Interview with Varg Vikernes
"Olde Haint Press" (13.04.2012), by Teddy Horse

Welcome, once again, to the Olde Haint Press... It is good to welcome you in return once again. Since we last spoke, you have released "From the depths of darkness"; a re-working of some of your older material from the first two albums... It seems you have returned to Grieghallen for this album - what can you say about this experience and what was it like to return, back, to the old nostalgia with the producer and your past? I have read some folks weren't so happy with the vocals, but I cannot agree here on the matter with them... I listen to "Feeble Screams..." as we speak, and can only congratulate you on your return both here and in this sense... do you also plan another album which revisits other songs, or the ambient pieces, for that matter?

Thank you for the positive response and for giving me another opportunity to participate verbally to your website.

It was both nice and a bit sad to return to these old tracks, as they surely brought up a lot of forgotten memories of a time when things weren't so easy, so to speak. It was in a sense as if I was back, recording the tracks for the first time, and in a sense I wish it was.

No, I don't think I will re-record other tracks, as both "Hvis Lyset tar oss" and "Filosofem" had a sound I am still happy with to some extent anyway.

Are you still planning on the release of your own role playing game? What can you tell us about this, if anything at all?

Yes, very much so, but I am not yet sure exactly on how to do this. I expect to be asking for help from gamers to play-test the system and to get feedback, but I will do some proof-reading and add some more meat to the bone, so to speak, before I do so.

Note that I am not trying to revolutionize RPG gaming with this game or anything like that. I just wanted to add in a game some things I have always missed in other games and remove some things I didn't like, and then create a setting I would want to play in myself.

It's all done out of love for RPGs, and because I enjoy working with this.

Do you have any fond memories of your role playing game days you would like to share? I myself, with a few, select others, played the first edition AD&D only, and we still sometimes do, in the manner of the old Gary Gygax tradition of early RPG... We have created many characters and had much magic still, with some great opportunities to play out the character and personalities like Mackarel Dale the rouge; the druid Owck the gnarled or against villains we have created like Fitzworg the enslaver...

Oh, it is a very long time since I last played a game, and I think even back then, when I had the opportunity to play, my biggest fascination was the logic (or lack thereof) of the system itself, the technical details and gaming mechanics, the complexity of the gaming world, races, stats and so forth. I am a terrible friend, so I have lost all my RPG-friends, and I lost the last one many years ago, and have gained no new friends to replace them, so I relate to RPGs pretty much just like some autistic person trying to figure out in details how a complicated mechanical device works. Right now I just try to make a logical system and a logical world for it...

My fond RPG memories have mostly been lost, but I still remember how fun it was to even just have the PC party walk up to some ruined tower or a cave entrance, and then try to unveil the secrets therein.

Ah, you know; Det som engang var ("what once was")...

Now, I wish to take a more serious turn... I wonder what your feelings are on things like wild-crafting and foraging, and especially the use of herbs... It seems many have forgotten the old handles and folk names of many of these plants and I wonder if there are any ones you feel a kinship with or if there are any hoary roots or aerial tops you would like to lay out on the metaphoric table tonight? I myself am fond of a good nightcap like valerian or scullcap, or even wild passionflower, taken from the cabinets of nature...

There was a time when I knew the herb lore of Tolkien's Middle Earth quite well, and much better than real herb lore, and I have always wanted to know more and much about this, but I have never managed to motivate me to learn it properly. I do know which trees are associated with each of the Norse deities, and I do have some elementary knowledge about this, but alas! I have not allocated too many skill points for that skill in particular, so to speak... :-)

Foraging is unfortunately really not (yet...) necessary in our rotten world, but I have to say I wish it was...

I am not very original, so I am particularly fond of the mistletoe, and I actually recently climbed an old oak to cut one down (for very mundane use though, in context with promo photos taken for the new album). The oak is a tree dedicated to the a Sun spirit, later to be known as the god Baldur (or Belus, Appollon, Byelobog, etc.) and when Autumn came the ancients believed its life force retracted to this tiny bough, the mistletoe, found in the crown of the tree. All the power of this Sun spirit/deity could thus be found concentrated in the mistletoe, and they cut it down to for sorcerous use as a wand of great power!

