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Interview with Varg Vikernes (February 2010)

Part I. "Belus".

Joni Jokinen (Finland): Why did you choose Belus as your theme for the upcoming album? You've already made an ambient album about Belus (Baldr). Weren't you happy with it?

Well, in fact I am not happy with any of my previous albums. That is however rather irrelevant in this context. Besides; "Dauði Baldrs" dealt with the myth until and including Ragnarok. Belus is an interpretation of the entire myth, and if I may say so; compared to "Dauði Baldrs" this is an infinitely more enlightened interpretation.

The reason I chose this theme is that I know this subject well. Further, some things have no expiration date, meaning they are as valid today as they were thousands of years ago, when they were created. Many of our myths fall into that category, including the myth about Belus/Baldr.

Roman Golikov (Norilsk, Russia): Do you have any plans to make a video clip for one of "Belus" tracks?

No. I have no such plans, but I know the record company wants me to. It is likely that I have been gone for too long to understand the value of such things.

Léo (Méréville, France): Where was the photo of "Belus" cover taken? Why did you choose it?

The "Belus" front cover photo was taken about 2 km from my home in Bø. I chose it because it suited the concept; Belus is a solar deity, and he remains a mystery on the front cover, because you cannot see him. You can only see the sun rays though the mist. Also, the deities, all the deities in fact, were originally tree spirits, and therefore I think the tree blocking our view to Belus himself fits perfeclty. The pine tree blocking our view to Belus is, by the way, dedicated to Kaimadalthas (Heimdallr ["world tree"]).

Anton Semykin (Ekaterinburg, Russia): Will there be a limited edition of "Belus" with bonuses?

Again, the record company wanted this. I on the other hand really don't like such things, so there will be none.

Emanuel Krstanović (Koprivnica, Croatia): In which studio was "Belus" recorded?

The same as all the others; Grieghallen. I am too conservative to start using a new studio... "If it works, don't fix it".

Semen Timofeev (Russia): What equipment did you use while recording "Belus" album, does it differ much from the one you used to record the début album?

Belus:
Peavey "Twenty-Three" guitar
Peavey 120 Watt 6505 amp and speaker
Customized bass of high quality
Old 1975 drum kit of unknown brand
High quality mics
Digital recording

Début:
Pearley white Weston guitar of unknown type
Peavey 60 Watt amp/speaker
Marshall 10 Watt amp/speaker
Customized bass of high quality
Drum kit of unknown brand and medium quality
High quality mics
Analogue recording

Unfortunately I used a 10 Watt Marshall for one of the guitars on the début, and I should not have done that. I used an excellent Peavey 60 Watt amp/speaker for the other guitar, and I really should have used that for both guitars. I therefore used a 120 Watt Peavey 6505 for both guitars this time. (I gave away my 60 Watt Peavey during my incarceration, so I had to get a new amp.)

The biggest difference from the first to the latest album is perhaps that I spent at least some time on the production of the album...

Resurgam (Russia): You are in debt to Norwegian government for burning churches. Will the sales return from "Belus" album be used to pay this debt?

Of course not. Thanks for asking though. I really don't want anyone to believe that a single penny of my or anybody else's income from Burzum will be used to pay this debt. The only thing they will ever get from me is the finger, so to speak.

Wyatt Burton (Dallas, Texas USA): Is there any possibility of a live Burzum show to support "Belus" release?

It sounds as if half of you have been paid by Byelobog Productions to ask such questions. My record company certainly wants me to play live, badly, but I have no such plans. My only motivation to do such a thing would be money, and I don't think that's a good reason to play live.

For some reason I like neither to go to concerts nor to play live myself (and I know, 'cause I did with Old Funeral about a dozen times), and I don't even see how Burzum's music would fit in a live show.

If I ever find a good reason to play live, then maybe I will, but until then...


Part II. Past.

