Interview with Varg Vikernes
"Sounds Of Death" Magazine (#04, 1994), by Karl Milton Hartveit / David Horn
In a quiet night in late July, 1992, sheltered inside their small suburban home in Upplands Vasby north of Stockholm, a family, including two small children, lay sleeping in their beds. Meanwhile outside. Maria, an 18-year-old member of The Black Circle organization of devil-worshippers quietly sprays acetone on the front door and the windows of the house and calmly sets the structure ablaze. Before fleeing the scene Maria stabs a large knife onto the front door with the message "The Count was here and he will come back." The family smells smoke a short time later and barely manages to escape with their lives before the flames rage out of control. The police investigation of the crime leads to Maria's arrest and confiscation of her diary in which she reveals herself to be a member of a secret devil-sect known as The Black Circle. In a reference to Count Grishnackh of the Norwegian Black Metal band Burzum Maria writes "I did it on a mission for our leader, The Count. I love The Count. His fantasies are the best. I want a knife, a fine knife, sharp and cruel." The victimized family was the family of Christotter Jonsson, vocalist of Swedish Death Metal band Therion. Four days after the arson a letter was received by the family from The Count. "Hello victim! This is Count Grishnackh of Burzum. I have just come home from a journey to Sweden (northwest of Stockholm) and I think I lost a match and a signed Burzum LP, ha ha! Perhaps I will make a return trip soon and maybe this time you won't wake up in the middle of the night. I will give you a lesson in fear. We are really mentally deranged, our methods are death and torture, our victims will die slowly, they must die slowly." Shortly thereafter Count Grishnackh, real name Varg Vikernes, is taken in for questioning about three arsons in Norway and the arson in Upplands Vasby. The Count does not confess any relationship to the Swedish girl Maria and declares his innocence on all charges. Maria is taken to a mental hospital and released after one year of treatment. The charges against The Count are never proved.
August 10, 1993. Øystein Aarseth, otherwise known as Euronymous of the Black Metal band Mayhem, is found dead in the stairwell outside his Oslo apartment from several deep stab wounds. Called "The Godfather of Black Metal", and known in Satanic circles as The Pnnce of Death, Aarseth ran the Deathlike Silence record label, and a record store called Helvete. Norwegian police suspect that the murderer first stabbed Aarseth in his apartment, and as he tried to escape down the stairs he was caught and stabbed again. His best friend was the Norwegian Satanist leader Count Grishnackh. The circle of The Count is sure that rival Swedish Satanists are behind the murder. A police spokesman makes the statement that "These groups really hate each other and they are capable of using almost any method to punish each other." According to The Count, the Swedes read the Devil-bible and claim that to be Satanism whereas his followers worship death. That is real Satanism, states The Count.
August 13, 1993. Oslo police conduct an eight hour interview with Ilsa, a 16-year-old Swedish girl who was close friends with both Øystein Aarseth and Count Grishnackh. "I am quite sure that I know who killed Øystein. The murderer was jealous and wished to take over Øystein's leading position in the environment," said the girl. "I do not believe that Øystein was killed by Swedish Satanists. Most of the Swedes are too cowardly to ever commit a murder. I will not reveal the name of the real killer. The Black Metal environment will exact its own revenge against him." One month prior to this interview Ilsa lived for three weeks with Øystein Aarseth at his apartment in Oslo. She states that Øystein had been talking about the conflict between the Swedish and Norwegian Satanists and he had made it clear that in his opinion the feud had come to an end. "The one who I think is the killer is part of the Norwegian environment. Many of the others I have been talking to in the Norwegian environment have already reached the same conclusion. I cannot give the name of the person I believe to be the killer because I would be risking my life." The girl went on to say that Aarseth did not usually carry weapons to protect himself as he was physically strong and felt quite able to protect himself unarmed. "I don't think he would have let a stranger into his apartment, that wasn't his style. That makes me even more sure about who the killer was." Four days after this interview took place Count Grishnackh was arrested and charged with Aarseth's murder. He is currently awaiting trial.
During an evening at the end of March I spoke with The Count. He surprised me by being a cold, eloquent person who formulated himself clearly and intelligently. To my questions he answered precisely and made it clear what he wanted to answer and what he did not want to answer. He displayed a convincing knowledge of magic and Satanic traditions and he formulated his statements with a steadiness and knowledge that you would seldom find with a charlatan. I declared that I was working on a book about Satanism and he without hesitation agreed that I could use his statements in my book. A consistently recurring topic in his conversation was his intense wish to breakdown and ruin everything good and harmonic. The fact that he spoke with a reserved and cultivated bergensk (Norwegian dialect spoken in Bergern, home of The Count) only added to the horrifying power of his message.
Actually, I am not interested in any interviews as in the past, magazines have twisted my words. I find all this focusing on my person a very bad thing. I am not into this for fame or money. I see Burzum as a dream without holds in reality. It is to stimulate the fantasy of mortals, to make them dream. I'm sick and tired of being misrepresented by the media. All of the stuff that's been written about me is so full of errors, like this bullshit about "Nidarosdomen", the church I was supposed to blow up with dynamite. Who the hell told them that? I've hardly heard of the Goddamned church!