Later the spirits turned to deities, and we saw the coming of a conflict between the traditional sorcerers cutting down the mistletoe for sorcerous use and the priests claiming they killed Baldur by doing so, and thus caused Winter to come and claim the life of almost every deity. Ever since we have suffered from this conflict; between the priest and the sorcerer, between religion and the old traditions, between the farmer and the wild nature trying to take back what has been cultivated by him.

And to some extent, this is the core of my RPG world, and also an important subject in "Sorcery and Religion in Ancient Scandinavia". (See the book for more on that, if you care to.)

Alas, it seems the food we have today is not so wholesome as it once was, and the water a hole for profit only, as if we should be even sold these things... I look around and I see folks who rely on commercial agriculture as if the farmer has become a ghost to the world... another topic I would like now to discuss with you is that of gardening and of food itself... I have met many people who are afraid of the wood and their own backsides, but when it comes to vegetables and spring water, it would seem as if the devil itself were responsible! I can also say I trust wild game and fish much more than what's in the markets... it would seem we are being poisoned and brought into certain bondage by our overlords...

I agree with you 100%, and I guess we both know that over-population is the problem here.

If I may return to the subject above, with a conflict between old traditions and religion, I can add that agriculture is actually the root to all tyranny, and the ancient nomadic life style is still the only life style which has ever provided true freedom to anyone. With agriculture came also control, over the food, and thus those who needed food. Famine, malnutrition, tyranny, war, terror and so forth are all a direct result of agriculture.

Today our overlords are all greedy bankers, who care only for profit, and they will keep robbing us all until we have nothing left for them to rob. This tiny elite, who think of themselves as a chosen people, will suffer greatly when this happens as they have over and over again in history. Will they never learn?

Recently, I myself was jailed for false crimes, and held in a cell with a thin, puke stained mattress for over 30 hours here in my good old hometown of Arkansas... I was "cut loose" by the attorney and never went before the zionist (I will not capitalize this word!) judge... in this short time only, I can see the horror of it all you must have faced, and of course, your sentence was very dire compared to these few hours I mention... I can only imagine the good folks who suffered for real or imagined wrongs in dungeons in the times of yore... it must have been terrible, indeed... is there any strength or words of advice you can offer one who is confined to such walls? I do realize this is the last thing one wants to discuss after he has been done with it, perhaps...

Ha ha, sorry for laughing, but I understand you very well. When I was arrested they actually didn't give me a mattress at all, and they undressed me and left me naked in a cell with the lights on all the time. In retrospective this is of course a bit funny, because it is so freaking absurd, but I can tell that it is not like that all the time when you're jailed. I think I have only spent maybe a few months in all (of a total of 16 years I prison) under such conditions (and save a few days always with clothes on...). Most of the time is spent in a normal cell, with a bed, a chair and a desk.

I think it is much worse when this happens to a person who is completely innocent. I mean, I knew I had killed that guy, even though I knew he had attacked me first, and saw it as self defence, so I was (mentally) prepared for it. My so-called friends (alias f***ing rats), who were with me when I was arrested, were not prepared for this though, and even though they were released the day after, they were pretty... moved by this (and confessed to every single crime they had ever committed in their entire life even crimes the police didn't even know of...).

When imprisoned and suffering such treatment, as you did, the best thing I think you can do is simply always remember that they cannot keep you in that situation for very long. In some countries only for 48 hours, or 24 hours, or for maybe a week or two as worst case scenario. So, just relax, sleep, do some push ups and sit ups, and wait for them to let you go...

One subject I have always been somewhat fascinated by is the Arthurian mythos, though there seems to be some of the enemies ideas therein... I find it strange that Nazis looked for a grail... On the other hand the concept of Merlyn is interesting, if only in print... what are your thoughts on such matters, or of druids, even? We do know there were many different ages of these sort of characters... or, so we are told.

The grail is originally an attribute of the Earth Goddess (like the halo/crown, hammer/sceptre and sword are the attributes of the Sky God and later all Kings in Europe), which she uses to "pour out fertility" to the land and people. The symbol was, like all the other European (id est Pagan) symbols, adopted by the early Christians, who failed to eradicated them and therefore just gave them a new and Christian content (as is the case with all the Pagan festivals too).

