The Music of Burzum and the
Writings of Varg Vikernes

Interview with Björn Hallberg, Part I

Interview by Björn Hallberg. Typed up and forwarded by Rainer Padamsee.

Please state complete name, age and present location.

Complete legal name is Varg Vikernes. I am born the 11th of February 1973, and I am for the time being in Trondheim jail.

What EXACTLY were you convicted for?

I was convicted for; theft and possession of 125 Kg of Dynamite and 26 Kg of Glynite (another type of explosives); arson of four Jewish temples (churches), wherof three burned to the ground; three cases of burglary (in search for weapons some claimed...); 1st degree murder (although it was really second degree murder); and... yes, I think that was it .

I was charged for arsoning a fifth Jewish temple (Fantoft Stavechurch); one or two cases of grave-desecration; and they took some 3000 rounds of rifle and pistol ammunition (but the police just took it, and never even mentioned it on the list of confiscated items). I was found not guilty in burning the Fantoft church, and the prosecutor actually advised the jury himself not to find me guilty of those charges – simply because they were utterly ridiculous and there was no proof whatsoever that I had done such things! (like grave desecration).

I told the Court that I was guilty of the theft and possession of dynamite/glynite, and I told them I was guilty of 'voluntary manslaughter' in self-defence. Meaning it was in self-defence, but I understood that in their view, in their legal system, it was legally 'voluntary manslaughter', as I no longer was in a position where my life was DIRECTLY threatened after Aarseth (the guy I killed) ran out of the apartment.

As for the proof in the case there were no technical proof in ANY of the cases, except in the dynamite/glynite case of course, where they found 150Kg of it in my cellar...

In all the other cases I am found guilty solely because of ONE or TWO witnesses in each case, claiming I had done it, or been there, or the like. Some of the proof was so thin that my new lawyer said he was surprised I was convicted in the first place. In one case it was OBVIOUS I have not done it (the Åsane Kirke-case).

So I would say, they never proved these things, but I was convicted anyway!

You say Mayhem founder Oystein Aarseth was killed in self-defense? Why would he want to kill you in the first place?

He wanted to kill me for several reasons. I dumped his label, and by doing that left him with a label with only bands that sold extemely bad (Abruptum, and some other trash). I made him look like a complete fool several times – i.e. from making fun of him to disclosing his many lies to others. I started to spread racist propaganda to our milieu. But most importantly I managed to become more interesting for the media, than he was. For some reason it was very important for him to be 'the centre' of everything. This was of course because I did something, while he was just talking about these things – so after a while nobody took him serious, as they saw that he was just full of talk, and no action. He blamed me for this, since I was the person – he believed – responsible for making him look like a wimp (which he was of course).

You must remember that he had been 'the centre' of the movement a long time, he was 25 years old, while I was only 19 (and 20 when I killed him), and he took it very serious when people started listening to me instead of him. He was a Communist, and hated the fact that "everybody" was fully into my nationalist and racist views – that is, after a while of course. In short he didn't like the development, and wanted to put and end to it by killing me. First he tried to find proof against me for several crimes he 'knew' I had committed, but he failed to do so.

The reason I disrespected him was simply because he was completely incompetent and incapable of running his label efficiently. He was full of big words and never did anything as he promised to do. He was obsessed with this 'Satanist' thing, while I wanted to spread Odinism in the scene (and he hated me for that as well). He was disgusting, watching dirty movies all the time, and we even suspected him for being bisexual or homosexual! I did not want anything to do with him, and did nothing to my contempt for him to anybody! He was a pig, and I told that to 'everybody'!

I was a bit pissed because I had wasted so much time, belief and energy on his label, and everything was a waste! I was young alright, but still was a fool to believe in his label in the first place.

To put it short there were a lot of reasons for me to hate him, and because of my respectable way of handling this he had a reason to hate me as well; I told the truth about him, and for sure the truth is very often uncomfortable for many!

I meant – and still mean – that I killed him in self-defence, simply because it was he who attacked me, and not the other way around, when I showed up in his apartment that evening to tell him to "fuck off" (to put it that way). He intended to torture me to death, filming it and selling it as a 'snuff' movie to others – and I knew this because a friend of his told me about it. He attacked me and he tried to kill me (with a knife).