What is the goal of your crusade?
We want to create the most possible fear, chaos and agony so that the idiotic and friendly Christian society can break down. We are overall not interested in that the truth comes through. When we spread lies we cause confusion and confusion leads to chaos and at last breakdown. People shall be oppressed and we support everything that oppresses man and takes from him his feelings as free individuals. It is for this reason that we are glad that Christianity is powerful because Christianity oppresses people and that is fine.
What are your feelings towards practitioners of so called White Magic?
They are stupid and naive. They work for goodness and we are totally against that. We want to spread evil and destruction.
What is your opinion of Anton LeVay and his followers?
Anton LeVay is an idiot and the things he represents have nothing to do with Satanism. He represents self-benefit and egoism in the guise of Satanism. Aleister Crowley was also a fake. He was so fixated on sex that he lost the real magic.
Can you give examples of how you spread chaos and destruction?
Through our music. It tears apart the soul of the listener, and through it we spread death and devastation. We like that.
I don't understand, don't you like the music that you create?
We like what helps to destroy good, kind and stupid humans, and therefore we like our music.
You talk as if you belong to a secret society, elite in the world. What and who are this elite?
It is a few people who worship evil, you may call the evil Satan but that is a worn out and and insipid concept that has been misused by both the media and the church. We want evil to gain more power in the world and that we achieve through being evil. When simple humans create evil the evil power in the world grows stronger. I see nothing extreme in my views. What fools call evil, I call true reason or survival. Strife is evolution, peace is degeneration. Only the blind can deny that!
Do you work through contact with supernatural powers?
I don't want to talk about that but demons and invisible powers exist and can be used.
How many are you and how are you organized?
I can not possibly say how many we are, but we exist in most countries of the world. Only in small, isolated countries like Albania have we not yet been able to establish a foothold. We have close contact with each other and work towards the same goal.
Do you have members in the large cities of Norway?
Yes, in many towns.
Does your organization have a name?
We call ourselves The Black Circle and we are organized in one inner and several outer circles. Those in the outer circles we use to accomplish our goals. It is only we that belong to the inner circle that have full knowledge as to what we are all about.
You say that you use people and that you spread destruction, fear and hate. Don't you respect the laws and rules of society?
No! Why should we? We have our own laws and we do not care at r all about society's rules.
You deliberately break the laws of society?
I cannot say that, that is criminal.
But in principle?
In principle we do not have any scruples at all towards breaking all the laws of society. Those laws belong to a society that we are fighting to destroy.
Do you see yourself as a rebel?
No, we are not rebels. We seek only to destroy and spread evil.
What kind of rituals do you perform?
We have many but I will not tell you about them.
Are sacrifices and blood important parts of these rituals?
Of course, blood is the power of life and is central to the rituals.
Do you sacrifice animals?
Do you sacrifice humans?
That is criminal.
But in principle?
In principle we do not have any scruples towards human sacrifice.
And you have performed human sacrifices?
I won't tell you anything about that.
I don't understand. Why did you give that revealing interview to "Bergens Tidende"?
Because that journalist was nagging and we had already previously revealed parts of our activities. What was said in that interview was nothing new.
But you said that you set fire to Fantoft Stavkirke and Åsane Kirke.
No! I was totally misunderstood and distorted. I said that somebody in our group knew how the fires had started, nothing more.
So you had nothing to do with those fires?
I won't answer that.
How long have you been involved in Satanism? When did you first start having these thought that you've spoken about?
I have always had them. Basically, I am a worshipper of Odin, the god of war and death. Burzum exists exclusively for Odin, the one-eyed enemy of the Christian God. For as long as I can remember I have always hated good and kind people. When I was a little boy I saw people who were well off and enjoying life and it fucking hurt me and I wanted to ruin it for them. That is what I am doing now.
Grishnackh started Burzum early in 1987, when he was 14, under the name Uruk-hai. Burzum then had a one-year break from mid-1990 to mid-1991, when The Count, along with Demonaz and Abbath of Immortal, played in a band called Satanel. He also played guitar in a Death Metal band called Old Funeral. When Satanel split up, Grishnackh continued with Uruk-hai and changed the name to Burzum in August 1991. "I have always avoided involving other musicians in Burzum. I am too much of an individualist for that. You could call it intolerance and egoism, ha-ha! However, I had a bass-player for several months in 1992, but I kicked him out after that!" Burzum have released three records so far: the self-titled debut ("The most primitive and hateful album") in March 1992, the "Aske" EP ("The rock and roll album") in March 1993 and the "Det Som Engang Var" album ("The heaviest and weirdest one") in September 1993. The latter was released as a 1000 limited edition on CD only, just prior to The Count's incarceration. A re-release of this album is planned for later this year. A fifth album, "Filosofem", will also be released later this year and is, according to Grishnackh, "depressive, transcendental and without a doubt the best".
Author: Karl Milton Hartveit / David Horn (© 1994 "Sounds Of Death" Magazine)