Interview with Varg Vikernes
"RockHard" Magazine (30.04.2012), by Sakis Frangos

How did you compose the music for your new album? Did you manage to transform the meaning of the poem into sounds or did you try to have lyrics and music separated?

What would be the most correct is to say that I already had made some of the music before I decided to use this poem as lyrics on a new album, and then I changed the music I had already made to fit the concept. All the music I made after that, which was actually most of it, was made for the poem.

It’s almost the third album with new material you release. Which were the main differences for creating this album? Do you find yourself changing? If so, in which ways?

The process was different in the sense that I worried less about the progress. I didn't feel a need to finish it anytime soon.

Oh, I am changing every day, for worse mostly, like a tree once young, soft and able to bend in the wind – turning stiffer and harder every day, resisting the wind instead. I am stronger, but will break rather than bend if the wind gets too strong.

When did you have the idea of making music upon this poem? Did you have on your mind to make something like that or did it change in time? If so, how did that change? If not, did you have so clear on your mind how will be presented?

The idea came whilst working on the translation of "Sorcery And Religion In Ancient Scandinavia"; the entire Völuspå poem is interpreted therein. When it came to presentation I was uncertain whether I should present it as it is normally interpreted (a much easier task) or whether I should use my own interpretation as a basis. I think I landed on something in-between the two, trusting my book would ensure that all those really interested would be able to land on «the right side of the fence», so to speak.

Did you have on your mind other transcriptions of poems through music? If so, which ones? If not, do you find your new album as a unique approach for creating music upon a poem?

Well, I actually had "Dauði Baldrs" in mind when I decided to do this, but I never thought of this as a very original approach for creating music. I do believe many have used poems like this before me.

Will you find interesting to make music also upon a poem in English language. If so, do you believe the structure of music you will create will be different from “Völuspá” or the music is depended only from the meaning?

The thing I liked the most about making "Umskiptar" was actually the Old Norwegian/Norse language itself, and I hope I will be able to use either poems in this language or be able to write such poetry myself in this language. Right now my Old Norwegian skills are only good enough for reading and translations, meaning I still struggle with writing anything even slightly complex in Old Norwegian, but maybe this will change.

I would not be interested in a poem written in English. English is perhaps the «new Latin», but I am not interesting in supporting the «new Rome» in any ways, so to speak.

The sound of Old Norwegian and the rhythm of Völuspå made "Umskiptar" very special, I think in a positive sense, and had it been done in another language it would have been very different.

You re-recorded your old songs from the first 3 albums. Would you find interesting to re-arrange also the "Dauði Baldrs", "Hliðskjálf" albums? If so, which arrangement would be interesting to you?

I don't know about that. Before I could answer such a question I would need to sit down and listen to those albums again to find out. I may add that I have no such plans and no plans to re-record any songs from the 3rd or 4th full length album either.

You changed the word soul on some lyrics of some old songs for these re-recordings. I think you mentioned as reason the fact that soul is used by Christianity. Can you please analyse it?

There is not much else to this. «Soul» is a word introduced into Europe by Christianity. Before that we had a «mind» instead. The whole structure of man was different. E. g. the Scandinavian model;

Lík («corpse») – The Physical body
Vörðr («warden») – The Life Force
Hamr («shape») – The «Astral» body
Hugr («mind») – The Mental body
Önd («spirit») – The Spirit

If you are interested you can and should read more about that here

You mentioned on "Terrorizer" magazine that if Fenriz accepts to play live, you would perform live in the future. If something like that happens, how would you like your performances to be? Would you do tours?

Well, I just tried to say «never», only with more words...

As you might know already Fenriz has wowed never to play live. I have no plans to play live, not in any way, any place or for any audience. I should never say never, of course, but at least that is how I see things today.

Almost every year there is a release of Burzum with new material. Will you continue in the future to release new stuff? If so, do you have a yearly plan for a new album?

No, I have no plans for Burzum. It is, as always, all based on whims and chance, and whether I have time for music or not. My guess is that I will feel a need to play music some time in the future too, and when I do I will work with music until I have a new album ready for recording. «The Future» is a rather unprecise term though.... so.

Which are the certain differences you find yourself as an artist now with the one that created the early/mid 90s albums? What would you change to Varg Vikernes of that period as an artist?

The young Varg Vikernes certainly believed in a catastrophe soon to occur... I even recorded four albums in just over one year back then, because I was convinced it would be too late if I waited.

...well, in a sense I was right, the catastrophe did occur, but only for me (and certainly for Euronymous...) and not as I had expected.

Anyway, I never saw myself as an artist, and to some extent I still don't, and I don't think there is much of a difference between the old and the new Varg. Not in this context, that is.

What is your challenge as an artist? Do you have something on your mind that when you will accomplish it, you will feel really great? For example, it is a major accomplishment to make music for a poem that you love, as you did now with "Umskiptar".

I think music is something many musicians make to somehow rebuild a lost world, fictional or real, that they prefer to the cesspool we live in (alias «the real world»). They try to create harmony where there is now only disharmony. However, no matter how great they think their music is they will always experience that it is not enough to replace the lost harmony of our world. So they keep making music...

...and I am one of them.

No, I never feel really great when accomplishing something with music. I see only the flaws and mistakes. The dis-harmony that must come from all creatures not divine.

Are the Norwegian authorities pressing you about paying them the amount of money for the “church burnings” etc.? If so, what are you planning to do?

(Not answered)

What do you believe about the economic crisis of nowadays? What’s your opinion about what is happening to Greece?

First of all it is not only happening to Greece. It is just worse in Greece than in the other countries in the EU and the rest of the world – for now. The rest will soon follow. Trust me. With that said, I think this is happening because private bankers (all of a certain ethnicity and with a certain religion) have been allowed to print paper money and then loan it to us all for interest. So every single country in the world owes them money now, and these bankers don't know when to stop – they have never understood that in the past either – and they will keep robbing us all until there will be nothing left to steal. At that point the peoples of Europe will have nothing left to lose and will therefore strike back at them – and we will see yet another pogrom, of course. They will suffer greatly and whine about it for all ages after, that is if they survive, and they might not this time. Europe is tired of this eternal plague.

So, brave yourselves!

...and rebuild the glorious Europe after it is all over.

Long live the Greek people!

Author: Sakis Frangos (© 2012 "RockHard" Magazine Greece)

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