Wiser and untainted by modern music...
(Answers by Varg Vikernes)
How much did the experience of spending 16 years in prison change you as a person and an artist?
Do you have any regrets about not being able to fully pursue your artistic career during that time?
Have you always intended to bring Burzum back and to make more music?
What do you think that Burzum represents (and provides on a musical level) that no one else can emulate?
You have stated that Belus will feature some songs that date back to the late ‘80s and early ’90…how do the old songs fit into the overall concept of the record?
You have also stated that the new album is “a musical and lyrical description of the White God and the annual events of his life”. Why did you choose this particular theme for your first post-prison album?
How would you describe the music on Belus? Will loyal Burzum fans be surprised by the music you’re making now?
Do you still consider what you do to be Black Metal?
You have made some very strong statements against the contemporary Black Metal “scene”. Is there anyone in the Black Metal world that you respect or admire?
How do you feel about the way you are portrayed in the media? Do you think you have ever been correctly represented?
Do you feel that any of the negative things that are written about you are justified?
Do you enjoy being a controversial and notorious figure or is it a source of irritation for you?
You have recently issued a statement that caused a great deal of media hype and accusations of racism and homophobia…Did that response genuinely surprise you? Or was there an element of deliberate mischief and antagonism behind the statement?
What do you want to achieve with Belus? Do you want your audience to grow?
Do you have any future plans, either personal or creative?
Kristian Vikernes was born on the 11th of February 1973 at 21:58 in Bergen, Norway. In 1993, he legally changed Kristian to Varg and later started to use the name Varg Qisling Larssøn Vikernes as his pen-name. Varg, which means "wolf", says that he''s related to the Quisling family, a name that even became an international word for "traitor" (similar to "Judas") after Vidkun Quisling, a Norwegian political leader during the second world war, who founded a collaborationist pro-Nazi government. One side of Vikernes' family used the name Qisling, without the "u".
Varg''s first band was known as Uruk-Hai, formed around 1988-89. In mid-1990 Varg took a one-year break, which he spent playing in Old Funeral, and later in Satanel, which he formed with Abbath of Immortal (Nor).
In 1991, when Satanel disbanded, Vikernes revived his project, changing the name to Burzum (which translates to "darkness" in J.R.R. Tolkien''s Black Speech). Handling all instruments and vocals by himself, he then proceeded to write and record albums at a frightening rate; five albums - the s/t through "Filosofem" - were recorded in the space of one year, even though most of them were released later. In addition to all that, he joined Mayhem (Nor) on bass, as well.
In the wake of the notoriety surrounding the church burnings, and finally the murder of Mayhem''s leader Euronymous in 1993, Vikernes faced a trial and was sentenced to 21 years in prison (and 10 years additional confinement, a system that has since been changed). Not allowed to have a guitar in his cell, and proclaiming all Rock/Metal-based music to be culturally alien and non-Aryan in origin, he chose to continue Burzum in a keyboard-based, Neoclassical/Pagan Ambient vein for the two albums that followed.
Varg chose to end Burzum in late 2000, disappointed that fans were still connecting Burzum with Satanism, despite his allegiance to Paganism and extremist NS politics.
While in prison, Varg has published three books mostly relating to the history of Norway, Norse mythology and philosophy: "Vargsmål", "Irminsul" and "Germansk Mytologi Og Verdensanskuelse". He continues to publish books and articles, most which are political and about religion. See www.burzum.org for all of his articles and books.
According to Varg, because Euronymous was too incompetent to release Burzum albums on Deathlike Silence Records, Varg decided to start his own label called Burznazg (which translates to "Dark Ring" in Tolkien''s Dark Speech), that was later (in 1993) changed to Cymophane (Greek: "Wave to appear", the name of a gem that is shaped like an eye) and do everything himself.
Interesting anecdote: In October 2003, Varg had a weekend leave from jail, and escaped during that time - only to be caught back later the same day by the police. Rumors also began to circulate that a third ambient album was to be released, and that the plans were canceled after Varg''s attempted escape. Varg has denied this.
In March 2009, it was announced that Varg would be released from prison, on the condition that he would have to report to his parole officer for the period of a year. On May 24, 2009, he was officially released on probation.
Immortal's Abbath was the person whom introduced Varg to the Metal world.
Grishnackh contributed lyrics for the Darkthrone albums "Transilvanian Hunger" and "Panzerfaust".
AiwarikiaR (Eric Oliver Lancelot), the former Ulver drummer, was intended to be the drummer of Burzum during the short period that Varg was thinking about making live performances. Fenriz from Darkthrone and Hellhammer from Mayhem (Nor), were also auditioned - the latter was in fact announced as the band''s new drummer on flyers in the interim between s/t and Aske.
At one point, before the murder of Euronymous, Varg was thinking about signing to Earache Records to release his fourth album and Earache did want to try having a Black Metal act on their line-up. Though, Earache hesitated to sign him because of his highly racist views (and also the fact that at that time, Earache were a Death/Grindcore Metal label and not Black Metal) and Varg was arrested a year later.
A compilation released by Misanthropy Records in 1998 called "Presumed Guilty" contains the Burzum song "Et Hvitt Lys Over Skogen", which appears on "Anthology".
Varg "Count Grishnackh" Vikernes (born Kristian Vikernes) - Vocals, All Instruments (also member of dead bands or ex-member of bands still active: Old Funeral, Uruk-Hai (Nor), Satanel (Nor), Mayhem (Nor))
Bergen - Norway
Official site: www.burzum.org
-Demo I (Demo - 1991)
-Demo II (Demo - 1991)
-Burzum (Demo - 1992)
-Burzum (CD - 1992)
-Aske (EP - 1993)
-Det Som Engang Var (CD - 1993)
-Hvis Lyset Tar Oss (CD - 1994).
-Burzum/Aske (Best of - 1995)
-Filosofem (CD - 1996)
-Dunkelheit (VHS - 1996)
-Dauði Baldrs (CD - 1997)
-1992-1997 (Boxed set - 1998)
-Hliðskjálf (CD - 1999)
-Anthology (Best of - 2002)
-Anthology 2008 (Best of - 2008)
-Belus (CD - 2010)