Interview with Varg Vikernes
"Genocide Productions" Magazine (#2, Winter 1996), by Beastus Rex
I guess there is no need for a long introduction to the person interviewed below. During the past year there have been several articles written about Varg Vikernes in Norwegian newspapers. In some of these articles Varg's expressions have been various, and it also seemed like he always changed his mind. As you might know, newspapers don't always tell you the truth, therefore I sent Varg some questions and here is his answers.
Greetings Varg! How is life treating you these days? What do you do to keep yourself occupied while you're in jail?
Greetings! Life is treating me as expected, and, whether I like it or not, as I want it to treat me. We all weave the threads of destiny, for ourselves: in long run the benefit of ourselves. To keep me occupied I study, write. train and read books.
Not so long ago you were transferred from Bergen to ILA. How is ILA compared to Bergen? What would you say was the reason behind your transfer? Are they trying to give you a hard time or what?
Considering ILA is an old concentration camp used by the Germans in WW2 (then called Grini, one of two in Norway. The other one being Falstad in Trøndelag in mid-Norway) and Bergen prison being built in 1991 a.y.p.s. there is an obvious difference. Also considering the fact that ILA house almost exclusively killers and rapists while Bergen prison house almost exclusively burglars, car-thieves, petty drugdealers and other "minor scum". The difference is very obvious. Still if comparing the two there is not much a difference. ILA has been more or less renovated, and the rules are only slightly more strict. Less drug-problems though, due to the fact that almost no "drug-criminals" serve here. The reason of my transfer is not totally clear to me (or anyone else it seems). Yes, someone wants to give me a hard time. Anyway, no big problem. No complaints. That which does not destroy me, makes me stronger, as Nietzsche said it.
How would describe your time in Old Funeral and Mayhem? How was it to play in these bands?
The time in Old Funeral was technically and musically very educative. A bit tiresome to play because nor all of us took it very serious. Never really played in Mayhem. I rehearsed with them some six times, recorded the album with them and that was it. I have heard they removed my playing later by the way, as Euronymous' parents didn't want me on "their sons album". Funny. Anyway, Hellhammer, the drummer if anybody shouldn't know already, is (and was) a very good drummer and a nice guy, so I remember more playing with him, than with Mayhem. Well, that might be two sides of the same thing... I mean, what would Mayhem be without Hellhammer's unique drumming?
Why have you decided to use Norwegian lyrics? Would it be because you're a nationalist or is there more to it? What do you think is the reason why so many bands from Norway only uses Norwegian lyrics?
In 1992, both Fenriz and I, wrote texts in Norwegian, both without knowing the other one was doing it. I can't speak for Fenriz, but I did it because it felt naturally. It sort of suddenly came to me that writing in an alien language was rather stupid. Nationalism had a lot to say on this choice of course. Why others do the same? I guess they realized the same as I did, and Fenriz perhaps. It's nice to be cross as well, making the texts esoteric, only some know the language. That's a typical Norwegian thing; do the opposite of what everybody else want you to do, or expect you to do.
Have there and are there still a strong link between you and Fenriz?
About the link between Fenriz and I there is not much to be said. We still have our argumentative correspondence, but for a year I was isolated in Bergen unable to correspond with rarely anybody. They even stopped letters from my mother as "Nazism". So that period we had no contact, quite obviously. The link must be mutual respect, quarrels (private) and the enjoyment of that. The strongest links are eyecolour, nationality, and names... or is it?
Where do you get your musical and lyrical inspiration from? Do you have any special source of influence?
I am "drugfree". No drugs - not even "Coca-Cola" or candy. Inspiration? HM... main inspiration must be Waffen SS. Influence is classical, barokk, folkmusic, romantic music (Wagner's "Der Ring Des Nibelungen" for example) and techno.
What are your lyrics, both old and new, dealing with? Do they have any special theme or topic?
They're all dealing with topics I find interesting, as Paganism, romantics (national), the occult and mysticism. Not least the mystics around death vs. life, darkness vs. light and other dualities.
Tell me all there is to know both musically and lyrically about following albums:
Musically: Ugly sound, annoying vocals and actually variation. This all is what made it so different when it came out in march 1992.
Lyrically: Astral projection, the afterlife, the Mesopotanian Aquarius, hope, self worship, destruction of the world as it is today, and eternity, what once was.
Musically: Fuzzy sound. Better drum sound, even more annoying vocals and more monotonous songs. Done in three hours all in all in studio, contra the debut's 19 hours in studio. Session bass-player, Samoth of Emperor.
