Hello Varg, welcome to Rockoverdose.gr and thank you for accepting the invitation for this interview. So, a new album is going to be released very soon. Could you define the main differences of "Umskiptar", compared with the two predecessors?
Hello Zisis, and thank you for your interest. The main difference between the new album "Umskiptar"
, and the two predecessors is definately the language used in the lyrics. The lyrics on the two predecessors are all in Norwegian, but on "Umskiptar"
all lyrics are in Old Norwegian, which is a far more poetic and beautiful language. It sounds much better, not least compared to my own terrible Norwegian dialect, and gave "Umskiptar"
a very different atmosphere.
What is the main concept behind "Umskiptar" and what does the album title mean?
The concept is metamorphoses (and that is also what Umskiptar means). The poem used as lyrics (id est Völuspá) deals with the metamorphoses found in nature each year and the metamorphoses man goes through - in life and death (or if you like; the journey to Hades and back again).
Like "Fallen", while listening the new album, I noticed a rich diversity regarding the vocal lines. Songs like "Galgviðr" or "Gullaldr" are so unique and reminds me more a narration to a fairytale, than a typical BURZUM song, structured with sharp riffs. What's your opinion about that?
Well, I am glad to hear you find them different, and I like your comparison to fairy tale narrations. They are actually all mythic narrations, and as you might know the fairy tales are (almost) all based on myths, so...
BURZUM has a tradition as regards the impressive cover images and the new album is no exception. Could you give us more details about the front cover of "Umskiptar"?
It's painted by a Norwegian artist named Peter N. Arbo
, and is a romantic image of Natt (the night as a goddess, like Nyx). He also painted a romantic image of Dag (the day as a god, like Hemera), by the way and this too naturally fits well into the concept of a metarmophosis. The transition from night to day, and vice versa.
Is it possible to use again Theodor Kittelsen's art in forthcoming albums?
Possible, yes, but it will probably not happen. I do not think going back and try to repeat what I have already done before will do anyone any good. It worked in the past, but now I must find new pasture, so to speak.
"Hvis Lyset Tar Oss" & "Filosofem" were two amazing dark ambient albums combined with deep inner lyrics and astonished artwork, that managed to redefine the genre. Almost two decades later, what do you believe about those albums?
Well, I have mixed feelings. To me personally they first and foremost remind me of a very negative and destructive period of my life, when I had no true friends and was surrounded only by false rats and venomous snakes. They were honest expressions of my despair at the time, and I understand they paved the way for many other bands, so I guess I should think well of them as well.
How would you describe the music of BURZUM to someone that listens to it for the first time?
It's music made to be listened to when you have the time to relax and contemplate; music which is supposed to enable you to get a feel of a long lost world, known to us only as either Antiquity or even "pre-history".
Really, what do you remember from the early 90's Norwegian Black Metal scene? In your opinion did Black Metal became famous because of the facts in Norway or the quality of some significant releases, such as "A Blaze In The Northern Sky" or "Det Som Engang Var"?
Had the music been all crap nobody would have bothered listening to it, but all the fuzz in Norway naturally contributed a lot to the spread of this music. What I remember? Oh, that's a lot. I am not yet so old that I cannot remember vividly what happened 20 years ago. I do believe, however, that the scene in Norway in this period has been glorified and romantisized a lot in the years after. Like I said it really was just a big pit of vipers and Euronymous' store was a rat's nest. A few individuals shone like light in all this darkness, but the scene as a whole was rotten to the core.
The promotional photos of the new album are a little bit weird. Why did you choose the images of a hunter and a viking warrior?
I am first of all a little bit surprised that you call my promo shots weird, when we have seen photos of the clowns of Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Satyricon and other Black Metal parody bands for years now, but that's okay. I will leave it with that. Well... It is actually not a Viking Warrior. The armour and perhaps even the helmet on those photos would have been anachronisms even in the Viking Age, as they belong in the Classical Antiquity (and up to the beginning of the Viking Age for the helmet). It's a Northern European Warrior from late Classical Antiquity, wearing blue clothes (id est the Pagan colour), fighting or preparing to fight the Christian Jew-lackeys of the Roman Empire. I called the series of photos WargaR to stress this. You see WargaR is the proto-Nordic origin of Old Norwegian Vargr – which of course is the Old Norwegian origin of my own Norwegian first name, Varg. (If I ever use the name Wargaz I have probably lost myself somewhere in pre-history...). The Hunter is the same person, only metamorphosed.... He is living in a different age now, but is still fighting the same eternal enemy of Europe. Some warriors never surrender! They just change when they die and are reborn again – to pick up the sword and keep fighting for Europe (as a biological term)!
Would you like to give us more details about your book "Sorcery and Religion in Ancient Scandinavia"?
You can read this
for more about the book, and I can add that you will find a list with the Greek/Scandinavian names for the Scandinavian/Greek deities and their meanings, which you might find interesting.
Do you have any other interests besides music & reading? How do you imagine mankind in 50 years?
I imagine mankind as a much smaller entity. Mother Nature will hardly tolerate that this cancer we know as mankind will grow much more, and I can only believe and hope that that she will deal with this problem soon. Mankind in 50 years will probably be made up off fewer individuals, but on average of individuals of much higher quality. Alas! Imagine Greece in ancient times compared to modern Greece. Imagine all of Europe in ancient times compared to all modern European nations. Europe used to be a healthy Elysium, and bankers of a certain ethnicity have turned it into a mongrel cesspool... and we let them do this because Christianity brainwashing us into thinking well of these mongrel Hebrew-speaking backstabbing rats.
Europe! Wake up!
Thanks a lot for your time. Do you have something to add?
Thanks again for the interest, and good luck to you. Long live the Greek people!
Authors: George Gourgaris and Zisis Petkanas (© 2012 RockOverdose.gr Greece)