Grimoire Of Exalted Deeds

Quorthon, legendary originator of Bathory, and, if I may dare to say, "Black Metal," has emerged from his aura of mystery to grant interviews to a multitude of publications. This interview was first printed in The Grimoire of Exalted Deeds #5. But due to the scarcity of that issue, as well as the fact that that was in the pre-newsprint days of this magazine, I felt that it was necessary to run certain segments again. In addition, the photographs given to me by Bathory fan "Paul Nestarok" have become a great source of envy. Indeed, not even Black Mark (Bathory's label) has these photos. I was willing to share them with the likes of magazines like "S.O.D." and "All That." But it struck me that the interview should be re-printed because it was too odd a piece of trivia to be shut away forever. I have edited the parts that will probably bear similarity to the tons of Bathory interviews that are hitting the streets these days.

Dost thou acknowledge that thou art the father of black metal?

In Sweden we have an expression that goes, "Everybody knows the monkey. But the monkey doesn't know anybody" what I am trying to say is that, if somebody comes up to me and says, God man, your music has been such an influence on me and my buddies, and there are two million bands copying your music, and you have such importance on the metal scene for all these years." who the hell am I to say, "Yeah!" because I'm sitting here in my kitchen playing a couple of songs on my acoustic guitar? I go into the studio to record it... having a great time... don't think much about it. Once the album is released - twelve years later you have a lot of people telling you that your stuff was so great and has meant so much. There are no scales by which you can match your influence. We all sound different anyway.

Thou wert not contacted by the "Inner circle?"

...inner what?

Those bad boys in Norway.

Oh yeah! Those guys! they wrote a lot of letters to me when they were young - when they were big, big, big, big Bathory fans, and they even had a magazine. I don't remember the name. But they were heavily into the Satanic shit that we were doing. Once, a couple of these guys were arrested for the things that they did - you know, burning down churches, killing people. They told the police that they were influenced by my music. So I had a letter from the Norwegian police asking some questions - a truly weird situation. All we're dealing with here is music and fantasy.

They speak of some Jewish conspiracy. I was wondering if that's just their own personal political philosophy, or is it entirely a Norwegian way of thought.

To begin with, without mentioning any names or try to mock down on anybody personally, or a group of people - I think there's something completely wrong with you if you mix Odinism with Nazism and Satanism. All of these three things don't have anything in common. If you're a Satanist you couldn't be a son of Odin because Odinism doesn't believe in earthly values in the way that the Satanists are. If you're a Satanist you have to accept the christian way - I mean the whole story of creation and the universe and blah, blah, blah, afterlife, and hell, and all that shit. If you're a neoNazi you wouldn't be able to play death metal and have long hair. So what we're talking about here is total ignorance.

I was wondering if Scandinavia was an anti-semitic community, based on the rantings of the Inner circle.

Well, a lot of people have preconceived notions about Scandinavia. Certainly some American people I talked to when I was over there - they think Stockholm is like a suburb of Moscow or something. The thing is, I was fucking a Portuguese girl a couple of years ago, and she had this truly weird opinion about Swedish and Norwegian people. She thought we were the same type of people. The language is basically the same, like British and American English. Norway is very conservative and old-fashioned, and a very Christian country. They're like four-and-a-half/ five-million people, and we're like eight-million people. That's fly shit in the universe, compared to what's out there. Sweden is a very liberal country, and all values are accepted - except neo-Nazi and anti-Semitism. Sure, there are groups like that all over. You have this "New Order" in the United States, and all these church knuckle-heads over there. So I think it's a universal thing. Everbody needs to blame anything on anybody. In Sweden, when Chrisianity came around destroying a lot of the European culture, a lot of the stuff that has been going on for thousands of years... was destroyed. We don't know too much about our own history. If you don't know the past, you cannot master the future. If some young guy is into some heavy music... has the idea "Shit, man! We don't like the church, and we have to get into something that is against the church" and they go into Satanism as well as neo-Nazism because, originally all Christianity comes from a jewish fairy-tale called "The Bible," - Christianity has developed and adapted from modern science. Now we know there are no golden thrones above the clouds, and so on. So I think they're just picking up on anything that's against society and the establishment and, most of all, the church.

