The Music of Burzum and the
Writings of Varg Vikernes

Abruptum zine interview

Interview by Josh in February, 1998

Greetings Varg.... Could you tell the reads about your current release "Daudi Baldrs" and the concepts behind the material on this recording as well as the cover painting on this release and how it represents the concept and title? How was this recording accomplished from behind prison walls and what sort of musical limitations do you have with the equipment you have in your cell? Is the material on "Daudi Baldrs" to your full satisfaction and is there any ideas you had for this recording which were difficult to achieve with your limitations?

The "Daudi Baldrs" album was recorded on a synthesizer with a disc station and then on a normal tape recorder. I would have recorded a voice telling the tale about Balder's death in between the tracks if   I could,but that was not possible. The album is all about the Norse-Germanic myth about the death of Balder and the visual art interprets that in a historical context just like the music does, in a musical context.

I'm quite surprised to see you being allowed to continue recording in prison, were you surprised by this as well and could you tell us what was done to allow you to continue on with your music in prison? I heard that you now have a guitar and amp in your prison cell, is there any truth to this and if so, do you have any plans to record material in the future with guitars mixed with keyboards once again? Have you begun to compose or even possibly record material for your next release? I read in an interview where you mentioned that you don't even actually know who to play the keyboards and that they have always been artificial and added with various sequencers?

When I was in Bergen prison (one year, from September '94) I was after some time allowed to have a synthesizer in the cell for a couple of months. I then simply recorded the album and sent a tape to MISANTHROPY. Then shortly after the prison authorities sent me to another prison, where I was not allowed to have any instruments in the cell whatsoever. Since that I have not been allowed to have any instruments in the cell, until a couple of months ago when I was allowed to have a guitar (but OF COURSE no amp). If you compare my keyboard skills to that of any classical pianist, I can easily be accused of not knowing how to play the keyboard, but compared to the masses of "Wannabe musicians" out there, I am hardly any more incompetent than the average keyboard player. Playing the synth is pretty much all about programming anyway...

I read in the past that BURZUM will now be deceased after the release of "Filosofem" and that your synth based music will go under the moniker of HLIDSKJALF. Could you tell us why you chose to continue with the name BURZUM and what shall be come of the title HLIDSKJALF, I understand that it might possibly be the title of your next release?

"Hlidskjalf" is the title of the third album in a BURZUM trilogy. The first in this trilogy is the "Daudi Baldrs" album.

I understand that you no longer have any interest in Black Metal music, or Metal music in general and wish to no longer have links to Black Metal.So has this changed your opinion on your past Metal based albums which are still very influential today,do you still take pride in these past recordings and the impact they still have? It's quite obvious that you have always had an interest in snyth based music, even far back as to the BURZUM '91 demo.Could you explain what synth based music does for you on a personal level,which Metal based music seems to nolonger do for you?

It has nothing to do with that. All Metal music is simply alien music, with roots in nigger music, and for that reason alone I will have nothing to do with it, as simple as that.

I know that there are a few unreleased tracks from the early Metal days of BURZUM and I've heard that there is possibly an unreleased Metal based album from your early days, which might be possible since you did quite a bit of recording in such a short period of time? So is there any truth to this album and is there any possible chance of it ever being released or the few unreleased tracks possibly with some of your demo recordings? Could you also explain why you did such a great deal of recording in such a short time span?

Rumors, rumors, rumors. Just like 90% of everything else you have heard about BURZUM, this is complete crap with no roots in reality whatsoever. FAMA CRESCIT EUNDO (the rumor grows as it travels). You should remember one thing, the internet and the underground, is the playground of the incompetent writers. This is where every fool can release his own ludicrous speculations. There is no "truth control" or anybody stopping the complete fools out there from printing their own crap here. Naturally,all the theories and speculations of the subhuman masses out there, is spread here on the internet and in the underground. Always keep that in mind when you read zines and web-pages!