He failed miserably alright, but I knew that if I did not end "the show" there I would only give him a second chance, and of course I saw no point in doing that. Maybe he was more successful (for a change...) the second time? That is why I mean it was in self-defence. In beginning it was self-defence, even legally, but when he started to flee it was no longer legally, and I then call the killing a 'preventative action', 'preventative self-defence'.

There was a story some years ago of some girl (Maria or something), who had set ablaze the home of Swedish Therion vocalist near Stockholm, still not any comment on that one?

What do you mean "still" no comment on that? Anyway, I really don't see what this has to do with me.

She (Suvi Marjatta by the way, not Maria) set fire to the house of this Therion guy a week after I had been in Sweden. I think I had signed to some album to this Therion-guy, for fun, because she (Suvi M.) knew where they rehearsed and that she could give it to him.

Anyway, she set fire to the door of his family's house, and then nailed my signed album to the wall (I think)!

Then she phoned me in Norway, and told me what she had done. Of course I thought that she was nuts (and she was; I think she ended up in a mental hospital actually), then again it was nevertheless a bit amusing. We (in Norway) didn't take this seriously at all, we probably should, but we really saw it as some sick joke. So I wrote a letter to Therion and wrote something like "I think I lost a matchbox when I was in Sweden, ha ha", or something like that.

I signed the album because we didn't like them, as they tried to be like Rock Stars, and took themselves very seriously, so I made a joke of it by pretending to be a Rock Star myself – signing the debut album and giving it to him (as if it was "obvious" he would be interested in a signed copy). It was of course ironic and a joke, but needless to say this Suvi M. "took off" a bit.

So, in short the arson had really nothing to do with me, and from the beginning it was only all about a joke. I actually meant to deliver the album myself, but we ran out of money when we were there (me and a guy from Abruptum), so we had not enough gas to travel to their rehearsal place (an hour or so of driving from where we were). That is how she came into the picture. She could do it later for me.

I haven taken a lot of shit because of this, with people claiming I "sent my girlfriend" to set fire to his house, because I was too coward to do it myself, and so on, "the next time he (me) will send his dog" and so on. However, as You see the whole thing has little to do with the version presented by these Metal-head magazines. The case has given me some laughs alright. It is incredible how much can be made of something like this little incident.

How would you like to be referred to, a Heathen, a true Norwegian, or what?

I am a true Norwegian alright, just like I am a true Scandinavian, a true Teuton, a heathen, a pagan, an Odinist, a Wotanist, Pangermanist, National-Socialist, elitist, and so on. While some fools believe I "can't stick to one thing", people with brains know that these things simply are different sides of the same thing! Not necessarily EXACTLY the same, but still the same.

What is the Black Circle? Are you still active in it?

Ha ha, I am surprised I still get this question. There has NEVER been any "Black Circle" in Norway, except in the head of Aarseth/Euronymous, who wanted to make himself more interesting by making up some "mysterious Black Circle". It is just a fantasy product that has never existed. The British music magazines either swallowed his bullshit raw, or they just pretend to believe in this thing to have something to write about. I don't know.

I must say though, that in the beginning we – some other guys playing metal music – 'played along' and did nothing to disclose the fact that this "Black Circle" never existed and was only a product of Aarseth's imagination.

Mentioning it, this was actually one of the things I disclosed to people as "another Aarseth-lie", and a reason for him to hate me – or kill me before he was made a complete fool in everybody's eyes.

What is your primary religious belief? Do they match that of traditional Viking mythology? What do you say about Wiccan or other Pagan traditions for example?

I don't consider myself religious in any way really. I have never participated in any religious ritual (except toasting Odin at Julafton of course) – and I am not even baptised, or confirmed for that sake. I do have a "livssyn" (a philosophy of life) though, which is the traditional Germanic philosophy of life! To put a long story short, you can say they match the philosophical views of the Vikings. The traditional Viking mythology is somewhat perverted by Christians, so I don't really identify too much with them. You cannot trust the mythology and more than you can trust the records of history.

Generally it is good when people prefer Pagan traditions to the Jewish faiths (all forms of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc.), but I do find it a bit sad really that Germanic women start to participate in Celt groups – the Wicca! We are no more Celts that we are any other people; we are Germanic! Also, there is a lot of misinterpretation and naïve feminism and the like in the "Neo-Pagan" groups, like in the Wicca where they worship only three of the four faces of the Moon. That's like jumping over every fourth number, and still claim you count to hundred! You don't, and it ruins all mathematic rules!