Interview with Varg Vikernes
"Metal Asylum" (02.05.2012), by Miika "Mega" Kuusinen

What kind of a process was it like to create "Umskiptar"?

It was not much different from creating the other Burzum albums, with the exception that this time I didn't write the lyrics myself, but instead used an old Scandinavian poem, "Voluspå", as lyrics.

What kind of a message is Burzum communicating with the new record?

"Umskiptar" tells the story of nature's metamorphoses, in a mythological language, and more than anything else describes the circular European world view in contrast to the linear Judeo-Christian world view. The album is a musical interpretation of a subject discussed in "Sorcery And Religion In Ancient Scandinavia".

You state on your website that you concentrated on the atmosphere a lot more now. Have you felt that the recent albums have lacked atmosphere?

No. In fact I felt that the most successful aspect of the other recent albums was the atmosphere, so this time I focused more on that, to do more of what I do best.

There has been a good number of Burzum releases recently and a book as well. Where does all the creativity come from?

The metaphysical vertigo, I guess...

A need to improve a dis-harmonic world by creating harmony. Music and harmony where there was noise and dis-harmony. Truth and information where there was lies and dis-information.

What kind of a project was it to write "Sorcery And Religion In Ancient Scandinavia"? What has the feedback been like?

The book was not written for novices, so to speak, and it is written with multa paucis («say much with few words») in mind, so not everyone who read it are able to appreciate it, but generally speaking the feedback has been very positive, and the more the reader know about the subjects discussed in the book the more positive they have been. The book contains a lot of new information and sees everything from a new perspective. The beginning of the book touches on a topic already (and more elaborately and eloquently) discussed by Sir James Frazer, in his "The Golden Bough", and his hypothesis is ordered and put into place in a European context, and then follows a description of the ancient Scandinavian calendar, the high festivals, the runes, an interpretation of "Voluspå", and then finally some examples from rune carvings, fairy tales and old traditional songs.

What was it like to re-record some of your early material last year for "From the Depths of Darkness"?

It was nice to finally be able to listen to and enjoy this music again. I couldn't before, due to the terrible vocals on the debut album and the poor technical quality of the second album.

Oh, by the way, I didn't record it last year, but even before I recorded "Fallen" actually, in 2010.

Author: Miika "Mega" Kuusinen (© 2012 Metal Asylum, Finland)

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