremendously active and always seem like you have a million things on your mind at once, but at the same time the pride and joy is noticeable as you look at the festival going in full swing. What do you actually feel when you stop for a second and look at everything happening in front of you?
Walter: “I feel so overwhelmed by the entire festival the moments I stop for a second and look around. And, I’m feeling proud as well, as I see how Roadburn affects everyone involved. It still completely knocks me of my feet, as I put so much of my heart and soul into the festival, and seeing bands, staff and attendees alike being genuinely affected by all this, is something that’s so hard to describe. Maybe I will only comprehend all that we achieved with Roadburn in many years from now.”

Have you given any thought to Roadburn 2015 yet, any little detail at all?
Walter: “Roadburn 2015 has crossed my mind many times, and I have quite some ideas. I have to say though, that I was was pretty occupied with heavy family circumstances and I’m extremely happy that my mother-in-law is doing much better now. I can’t wait to start working on next year’s Roadburn, but first, I’m going to plunge myself into Roadburn 2014. I’m up for it.”

So are we. See you there!

WORDS: José Carlos Santos

Roadburn takes place April 10th-13th in Tilburg with the 013 as main venue.

You can find Roadburn on Facebook, and visit their official website for more information.

About Kez Whelan

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