Interview with Varg Vikernes
"Echoes" (06.06.2012), by Jirka Dvořák

Hi Varg. How do you do in these days?

Fine, thank you.

You are just releasing a new Burzum's record, third in last three years. Are you in such a creative wellbeing just now, that there is no problem for you to release record in that short time there?

In the early 90ies I made four albums and an EP in less than 1,5 years, so you could say that I am actually only making one album each year these days. We will see if I can keep this up or not. Maybe I am just one of those lights who burn very intensely, and then die out sooner than other lights do.

New album is called "Umskiptar" – can you tell to listeners, which do not speak Norwegian, something closer about the title - what it means, is there any deeper meaning there?

"Umskiptar" is Old Norwegian (modern Norwegian would be "Omskifter") translates as "Metamorphoses", and is a description of the lyrical contents. All the lyrics on this album are from Voluspå, a famous Scandinavian poem recorded in the Middle Ages. The poem deals with the metamorphoses of nature, from a mythological perspective.

Can I say, that new record is natural continuation of previous two albums "Belus" and "Fallen"? I can feel gradual calming from the music, I can find some slower and more thoughtful songs... I had a similar feeling from "Fallen", when I had compared it with "Belus".

You are probably right. As I see it I am returning to my roots in European classical and traditional music, and I both slow down and change focus too. Fury is gradually being replaces by thoughtfulness. Aggression by contemplation.

I noticed on "Fallen" too, that you quite often use a ¾ bar and the situation is similar in new album. Have these kind of waltz got some special charm for you?

Ah, well, I wouldn't say that. Not consciously anyhow. I let the music take the lead, and I follow it wherever it takes me.

I heard some voices in connection with previous album, that this kind of music would be released under another band name, because your today’s music is different that the old music. I think the new record causes similar reactions – what is your position against those statements?

Well, you know, "Filosofem" is more different compared to "Hvis Lyset tar oss" than "Belus" is compared to "Filosofem", and "Umskiptar" is in any case more similar to "Filosofem" than any of my other albums – with the slow pace and strong focus on non-metal music. The biggest change in music style (if we ignore "Dauði Baldrs" and "Hliðskjálf") came when I made the "Hvis Lyset tar oss" album after I had made "Det som engang var".

Some individuals just want to be negative no matter what, for the sake of being negative, and they ignore reality completely, so I pay no attention to what they say. Besides, If they don't understand that a musician cannot just repeat what he did before then that is their problem. Some of them even wanted – or actually demanded – that I used artwork by Kittelsen, as used on "Hvis Lyset tar oss" and "Filosofem". As if Kittelsen's art was an integral part of Burzum. If I don't make something new I can just as well stop making music.

They complained when I re-recorded some the old music too, by the way.

Funnily enough there is a religion for those who enjoy complaining and whining all the time. It is called Judaism, and they even have their own place where you can bang your head against a wall and whine and complain as much as you like... :-)

Are the fan's reaction and critic's reviews important for you? Many musicians denies any influence a they say, that they make music especially for themselves, but I think that the feedback is important, isn’t it?

Feedback is important, but not all feedback is important. Sure, I can say I make music first and foremost for myself, and I really make no attempts to make as many as possible like my music (or me...). The more who like it the merrier, of course, but as I see it Burzum (just like all other bands) only talks to a certain type of individuals. It does not talk to everyone; Burzum mostly talks to human beings similar to myself in some way or the other, or individuals who for some other reason are able to appreciate this particular music.

Feedback from those who like it is important, in the sense that it inspires the artist to make more and (even) better music. Personally I don't even expect everyone to like my music so negative feedback is not interesting. The music will in any case not resonate with everyone's personality, and that's fine. What is the most important in any case is that I like my own music; that the artist likes his own art. I can add that too much positive feedback can be quite catastrophic, because it can boost the ego of the artist too much... and turn him into a complete prick. I use to name Bono from U2 as a very good example of this.

What is your motivation for compose music? Did you ever ask yourself, why you make music that you make, what is the reason and goal of all?

The motivation, I think, generally speaking for all art and culture as a whole, is despair; the feeling that we live in a dis-harmonic world and that we have to do something to make it more harmonious. Or rather that we ourselves are dis-harmonic and that we need to compensate for this by adding harmony to the world we live in. This metaphysical vertigo causes us to create, not as much because we are afraid to fall, but because we are afraid we might actually jump.

I personally strongly believe that the Golden Age of our past was once real; we really did live in a harmonious world, a peaceful Elysium, and we lost this when our happy, intelligent, beautiful, fair, kind and harmonious Neanderthal forefathers mixed with Homo sapiens from Africa. We retained most of our genes, as much as 99,7% of the Neanderthal genes, but the small portion of Homo sapiens genes, making up some 0,3% of our genes today, caused great damage to us as human beings. We still have the intelligence to understand e.g. that the universe is endless, but we lost our ability to really fathom this endlessness. This resulted in a metaphysical vertigo and was the origin or all art and culture – that as you might know all originated in the meeting zone, where the two human species met and mixed. We still create art and build culture to compensate for this lost ability to really fathom the universe. The Neanderthals didn't because they didn't need this. They were harmonious creatures living in harmony with nature.