[Rainer: Just  as a note, you can actually download the unreleased tracks from this webpage, so there's clearly quite a bit of truth in the 'rumours'.... :) ]

I heard that there was to be a BURZUM tribute CD, but that MISANTHROPY no longer wish to have any involvement with this tribute and that a German based label may still continue on with this release? What are your feelings on such a release and do you have any say in the releasing of this CD since it is your material that will be covered? I'm quite sure that there are some bands you don't want covering your material?

Well,I don't know anything about this.

I also read in an interview quite some time ago that you planned to add a full line-up to BURZUM which would include Hellhammer and that BURZUM would be releasing a 7" through the Norwegian label HEAD NOT FOUND, as well as planned to perform live with BURZUM.What happened to all of these plans you had for BURZUM and why did you feel the need to add a bass player (who will go un-named) for the recording of ASKE? Did this at all really help speed up the time of recording,etc?

There were no plans, but I have thought about such things. I used a session bass player on the recording of ASKE, his name being Thomas Haugen (Samoth) by the way, simply because I wanted to see how that worked. It did not work, so I continued to work alone after that experiment.

I read in an interview where you mentioned DESTRUCTION being a big influence on BURZUM when you started to record material.I honestly don't hear a influence in your music, and have always felt that there was a strong influence from BATHORY which shows through quite well on the track "War". Wasn't this song a tribute to BATHORY in some form or another? I'm quite sure I read that in a very old interview.

Who cares anyway? Besides, even though DESTRUCTION was a big influence, that does not mean that BATHORY was not, does it? Yes,"War" was a tribute to BATHORY.

Speaking of HEAD NOT FOUND, does Metalion still have any involvement with CYMOPHANE, and if so, what is his involvement with CYMOPHANE now and as well as in the past? I heard that people in Germany are also involved with CYMOPHANE as well, what is (or was) their involvement with CYMOPHANE?

Metalion has NEVER had anything to do with CYMOPHANE, and I was surprised I found out "someone" had printed his address as a contact address of CYMOPHANE, on the internet I think. (It's on the Hvis Lyset... CD – Rainer) The Germans you mentioned were meant to release an album on CYMOPHANE, but we had to drop it, for several reasons (including legal reasons).

I find it quite odd that MAYHEM would wind up once again on the same label as BURZUM, as they once did in the past on D.S.P. What is your opinion on MAYHEM being on the same label as BURZUM again, which the band themselves must not be too worried about since I know that both you and Hellhammer don't think too highly of Euronymous? Do you still keep in contact with Hellhammer or any of the other members of the new (but yet old) line-up of MAYHEM? Do you think Hellhammer possibly signed with MISANTHROPY to shame Euronymous even more and to piss off MAYHEM fans?

Actually, D.S.P. was MAYHEM's label, so it is no wonder they ended up on the same label as BURZUM. MAYHEM actually signed BURZUM, you could say. I don't know why MAYHEM signed to MISANTHROPY, but I assume they did it because it is a very good label. I know they were signed simply because the director at MISANTHROPY likes their music, and they sell well. Yeah, maybe Hellhammer signed to MISANTHROPY to make it clear to all the fools out there, that there are no hostility between MAYHEM and BURZUM, and that the clowns out there who think otherwise, should think again. MAYHEM was swindled badly by their last label, and now they have a label they can trust, a label that does not steal all their money. I wish MAYHEM welcome to MISANTHROPY, and good luck in their career henceforth. Heil Hellhammer!

I've been told by a few people that you do not want your releases distroed in the US and that you won't have anything do with anyone inside the US, but you at one point had several contacts here in the US as well as two American labels re-releasing two of your albums in cassette format and your albums are still being sold in the US. So is there any truth to any of this and your ban on the US? I was under the impression that you welcome support by all whites since we are all one race, is this true? didn't you at one point consider Japan as allies too?