Lyrically: Suicide, about the fact that "gods" adversary is dominant, and eternity.
"Det Som Engang Var"
Musically: Aggressive yet calm, most varied album of Burzum this far. Primitive production. Recorded half a year before "Aske" in 26 hours, I think (don't remember for sure actually). Lotsa bass, and otherwise "thin" sound.
Lyrically: Norway as it once was, the wisdom we had, melancholic thinking (contemplation more correct). The hall and ring of Wotan, Wotan (he who left us), the loss of mysticism in nature and death.
"Hvis Lyset Tar Oss"
Musically: Speedy yet slow music. Fairly good, but noisy production. Endurance in drumming, floating end. First concept-album, real concept album. Also musically.
Lyrically: In right order; first death, dying and the memory of what once was, then wondering, if the light take us, the light who burns us, dehydrate and hurt us, the journey to Valhalla, Wotan's hall, a ride towards Valhalla, in a way life itself, seeking death. Lastly the peace of complete emptiness, after a long, speedful ride through life. Calm, peace, sleep. I made this album actually to exhaust myself before I go to sleep, exhausted I sleep, fall asleep in emptiness - the final track.
Musically: Noisy, heavy drums, more aggressive vocals, monotonousness brought to the extreme, endurance-drumming, music for special occasions only. Music for solitude and in "melancholic nights". "Entrancing" music, hypnotic. Time confusive.
Lyrically: Praise of darkness, the queen of night, respect of the dead pagans, more contemplation, contempt of decrepitude, duality; light vs. darkness, what once was, hope, contempt of the world as it is today, Wotan.
The material on "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss" is different and sometimes more melodic and moody than the older material. What would you say is the main difference? Will also "Filosofem" be different from the other albums, or what?
The songs are actually less melodic, with the exception of the last track on the "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss" album. The main difference is the song-length and degree of monotonousness. Musically more simplicity. None of the albums sound the same I think, and "Filosofem" will be no difference. The "Burzum"-track from august 1991 appear on "Filosofem", still it doesn't sound like the debut or the song on "Det Som Engang Var" who was made the same year. I use a different drum-kit on all the albums, with exception of the one used on the debut and on "Det Som Engang Var". Well, actually I used the same kit on "Aske" as on "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss" when I think of it. Also with each production I learn something about sound and production. So the next album always end up sounding a bit better (in my eyes though).
Will "Filosofem" be the last chapter in the saga of Burzum? Have you got any plans for Burzum? What happens with Burzum now that you're in jail?
After "Filosofem" I will release the "Balder's Død" ("The Death Of Balder") album, sometime in 1997 or late 1996 I think. I have no rush. With time I will be able to record and release more albums. In one to two years time I guess.
What would you like to tell me about your new project, "Hliðskjálf"? How would you describe its music? When will the first "Hliðskjálf" album be released?
"Hliðskjálf" is the name of a Burzum album I never was able to finish. I have half the album recorded and I will continue when I can. It's together with "Balder's Død" a part of a Burzum concept trilogy. The music you will hear when it's released.
Why did you decide to start your own synth/ambient project? What's your opinion about this style of music, and other synth/ambient bands?
Electronic music, no ambient/synth style music. I know enough about other bands, be they electronic or not.
Have you got any favorite bands, both metal and non-metal? Do you think it's becoming a trend to play industrial, ambient, atmospherical music?
Fave "bands" must be Hedningarna, Das Ich, Goethes Erben, Rinnan Band, Vidkuns Venner, Vangelis, Nacht und Nebel, Adolphe Adam, Wagner, Grieg, Mozart, Blood-Axis, with more.
Well, I care no whit about what is trendy and what is not. I like what I like, no matter if it's a trend or not.
What do you think of people who claim to be "evil" or "satanic"?
I never think of them, but when asked to I must say it's quite amusing. The guy I killed was "evil" and "satanic" as well, it didn't help him much did it? Losers begging for mercy the moment they're threatened. Pathetic. Anybody can be "evil" and "satanic" when they're home in their kids rooms answering interviews, but they tend to run like chicken if some real trouble arise. I speak from experience, you bet.
Lots of bands have said that they have been listening to Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, etc. for ages. Why, in your opinion, didn't they come out with material earlier? What do you think is the reason behind it?
They're probably 16-17 years old, +/- now, and weren't able to produce music earlier. Or perhaps they were listening to MAX MIX 9 and Madonna until they saw us in the paper one morning?