You can read more about this on www.atala.fr

Nobody can see conscience of other people, but if you look at today's hard music scene, do you think, that it is about pure music or hard business?

Now, I have to admit that I don't really see the hard music scene. My eyes are fixed on other topics. I only ever gaze into a tiny part of the metal music scene when I give interviews like this one, and I only do when I promote a new album. I have no friends in that scene and spend no time thinking about it. I do not know what the hard music scene is about. Sorry.

I come back to actual record and specifically to promo pictures, which are on your web. What symbolize the pictures of warrior from very old times and soldier from historical period, that is still alive for someone?

Let me start by saying that if it was up to me I wouldn't take any promo shots at all. I did only because I have certain obligations towards my distributors, who think promo photos are so important in relation to promotion for the album.

Rather than take some meaningless posers shots of me, I figured I should try to show a metamorphosis there too. The ancient warrior is a Pagan (as seen from his blue clothes) fighting or preparing to fight the eternal enemy of Europe. He is an example of the European fighting spirit. You can defeat him, kill him and forget about him, but he will always return, metamorphosed, re-born in another individual of the kin, perhaps born many generations later. The second warrior is contemporary, or possible of the future, possessing the same European fighting spirit.

You presents yourself as a musician but as a writer too. You publish articles about a history of paganism in Europe, "Lords of lies" and articles called "War in Europe". What you mean this war?

There is currently a conflict going on for the hearts and minds of the so-called right wing extremists in Europe. The Jews have understood that Europe is turning nationalistic, and slowly but surely ridding itself of the socialist and capitalist yoke, and are doing their best to high jack the nationalistic movement, to make it too into a tool working for them. They already have control of several so-called nationalistic political parties, e.g. the Freedom Party in the Netherlands and their Zionist puppet leader Geert Wilders, and in England with the BNP and groups like the EDL too.

They will fail, though, as more and more of us nationalists work hard to inform others of our kind about what is going on, and it is easier for us than it is for them, even though they often pose as and pretend to be European nationalists in different nationalistic forums. The best known example of this is probably the Fjordman character, who pretends to be a Norwegian nationalist, but who in reality is a Zionist Jew.

The real war is that waged against Europe, our culture and our race, by the Jews – as unveiled to us in the infamous "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion". The book might well be a forgery, by the Imperial Russian secret police, but it still tells us the truth about the Jews and their plans for us.

Are you watching closely the events in Europe? Many people are speaking about multikulturalism, liberal policy of European countries to immigration, especially from Muslim countries, they are discussing religious disputes Christianity vs. Islam. Can you describe in few sentences your position to these events of today's Europe?

You can read about my views in this context here:
and here:

The act of Anders Breivik is very discussed too (also in my country) – which is ongoing trial. I have written your statement to his act, but I want to ask you, if you continue to watch the events in connection with this man and if something changed in Norway because of his act?

It seems something is changing. The newspapers have been 100% Soviet, to so speak, in their coverage of this case, until a few days ago, and I think they changed a few days ago because they received so many negative reactions from the Norwegian public that it was impossible for them to keep up the charade. Not a single dissident opinion was voiced, but a majority of the Norwegian people perfectly well understands his frustration (they just don't agree with his methods and his catastrophic choice to kill teenagers). A few days ago they started to print more nuanced articles and even admitted that Mr. Breivik has a few valid points.

We will see if they are able to start supporting their people and their people's opinions rather than try to forced Marxists ideas down their throats against their will, as they have been doing ever since WWII.

I can remind you of the fact that you got rid of your Communist rulers when the Cold War ended. We never did. We still suffer from this, because our Communist leaders joined NATO instead of the Warsawa Pact, and are still supported by the USA.

Have the events, you watch and write about them, any influence to your music? Are you reflecting your attitudes to today's society to your music, or you fundamentally don't join these things together?

Well, music is to me a recreation of the Golden Age, so to say, and there is not much Golden Age about the world we live in today... so yes, you could say I fundamentally don't join these two things together.

Well, and the very end – what would you wish to Burzum to coming years? :-)

Survival in an age when theft threatens to ruin the career of each and every amateur musician on this planet.

Varg, thank you for your time. My hello to Norway and I wish you all the best!

Thank you very much for your interest. All the best to you too, and much joy and good luck to the Czech people!

Author: Jirka Dvořák (© 2012 "Echoes" Czech Republic)

In other languages: Česky

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