Well, well, well. More of these utterly ridiculous rumors. It is true that I do not like the US, or the UK for that sake, but that has to do with the history and USA's and the UK's role in history, as well as USA's and UK's role in the world today. I have no contacts in the US metal scene, just like I have no contacts in the European metal scene (with some few exceptions, like Misanthropy Recs.), but that does not mean I have no comrades in the USA, right? It is true however, that we (not just I) are not all the "enthusiastic" about the whites in the USA.

This is simply because we have little in common with the US "white power" aims. US citizens tend to be utterly judeo-christian, utterly ignorant to what has really happened in history, and besides, the white population of the USA is very different from that of Europe, as it is so mixed. In Europe we have Teutons, Romans, Salvons and Celts. In the USA you are pretty much just "white". The culture of the USA is a couple hundred years old.

The culture of Norway is 13,000 years old. That in itself make our situation very different from yours. I fully support organizations like the 14 World Press/Wotansvolk, but we pretty much consider the USA a "lost case", an example of how degenerate, Jewish and rotten a culture can become. Even large parts of the "white power" movement is degenerate and rotten, with some insane misconceptions of life, like the "identity christians", who believe WE are the biblical "chosen people". Like they claim Denmark is named after one of the Israeli tribes called "Dan". I mean, even the most ignorant European knows that this is crap. Denmark got its name as late as in the late Viking age (900-1000), and it was named by North Scandinavians (i.e. Norwegians and Swedes). Danmark MEANS "the field of the Churchlords", a name we used simply because the Danes were Christianized long before us, and they started to send "Churchlords" to Christianize us as well.

DAN (Churchlord) MARK (field). When we see these utterly ignorant theories manifest themselves in the US all the time, it is damned hard not to just shake the head and ignore the USA. The whites in the USA came from Europe, but it seems you forgot to bring the European spirit with you when you left the "old World", think about it.

Could you tell us about the prison you are serving your time out in, I understand that is the most feared prison in Norway? How does it differ from the previous you were held in and how you are treated by this prison? I understand that you are not allowed to receive any form of money, etc.. and that the prison takes all items you receive, but yet they allow you to have recording equipment and a musical instrument? I also noticed in a photo that there is a window in your prison cell,something you would never see in an american prison. Are there any restrictions on who is allowed to visit you in prison?

Right now I am in Trondheim jail,and I have been here for about half a year now. Before that I was a month in Ullersmo prison, then two years in Ila prison,before that again I was a year in Bergen prison, and then a year in Oslo jail.In Oslo there were normal bars for cell windows, in Bergen there were bullet proof glass with bars on the outside, in Ala there were square bars and windows you could open, you could not open the bars though!, in Ullersmo there were normal bars, like in Oslo, and here in Trondheim it's the same as in Oslo and Ullersmo. There were windows in Alla prison simply because it's an old concentration camp used by the Germans during the second world war, and the prison authorities are not allowed to replace the windows as the building is so old it is protected by some law protecting old buildings. Anyway, the picture you saw was not from my cell, but from the visiting room. The system is very different from prison to prison, from jail to jail.

In general the jails are more strict when it comes to what we are allowed to have in the cells. Like here in Trondheim we are not allowed to have even a walkman in the cell.On the other hand,the jails are better when it comes to censorship. I can pretty much receive anything I want of magazines and "propaganda". The prisons however are better in the way that we are allowed to socialize more with other prisoners. For instance, here in Trondheim I have to stay 23 hours a day in the cell (all cells are one-man). We are not allowed to receive any money or anything else from the outside, except clothes and books. That's the rule for all jails and prisons in Norway. Also, like I mentioned earlier, I have been allowed to have a snyth only for a couple of months this far, when I was in Bergen. And a guitar the last few months here in Trondheim. To be allowed to visit anybody in a jail or in prison one has to fill out an application, which will be sent to the police by the prison authorities, to let them check the person for any criminal past or anything like that. Also, we are allowed to put up to four people on our list of persons allowed to visit us, and that's it. The visiting rooms tend to be very different from prison to prison and from jail to jail as well. From "cafeteria like" rooms with guards present, to private rooms with a sofa.

