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Interview with Varg Vikernes
"Metal Revolution" E'zine (April 2012), by Bato

I believe every metaller on earth knows about Varg Vikernes and some things from your past. But who is Varg Vikernes that I meet today?

Varg Vikernes: Well, "knowing about" and "knowing" are two very different things, so I can easily say that I am the same, only older, and if anyone who "knew about" me think I am different it is only because they never "knew" me in the first place.

What effect did spending 16 years in a prison have on your psyche?

Not much. Besides I was probably more traumatized by spending time in the Marxist kindergarten archipelago and the Marxist school system in Soviet-Norway than I was from spending 16 years in prison. I prefer punishment, isolation and contempt to brainwashing, forced participation and false love any time. I will rather stand on my own two feet in prison than hold hands with Soviet-Norway anywhere else.

Would you then say that your latest offering "Umskiptar" is some kind of reflection of that time?

Not at all. My time in prison is all water under the bridge. I spend no time thinking about that.

The whole prison experience must have left its mark. In what ways has it changed you as a person?

Well, I am older now...

Have your views on (Norwegian) society and people changed while serving your sentence?

No. Time has only confirmed my perception of things, but of course I know more now than I did then, so my views have also been supplemented, so to speak.

Were, and how, were you affected by the latest events in Norway (the massacre committed by Anders Behring Breivik)?

If you have a real interest in this I suggest you read the "War in Europe" articles on burzum.org, and in addition to that I can tell that this attack should come to no surprise to anyone familiar with Norway and just how totalitarian that Marxist state has become.

Would you share your thoughts with our readers on how your albums are put together? Is there a chronological order or randomly?

It differs from album to album. I follow no rules. Every time I make an album I use ad hoc solutions, so to speak. Whatever works works. When it comes to "Fallen" I think I made every song in chronological order, but on "Umskiptar" I instead did my best to make it fit the concept and texts (all taken from the old Scandinavian poem "Voluspå").

Have you utilized any new recording/song-writing techniques for the "Umskiptar"?

No. "If it works, don't fix it". I did what I have always done although since "Belus" I have used a computer as a tape recorder instead of a cassette player, when making the music. When I record I still record each instrument individually, on a click track, and I then add the vocals when all instruments have been recorded.

What remains the most personal album and song for you and why?

(Not answered)

Now tell me something about your latest opus. If "Umskiptar" is someone's first encounter with your work, how would you describe this album to them?

It is made up of an equal share of rather old-school metal tracks with more varied vocals and musical narratives. It is slow paced and the main focus of the album is atmosphere and contemplation. The album can be seen as a supplement to "Sorcery And Religion In Ancient Scandinavia" (a book).

Can you compare it to its predecessor "Fallen" ?

It is slower and in particular the vocals are different, mainly because I sing in Old Norwegian (which is the same as Old Danish) this time, and I sang in Norwegian on "Fallen" . This old language made a real different, and I think lifted the entire production. The album is in a way a voice from the past, the voice of our forefathers, speaking to us in their language and using their own poetry.

You've been very productive lately, first in 2010 came "Belus", a year later came "Fallen" and now "Umskiptar" has been released. Something we'll also see in the future?

Possibly. Time shall tell. I don't make any plans in this context; I just make music when I find the time to, and then let the music take the lead.

Do you have any favourite tracks of "Umskiptar" and why?

My favourite tracks on "Umskiptar" would be "Alfadanz" and "Æra", and possibly "Joln" as well. Why? "Alfadanz" because of the traditional feel, "Æra" because of the simplicity and underlying brutality and "Joln" possibly because I like the Old Norwegian language that is particularly clear on this track.

What is the exact meaning of the word "Umskiptar" and does it have any special meaning for you?

It translates into English as "metamorphoses" or "changes", and it refers to the meaning of "Voluspå", the poem used as lyrics on this album. The poem deals with the metamorphoses of nature, in a mythological language.

Do you think the compositions on "Umskiptar" would appeal to a fan of the classical genre, or to a traditional black metal?

Both and neither. I have fans who enjoy one or both theses genres, and of course there are individuals who like one or both these genre but who doesn't like Burzum at all and I think that is fine.

Burzum is, in case you didn't know, not black metal, by the way. It's skaldic metal.

Have you received any feedback from the media and fans? Do you care at all what other people think of your work?

Well, I care when they like it and don't care when they don't. Burzum is not meant to be appreciated by everyone anyhow. It is made for me and those who are like me, or for those who are able to appreciate it for other reasons.

Burzum.org has two pages; one in English and one in Russian. In some interviews I've even heard you use Russian expressions. What's the relationship between you and Russia?

The relationship is good... The main reason why burzum.org has an English as well as a Russian page though is the simple fact that the admin of the site is Russian. I have a very good relationship to all European nations.

How do you wish people to regard you?

I don't worry about that. People can regard me any way they want. I couldn't care less.

Thank you very much for spending your time talking to us, the last words are yours.

Thank you for your interest. Remember to visit burzum.org if you want the latest news about Burzum.

Author: Bato (© 2012 "Metal Revolution" E'zine Denmark)



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