Roadburn 20 Questions

Name: Walter Hoeijmakers
Occupation: Editor–in-Chief Roadburn / Roadburn Festival Organiser

1. When were your rock doors blown wide open?
I heard Motorhead for the first time at the age of 15. I was flabbergasted, and my life completely changed. I changed into an obsessive music freak…

2. What posters were on your bedroom wall in High School?
Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Saxon, Judas Priest, Accept, Michael Schenker & Easy Rider… When I moved into a student house, my walls were covered with all kinds of concert posters like The Cult, Soundgarden, Jimi Hendrix – and lots of movie posters too, like Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet & Wild At Heart.

3. What was the greatest decade for music?
I have a penchant for music from the mid 60’s to the mid 70’s. It seems the best decade for me… but another favorite decade is from 1992 til now… I know it’s more than a decade, but there’s some amazing music released in the last couple of years.

4. Favorite local band?
I can’t choose between 35007 & Astrosoniq. These are my favorite local bands…

5. Favorite band name?
Black Sabbath

6. Favorite 420 Train Wreck artist?

7. Do you play an instrument? Been in a band?
I tried to learn to play guitar, but to no avail. I’m not in any band, but I do visuals for a lot of bands.

8. How were you introduced to stoner rock?
I was listening to Black Sabbath, Trouble, Saint Vitus, Monster Magnet, COC, Soundgarden, Cathedral & Kyuss in the late 80’s/early 90’s. And all these bands introduced me to stoner rock, as I kept lookin’ for more bands in the same vein… An ongoing quest for almost 20 years now…

9. How was Roadburn started?
I used to be a professional music journalist and I started to write about stoner rock in the early 90’s – from the release of Kyuss’s “Welcome To Sky Valley” on… The magazine I worked for went bankrupt, and I was out of job. A very good friend of mine started a website so I could continue to write about the music I love… [and as an archive for my early pieces on stoner rock]. This website became Roadburn… And from the first day on, all bands I happen to know supported Roadburn with their take on stoner rock, their albums etc…

10. Where did you get the name Roadburn?
I loved a band named Dragpack, and I was humming along with one of their tunes, called “Johnny’s Last Race.” There’s a phrase like, “he took a road turn” or something like that… I accidentally thought they were singin’ something like “he took a Roadburn,” and then it struck me: Wow… this would be the appropriate name for the website… Roadburn.” I’m still not sure what the precise phrase is, and to be honest: I don’t want to know… It’s the moment of humming along to that particular song that is sacred to me…

11. To what do you attribute the Roadburn’s Festival amazing following?
Hmmmm… very difficult question. First off: it has everything to do with Holland’s laidback atmosphere…and the venue [the 013] where you can actually drink and smoke pot without be harassed by cops, security or the staff. Second: the Roadburn Festival still retains the underground vibe and ethics, but with seriously big-league production values. And, last but not least, it’s the quality of the festival’s programming – the Roadburn Festival showcases only but the best bands of the stoner rock genre & beyond. All of this appeals to many people from all over the world who attend Roadburn to commune as one with THEE MIGHTY RIFF, and to get high en masse. And it makes me feel darn proud to provide bands and fans with such an event as I’m doing – all this as a labour of love.

12. Do you think Roadburn would do as well in a country other than the Netherlands?
I really don’t know… I’m very lucky to do the Roadburn Festival at a full pro / state-of-the-art venue like the 013 in Tilburg. They provide me with all the festival needs, and I’m not sure if I can find such a venue, and such a good staff, in any other country. Roadburn is something special for everyone at the 013, and I feel very privileged to work with these people as they are 100% committed to the cause. It’s also an attribute to Roadburn’s amazing following.

13. How would you like to celebrate Roadburn’s 20th Anniversary?
I don’t know as I’m working on the Roadburn Festival one year at the time. As I said above, I’m doing the festival as a labour of love, and there will be a day that I’ll really need a regular day job.

14. If not Roadburn, what would you be doing?
Being a social worker for the elderly or a volunteer counselor. I have a degree in social work – I’m a very skilled social worker.

15. Favorite European music festival other than Roadburn?
I love Germany’s very own Stoned From The Underground festival. The festival is being held at an amazing location, and sports a very laidback vibe – it’s like being at home with your best friends.

16. Of all the artists in your music collection, by whom do you have the most albums?
A tie between Hawkwind & Jimi Hendrix.

17. You are stuck on a desert island and can have only one artist’s entire catalog. Whose would it be?
I’d love to bring along all the albums from Black Sabbath & Led Zeppelin, but if push comes to shove, I’d bring along the entire Jimi Hendrix catalog.

18. Earthquake! You are allowed into your apartment long enough to save only one CD. What would it be?
I’d save the first pressing of Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced.”

19. Who would you want to have do the soundtrack of your life?
Monster Magnet featuring John McBain.

20. What song pretty much sums you up?
Jimi Hendrix – “Are you Experienced.”