Do you feel in some ways that your imprisonment has actually strengthened you in ways,more in philosophical sense,and allowed you take further studies in to your interests? It seems from the interviews I have read with you that you spend a great deal of time looking into the philosophies that you speak on and base your life around,but in many of the interviews I read with you years back you seemed not to take them as quite serious and answered in very short replies. Was spreading your ideals and philosophies not as important back then, do you take them more serious now since you have grown as an individual and in your studies?

I take this stay as a forced stay in a library/sports camp. Just like any other teenager, I became more erudite and articulate as the years passed by. I am now twenty-five years old (well, I am twenty-five tomorrow). Like anybody else, I grow in many ways. I don't take things any more serious now than I did some years ago, but I know better what I am talking about now, and besides, I no longer have any interest in alien culture, like the metal culture.

Could you tell us about your book VARGSMAL you have written and the difficulties you faced while trying to write this book in prison and what this book is based on and how it is being distributed? Will there ever possibly be an English version published? I know that you are quite interested in German myths, etc.. as well as European history in general, does this book touch on these subjects at all and what draws you most to German mythology? It almost seems you are more interested in German myths than your native Norwegian myths,etc.. Do you feel that they all tie together well with Neo-Nazism? I've been hearing about a possible VARGSMAL 2, is there any truth to this?

First of all,there is no such things as German or Norwegian myths. They are are Norse-Germanic myths. The only difference between Norse and Germanic mythology is the language differences. Like in Germany Odin is called Wotan, as "fury" in German is "wut", while he is called Odin in Norse, as "fury" in Norse is "Odr". In Norwegian and Danish we say Odin, in Swedish they say Oden, in English they say Woden, and in German they say Wotan. Still, it is all the same, commonly called called Norse-Germanic mythology. Of course, this can be used as an example of the typical US ignorance...... hehe... Okay then, to your question, Vargsmal will not be translated into English. The reason why is because it is written in a Scandinavian perspective, for Scandinavians about the Scandinavian situation. My next book however, will be translated into both in English and German and maybe other languages as well. Vargsmal II is just a name I use for my next book to make people know there's a difference. It will have another title than that when released. The Norse-Germanic myths are essential parts of National Socialism. It is like the "religious" side of NS ideology.

I understand that the Norwegian government is planning,or has,to take you to court in hopes of obtaining 40,000,000 Norwegian krowns for the damage caused to churches, etc... but it's quite obvious you don't have this large amount of money due to being in prison. What will become of this and where do all the royalites from your recordings go? You also mentioned in an interview that basically you had no part in the burning of churches and that the government has no evidence of you taking part in such acts, so you say you had no involvement at all?

I say they have no evidence of my involvement. Anyway, I cannot say too much about this court thing, as it is not finished yet. All I can say is that they will receive nothing from me no matter what happens. And that's for damn sure.

People today in Norway are reminded of their Viking/Pagan past, so do you feel that possibly far off in the future,longer after were are gone, people in Norway will be reminded of the terror that Black Metal once brought upon Norway and that what you and others have done will leave a permanent mark on the  history of Norway and will one day be read in future history books?

It depends. There has never been any "terror" brought unto anybody by "Black Metal", but the Pagan attacks the last few years will be remembered as the first attacks against the Judiac Dictatorship of our world, since Germany woke up some fifty years ago and threw the Jewish pigs and their trash out of Germania for some time. This is the second (or third actually,as the Viking age was the first) attack, a new beginning. Either we will win, or there will be no future for Europe, as simple as that.

Well,I guess I will end at this point.Thank you for your time and the interview and is there any final words you would like to leave us with?

Thank you for the interview. Sorry for my "hostile tone" in my answers. I am just so god damn tired of all these ridiculous rumors out there. Hail!