Anyway, what matters is what they are today, not what they were. Right? (I agree! You shouldn't be judged after your past. It is as you say. It is what they are today that matters. -ED!) Besides, listening to pop music isn't any more "negroid" than listening to metal-music, so who cares if they do? After all, metal music, all rock'n'roll, has its roots in negro-music. That is why I stopped playing metal-music in the first place.
What's your opinion about following themes/topics?
Nazism: The biological cosmology, the road to Valhalla.
Fascism: The road to the New Roman Empire.
Racism: Every race's natural survival instinct.
Immigration: Traitors running away from their problems, instead of solving them, or dying in the attempt-like.
Communism: Just another Jewish tool of manipulation.
Paganism: Latin word for non-Jewish.
Heathendom: The Germanic paganism.
Christianity: Just another Jewish tool of manipulation.
In the past you have claimed to be a Satanist, a heathen, a odinist, a Nazist/fascist, a racist and a nationalist. To clear things out, where do you stand today? What do you consider yourself as?
For the sake of simplicity, and tactics I call myself a "true pangermanic Norwegian". This leave you the option to suspect me of being almost anything of the above. However, the only way I can correctly be called a "Satanist" is if you interpret the Hebrew word "Satan" as "the adversary". I am definitely an adversary to everything Jewish, including their childish fairytale "god".
What does these persons represent in your eyes?
Adolf Hitler: Deutschland. Friedrich Nietzsche: 19th century's Übermensch mentality.
Sigmund Freud: Jewish libido, a spiritual black death.
Charles Manson: New America. The future U.S.A.
Aleister Crowley: Jewish libido in practice. Misinterpretation of western magic.
Anton Z. LaVey: U.S. plastic culture, American tastelessness. Jewish libido, capitalism and hedonism.
Joseph Goebbels: Propaganda. The master of the art.
Charles Darwin: The theory of evolution.
Count Dracula: Romantic crap for women. Romanian victory over the Turks.
Marquis de Sade: Never heard of him. Sounds French to me.
Countess Bathory: Stupid Slavic bitch.
Tor Erling staff: Liberalism.
Do you believe in the existence of "true love" and "happiness"? What would you say is the most constructive emotion there is? How do you feel about love, hate, happiness and sorrow?
Happiness is an illusion made by mankind. True love is when you're willing to make sacrifice for a person, cause, whatever, without wanting anything in return. The most constructive emotion? Destruction is construction, but I don't believe emotions has got anything to do with that. Love and hate, joy and sorrow, is necessary. It's the differences that creates energy.
What is the beauty of pain to you? How is it possible to find the beauty of pain?
Why ask me about that? Anyway, pain increase the enjoyment of the opposite, so in that sense it's a "beautiful" thing.
How do you see what people call "the complete evolution"? What is mother earth's destiny like? The return to a naked singularity.
Earths destiny? Ask the past...
How are you able to develop body, spirit and mind behind the prison bars?
Same way as you out there, in the "illusion of freedom".
What is your view on women? How do you feel about sowing the seeds for the next generation? What will the world be like for our children and their children?
My view on women. They're equal with us men, based on their unique qualities, and ours of course. However, we have different tasks in this world, based on the same unique qualities of both sexes. Lets just say I'm against abortion for some depending on certain qualities of the parents, and I'm in favour of forced abortions for some. I have a light blond, blue-eyed daughter, age 3 1/2, and intend to father more such "quality products". The world is at a turning point, it will be even more violent, sick and cruel, for some time however.
What about the "freedom of speech"? Does such a thing exist for you and I? Are we extremists because we express ourselves against Christianity and immigration?
We are not extremists (I don't think we are either, but my experience the last year tells me that a lot of people think we are. -ED!). I find it far more extreme wanting to destroy ones own unique race, culture and religion. Replacing it with greedy degenerated bastards and a fully Jewish religion, than wanting to treasure and uphold our own. Freedom of speech exists to a limited degree, being able to express my opinions, due to censorship. This prison is strict, but not as fanatic as Bergen prison was, in limiting my freedom of speech. Well, I'm a revolutionary in Norway, a true Norwegian, something the Judeo-Christian bastards ruling this country don't like.
What about the murder of Euronymous? What effect did this have to the Norwegian Black Metal scene?
The killing (not murder) gave the scene a boost.
How do you feel towards the fact that you have to be in jail at least the next 10-11 years? Do you have any regrets towards your own actions? If yes, what is it that you regret? Anything you should have done?
No regrets. However my experience taught me that it's better to kill one to many than one to little in Norway. Prison is a negative thing but as I said; That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.
How was the trial against you? Did you get a fair trial? What was done wrong against you? Are you a victim of the inquisition anno the 1990's?