The Nazis were probably fooled by the Christianized Pagan myths too, like all are familiar with them have been at some point, and they sought it because, as you might know, most of the Nazis were Christians...

Merlin/Merlyn and other similar characters are all vague memories of the sorcerers of the past. All other druids too, of course.

You can read more about all of this as well in "Sorcery and Religion in Ancient Scandinavia".

Where are you current studies on Neanderthal taking you, if I am even right that you still study these things? When I think of these folks I can only conclude they must have been master hunters, as well as having knowledge of plant and natural food sources - probably beyond that of most college students of today! Also, I search for the history of the Scot, Celt, and Saxon - and I somehow find it hard to believe they all came from the regions that science once told us all life was cradled... any thoughts here?

Well, my wife is studying the matter pretty thoroughly, but of course I am very interested and follow her work carefully.

What has not yet been proven, but what will be proven in the future, is that the Neanderthals were very advanced, and more advanced even than we are today. What will also be proven is that we the European races are their direct ancestors. Unfortunately they did mix a bit with the inferior Homo sapiens, but only about 0,16% of our genes are from Homo sapiens; 99,84% are from the Neanderthals. So, the Neanderthals never died out; we are still here!

Had we not had the 0,16% of Homo sapiens genes mixed into our species we would have been far more advanced than we are today, and we would have suffered from far less genetic defects and disorders. The mixing of species is never any good, and occurs in nature only under unnatural circumstances.

You can find out a lot more if you visit her page and read her articles; www.mariecachet.com

I already asked you about the "paranormal" or metaphysical on our last conversation, but as it is a topic of great interest to me, I have one more such subject to end the interview with now, and it is on the subject of the ghost, specter, or phantom... I will say I do not doubt the possibilities of such, and have had a few weird experiences myself in the matter... Also, in an elemental context; as I believe there certainly are spirits, if we may call them that... is there anything you can add to this matter, or do you even consider the possibility that the will of men can somehow live past what we know as certain death; if only in a world of shadows?

Our forefathers certainly believed in reincarnation, that each man would be born again in the kin after his death, and we see the same or a very similar faith all over the world. Such a uniform and actually global belief system should in theory strongly suggest there is something to this, but... I don't know what to believe in or what to think. I have had out-of-the-body experiences myself, several actually, and I have heard several stories of so-called super-natural events from individuals I trust, but... the but remain.

What could explain some of the "ghostly experiences" some claim to have is simply DNA and DNA memory. Maybe the memory of (some?) events are stored in the DNA and passed on to the next generation. The next generation will then some times be able to experience or at least feel that they experience something that actually happened a long time ago; a person walking in the hallway; the image of a staircase which was actually torn down and replaced by a doorway fifty years earlier, and so forth.

Even if we do reincarnate after death I do not believe in spirits. What is passed on to the next generation will only be our DNA (or actually parts of it), and this will only re-create us partly and the mind will be new and only built (partly) by the same building materials (DNA).

What I think is more important than actually believing in reincarnation or thinking about a post-death existence is to live in the present. Carpe diem! There is no past, save in our minds and then only in the present! There is no future either, save in our minds and then only in the present! Time as perceived by us human beings is just a series of moments, pieces of time in the present, so to us only the present really exists. Everything else is an illusion, created by our limited human minds in an Eternity that we can understand but never really fathom.

Where do you think the informations stored in the RAM in your PC goes when you turn off the electricity? Does it wander about in search of a new computer to possess, or does it simply disappear forever?

What are your current works and plans?

Currently I work to promote the new album, "Umskiptar" ("Metamorphoses") and the future might hold a few surprises, but I am not 100% sure what to do yet.

I would like to thank you again for your time and say it is always an honor to have you here at the Olde Haint Press, where obscurists and outsiders are the tavern's stock... Thanks, indeed, good fellow!

Thanks for your interest, and for giving me another opportunity to talk to your obscurists and outsiders. I wish you the best of luck, and do let me know if you ever find proof of the existence of spirits... I am a narrow-minded bigot, alright, but a surprisingly open-minded one (and only self-contradictory to those with a two digit IQ and no sense of humour...).

See you around!

Author: Teddy Horse (© 2012 "Olde Haint Press" USA)

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