Ich (Russia): The "Black Spell Of Destruction" song from the début Burzum album contains the following lines: "Damkuna, Iftraga Sheb Nigurepur, Dafast". What does it mean? Is there a link between "Sheb Nigurepur" and Howard Lovecraft’s Shub-Niggurath?

There might be a link. In the 80ies I sometimes played the "Call of Cthulu" role playing game, and through that discovered the writer H.P. Lovecraft, and the (fictional) book "Necronomicon". As far as I can remember I made up that "spell" myself though, but maybe I had the Lovecraftian lore in my mind when I did. You certainly have a point when you point at the similarity.

Oh, I almost forgot; it doesn't mean anything. It is just supposed to be a "spell" destroying the world as we know it... covering it in "burzum" (darkness).

Alex Jardine (Lone Pine, Pennsylvania, USA): What books have inspired you most of all en route to your Asatru beliefs?

My Asatru beliefs? Asatru means "belief in spirits", or "belief in (Norse) gods" if you wish to stick to the younger interpretations, and I can assure you that I don't believe in any spirits or deities whatsoever. I see all such beliefs as plain ignorance, or in fact as evidence of lacking intelligence. I know too much about religion to be religious, so to speak, and I am not that stupid either. (See the article "Religion or Reason" on this website.)

In other words we cannot speak about my "beliefs". Instead we should speak about my "interest in", and if we do I can tell that the original Norse texts inspired me the most to find out more about what you call Asatru, and more so the pre-religious world view known as Seið ("tradition").

The "Belus" lyrics are all about Seið, by the way. Only the album titles refers to the deities/mythology...

Michelle Carr (Leon, France): What was the real reason for the escape from the prison back in 2003?

Why? Have I ever given any unreal reasons for the "escape" from prison back in 2003?

You know, my French friend; this is complicated, and I might perhaps write about this later on, in a book or something, but not now and not in an interview like this.

Jason Mehlhorn (Dublin, Ireland): How did you spend your first day out of prison last year?

I spent the whole day travelling from Tromsø in Troms to Bø in Telemark.

Vadim S. (Moscow, Russia): Have you ever experienced drugs?

Certainly I have experienced drugs; too often I have experiences how annoying others become when they take drugs... but no: I have never taken drugs myself. I am not that stupid.


Part III. Present.

Jean-Daniel Bouchard (Montréal, Canada): How are you taken by the members of the modern Black Metal scene in Norway?

In no way.

Alexandr Antonov (Kharkiv, the Ukraine): Do you keep in touch with your fellows of the early 1990s Norwegian metal scene?

I've been in touch with my friends in Darkthrone and Mayhem, as well as the old Uruk-Hai drummer. The others, it turned out, were not my friends.

Wyatt Burton (Dallas, Texas USA): Is there a possibility of collaboration with Fenriz again or any other musicians in future?

Fenriz is a great guy and I like him a lot, but just like me he is somewhat "difficult", and I think we work best on our own, alone. Generally speaking I don't like (other) musicians, and I see no reason to collaborate with anybody. I am satisfied with my own skills as a musician, and like I mentioned already in this interview, I have no plans to play live.

Aleksander Hinchliffe (Lillehammer, Norway): What are your views on each season of a year?

Right now I think of Paganism when asked about the season, and the relation between the seasons and lunar phases, the elements, deities and life phases in the ancient world view.

Winter - Lunar Eclipse - Air - Tíwaz - Rebirth
Spring - Waxing Moon - Earth - Ertho - Birth
Summer - Full Moon - Fire - Sowili - Life
Autumn - Waning Moon - Water - Máni - Death
(New Year's Day - [No Moon Phase] - Spirit - Haimadalthaz - [No Life Phase])

Other than that I don't think too much about the seasons. They are all nice in their own way, and I appreciate them all.

Stanislav Tretyakov (Perm, Russia): What do you value most of all in your life?

That's too personal.

Or what if I say "how the evening light in the late summer elevates the beauty of Mother Earth"?