Lets just say the inquisition of the middle ages would be impressed by the one called "system of justice" today, if they had the chance to see it in function. Some hints; the first psychiatrist was a Jew and freemason, the other one was a communist, the jury was average age around 70, with two freemasons and a "Christian healer" in it (a guy claiming to see through you and healing you with the help of Jesus). My defense lawyer was a homosexual, my "friends" defense lawyer was a freemason witnessing against his own client just to nail me, the judge was a woman and a member of the "workers party" and so on. Incredibly as it may seem, I actually found the prosecutor/district attorney the least threat. I could go on and on, telling about this incredible inquisition. Pulling this show they called a "fair trial", but I guess you got the point. And of course, I got to know most of the facts mentioned above after the trial was all over. The only thing I knew was the jury's average age and the stand of the "co-defense lawyer".
The 29th of August 1995 I read an article/interview with Varg in the Norwegian newspaper "Dagbladet". Due to the fact that it often happens that what is written in newspapers doesn't always tell the truth, I wanted to hear what Varg had to say about this. The next five questions deals with that article/interview.
Why do you want to fight Satanism and the Black Metal scene? Why do you want to tear apart the satanic ideology and make Satanists look ridiculous?
I fight everything alien to our culture, race and religion, including Christianity (Satanism). I don't remember mentioning the Black Metal scene though (I guess it's something the journalist took out of the air. -ED!).
Wouldn't this be a contradiction in term when you still get paid for your Burzum albums? Do you reject your own past? Do you hate your past, or what?
What has Burzum got to do with Satanism and Black Metal? (I see it this way; You are Burzum, and once you even claimed to be a Satanist. -ED!) Old Burzum is metal music alright, but what's "black" about it? (In case you don't remember I can tell you. In the interview in "Slayer Magazine" # 10 in the end of question one you say, and I quote: "I don't view rock'n'roll as the roots of my Black Metal..." -ED!) I represent the ultimate light, the darkness of everything Jewish. The light of the sun, light skin, light hair, light everywhere. I am what I always have been, and I stopped call myself a Satanist, simply because I understood that I am not, have never been, and never will be. Satanism is just another Jewish religion. I am proud of my past, present and my future.
What can you tell me about "Norsk Hedensk Front"?
N.H.F. is for, by and to true Teutons.
Why is H.N.F. needed?
You will know when we want you to know.
When will your book "Vargsmål" be published, and do you have plans for more books?
The book is due for release in April 1996, in Norwegian. It will be translated into both English and German. More books will come from me, aye. See answer above for more details.
What's your opinion of the use of corpsepaint? Was your use of this only an experiment when you were in a depressive period of your life, or what?
Corpsepaint? I used it ritually as warpaint, but you're right it was used experimentally and during a period death was a "favour topic". This in connection to Åsgardsreien, the army of undead warriors. Wotans heer.
Enough of that. Burzum is signed to Misanthropy Records (UK). How do you feel about this label? What makes it so great? I guess Diamanda treat you with respect. How has your albums been selling and will you stick to this label in the future?
Diamanda of Misanthropy is doing a very good job, with German efficiency, so I have no plans signing to any other label. Burzum has sold some 20.000 of each release, but as this is old numbers and all the albums are still selling it's hard to tell. Also we let labels in South America, Japan and Poland print and sell the albums in their own format/versions. And I have no idea how much they have sold. The sale rates goes up as the distribution increase. Ask Diamanda about this, I don't really know anything for sure.
Now that I have asked so many questions I give you the opportunity to ask me whatever you want.
Okay... What does the following mean to you:
Eugenics: Genetic manipulation. A way which makes it possible to eliminate undesirable genetic material, and it also makes it possible to diagnose genetic defects in the unborn. This also makes it possible to control and create a superior race, without defects.
Valhalla: Odin's hall where warriors who fall in battle will live.
The number; nine: This number goes again and again in actions taken by the Vikings, and according to the Norse mythology Heimdall were born of nine sisters. Some also claim it stands for wisdom.
Wotan: One of Odin's many names.
Atlantis: A legendary island in the Atlantic ocean. Some believe this island really existed until it went under water.
Thule: The name of the occult sect I believe Hitler was a part of. Thule is also another name for Greenland, and landscape which goes from north of Trøndheim to the polar circle (the north one).
Finally we have reached the end of this rather long interview. The last words are yours. End this as you wish to end it.
Hail Wotan! Meine Ehre heißt Treue.
Author: Beastus Rex (© 1996 "Genocide Productions" Magazine Norway)