Varg Vikernes was born Kristian Vikernes on February 11, 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 is related to the Quisling family, 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.
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, which is spoken by orcs, uruk-hais and other creatures of Mordor). 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 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 pro-right 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.
In this time Varg officially distanced from right politics and declared non-political way of his life.
Abbath of Immortal was the person whom introduced Varg to heavy metal.
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, 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."
Burzum has no official logo, it simply is the name written in different fonts. The old writing is often considered as the logo, yet Varg did not intend it, but only took the font he thought to suit the best among all other font stickers he found in a store.
All albums from Burzum/Aske to Hlidskjalf were re-released in 2010 on Byelobog / Candlelight as jewel case CD w/ slipcase.
Varg is currently busy doing some arrangements to a collection of his old songs to be released re-recorded by September 2011.
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