Inna Matviec and Radjiv Hairetdinov (Ufa, Russia): Are you a vegetarian? What is your opinion on vegetarianism?

No, I am not a vegetarian. For some time I tried to be a semi-vegetarian, eating only fish, birds, and no red meat, but... I don't know if I have an opinion on vegetarianism. I think we would have been better off without agriculture and even domestication of animals. We were stronger and more healthy as a species when we were hunter-gatherers. And we were fewer...

The Stone Age hunter-gatherers surely weren't vegetarians...

Anthony Bloxham (UK): How do you feel about the world now that America has its first black president?

Well, "mulatto" is more like it. He isn't "black". Anyway, I don't feel anything. The president in the USA is and has always been just a puppet for the true masters of the USA. Whether this puppet is white or black, yellow or brown, Democrat or Republican, or whatever, doesn't matter. The true rulers of the USA are the individuals working in the background, oh and by the way; they certainly all have the same ethnicity...

Vladimir Panteleev (Vladimir, Russia): What are your views on astrology?

Astrology is interesting, but not very accurate. It's a science I don't trust very much. I have yet to see an accurate horoscope... and I think most individuals who believe in astrology do because it flatters them.

Franmir (Coahuila, Mexico): Do you have a job?

Yes, I work as a musician...

Kurt Ahlstrand (Arboga, Sweden): What do you think about skinhead movement?

I guess it's a part of the immune system of the nation, and a natural reaction to an unhealthy development.


Part IV. Future.

Jean-Daniel Bouchard (Montréal, Canada): How do you see the future of Burzum?

You should ask an astrologist about that...

Well, I don't know what to say. I live one day at the time. Time shall tell.

Max Ross (Dallas, USA): What other themes rather than Scandinavian mythology may become a subject of future Burzum albums?

Everything and nothing. Maybe European pre-mythological sorcery traditions. I really don't know.

Uriy Kazaryan (Odessa, the Ukraine): What do you think about the end of the world and prophesies about it, will it ever happen? What is your opinion about year 2012 and rumors around it?

Well, the 2012 thing is a Mayan myth. These guys cut out the hearts of human victims as part of their primitive religion. They did this less than 500 years ago. I don't think we should pay much attention to what these savages said about the future.

Realistically, we risk an end to human life on this planet only if our planet is struck by a large object from outer space, or if we start a nuclear war. We will however sooner or later see an end to the current world order, but exactly when and how this will happen is not possible to know. I hope sooner rather than later.

Artem Treshin (St.-Petersburg, Russia): Was the farm an expensive purchase? How are you planning to use it?

By Norwegian standards it's not very expensive. A similar house in Oslo or Bergen cost at least twice that amount, a similar property at least ten times as much. I am planning to use it only as a residence. The forest is my only neighbour, so it is a nice place to live.

Skalder Franz (Franconia, Germany): Now that you're out of prison are you planning on traveling somewhere or is there any country, region or site you want to visit?

If I could I would never leave my home. I am about as adventurous as the average hobbit. Unfortunately I have to do some travelling though, for different reasons, and every now and then. In fact I drove through Germany a few weeks ago.

Andrey Kazakov (Novokuibishevsk, Russia): Any plans to visit Russia some day?

If the Tel Aviv-controlled NATO criminals ever attack Russia I will go, as a volunteer for the Russian Army, but other than that I have no plans to go to Russia. Like I said before; I am not very adventurous.

Dmitriy Komyakov (Chelyabinsk, Russia): Are there in your opinion any effective measures that may be taken against islamization of Europe?

Yes. The most effective measure would of course be to get rid of the "elected" governments in Europe, by voting for so-called right wing extremist parties, but if that fails we can always -- and probably will eventually -- use the Richard Lionheart method. :-)

Tao Bai (Harbin, China): Do you have any plans to make a side-project to play other kind of music and explore other musical styles?

No, but I don't rule out doing such a thing. I think I will keep Burzum a metal band, and if I decide to publish other types of music I will do this under other names.


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