Mountain Biking And Isolation, An Interview With Der Weg Einer Freiheit
Der Weg Einer Freiheit is one of my favorite bands to come out of the post black metal scene and my friend Nikita Kamprad is one of my favorite people. He was wandering around Hellfest for reasons I can’t quite remember (I think he was touring with one of the bands?) and was gracious enough to sit down with me for a surprisingly deep interview for the second day of one of the biggest drinking festivals on the planet. Join us as we talk black metal and mountain biking.
How the hell are you?
I’m doing good! Hellfest is great, I’m happy to be back. Two years ago when we played we only spent eight or nine hours. We didn’t see the festival at night which was a bummer because there’s so much to see. Last night I saw it all for the first time and it was great!
What was that experience like?
Really cool! Looking from the mainstage area there’s a smooth downhill and you see all the people and it’s full of fire and lights and it’s just awesome. You only get this at the biggest metal festivals in the world.
How many have those have you played?
Only Wacken outside of Hellfest really. We aren’t mainstream enough for a lot of those festivals!
That being said your brand of post black metal is getting really big right now. Why do you think that is?
People like the mixture of the elements. They aren’t new elements, they are borrowed from other genres, like the fragile post rock guitars but you also see some raw black metal, like from the eighties and nineties. It’s all elements that have been there for a long time but the combination of them is the interesting thing. I think it’s always a very emotional musical style. That’s the important thing for me – that music carries as much emotion as possible so you can identify with it.
Where does that emotion come from for you?
It comes from daily life. All the music I listen to, movies I watch, books I read, countries I visit and people and cultures I experience. It’s the things I discover in daily life. It brings a certain rhythm of life into my mind and I want to manifest this into my own music and everything happening in my life.
What else do you manifest this in?
I do a lot of mountain biking. I can’t listen to music and create music all day. You can’t work all day and sleep the rest of the time. I love mountain biking, it’s like my second passion. I can refresh my mind there and it’s just nice to go out in my area where I live, jump on the bike and go.
How did you get into mountain biking?
Through my father. I’ve been doing it since I was eight or something. Not heavy mountain biking, but just cycling a lot. It’s my fathers favorite sport and passion. We always do tours together. We go to Italy for the scenery with all of the mountains and lakes. It’s very dynamic out there.
Does your relationship with your father impact your music?
Not yet. He’s important to me but it’s never been direct. He plays music himself, not on a professional basis, but just for himself. He restored a Hammond Organ, an original one. He plays Bach on it and stuff like that. I really enjoy that. For my own music there wasn’t a huge impact from him playing organ. I didn’t see him playing organ and think “Oh I have to create music now” or something.
Obviously you tour a lot, how do you balance a passion for mountain biking with being in a touring van?
I would love to bring my bike on the bus and use the free time to jump on the bike and cycle around. It’s not possible at the moment of course, we don’t have the capacity. We’re not touring that much these days, only like eighty days a year so there’s time to bike the rest of the time!
Do you go on vacations just for mountain biking?
Yes! I just went to Italy. The first time I went was twenty or twenty five years ago. I’ve been there almost twenty times now. The vacation lasted 10 days and 9 of them were biking around. I only had one day off doing nothing, but on the rest of it we were doing rides at 2000m up!
Does that passion for nature impact your music?
Yes. If I look at this festival for example it’s full of people. If I’m with people at a festival or on a tour I need some time away from people in nature on my bike. I need that contrast in my life. It inspires me to write new music and helps me think about new concepts. It gets created while I’m in nature.
To head towards the end – why do you think you work better in isolation?
I ask myself this question a lot. I just work better on my own. That’s why I’m self employed. I have quite a structured mind which helps me to achieve my goals the way I want to achieve them. There were only a few drawbacks in the past for me which also confirmed that I’m doing things right. I enjoy doing what I do, writing and recording music, producing other bands and all that. I fully concentrate on that. I really want to do that so at a certain point of time you realize that if you really want to do a thing you have to quit everything that you don’t want to concentrate on.