Getting back to thy sentiments on satanism being a christian product...

Yeah. You need to have a bad guy, to have people come to the good guy.

The satanists who are from the Anton LaVey circle us the term "Christian satanist" to define bands like deicide. I am not sure if thou hast heard of them.

Sure. I worked as head of the security when they were playing in Stockholm, and they probably didn't know who I was. Two or three Bathory fans recognized me. Nobody else recognized me. So...

The satanism that thou used for lyrical ideas is "Christian satanism," the kind that is evident in bands like deicide. It is not from the lavey school.

Basically, it was very innocent. I don't know if you had it over there, but in Sweden during the early '70's we had a magazine or horror book called "Shock" with Vampirella, Dracula, Frankenstein, and all that shit. We were very interested, when we first started, in the darker side of life, not necessarily the evil side of life. At one point we wanted to make a statement against the establishment, or Christianity, because it's old and dull and square and blah, blah, blah. We didn't know what to write about. In bands like Saxon and Motorhead, they were thinking about motorcycles going down the road at 200 miles per hour, whiskey, and fucking women. We came straight out of school. We just turned to what we were interested in, which was the mysterious. Everbody is interested in that at a certain point in your life. I don't think that we wanted to make a statement except for trying to be upsetting people in a very innocent fashion. We were very far away from the academic in any sense. We didn't know shit. Really. We didn't. As soon as I wanted to get deep down into it, I read the Bible. I read everything about Satanism. I read the Black Bible and blah, blah, blah. All that happened was, I came to the conclusion that it was all bullshit. I mean, we know there are no heaven. There is no hell. There are no golden thrones up there. There is no God. There are no devils. Nothing happens to you when you die. So you're just an electrified organism. when you die, you go back to earth. That's it. Man, from the dawn of time - we invented gods - and old gods became new gods in new religions. Christianity - the only reason why it has stayed so long is because christianity conquered the Western Hemisphere, which technically, is more advanced - and more advanced a thousand years ago than Africa or Asia. the Christian man stood on the moon in 1969. Praise Jusus Christ. Sure.

Getting back to thy more physical outlook on life...

(long laughter)

...Instead of the metaphysical - rather than reading something religious or occultish, just for personal enjoyment thou might want to read scientific documentation on near-death experiences. Contained in these papers are arguments on both sides, whether they are genuine supernatural events or mundane...

That's natural. It's too big a subject for me to discuss in English. I should write it down in a letter. But there's a perfectly natural medical explanation for that thing. If you know how our brain and heart functions - by electricity - and when you're lying there and the surgeons are working on you, of course people are going to say, "There's the light!" To open up a body, you need some big strong light. With your body full of drugs, sure you will see God. You will see Pinnochio.

But that is the interesting thing about the reports because they're not set out to prove that they're metaphysical events. There are reports that are the product of anesthesia, and then there are cases where that could not be the explanation. In fact, a merely "natural" explanation cannot be found, such as in the cases when there is no electricity in the brain, or the complete abscence of drugs in the body. Wouldst thou like for me to send thee one of the reports?

Well, you should send it to one of the girls I am fucking at the moment. She believes in the experience.

Art thou familiar with the philosopher "descartes?"


I think, therefore I am. Dost thou remember?

No. I just read scientific magazines.

Well, his thought is what scientific method is based on - the observable and what can be proved, as in - if a result is achieved once, it should be duplicated another time under the same conditions. It seems that thou hast the same way of thinking, which is not suitable to this research.

I didn't mean to sound so cool, you know? I mean, anything I say could be interpreted as the result of reading the works of Fredrich Nietchze, the German Philosopher.

His work is reputed to be tampered with by his sister who survived him.

Yeah. that's true. Not all of the work. but most of it. Some of the stuff was published while he was still alive. He was famous even in his young years.

But dost thou not think that his suffering influenced his thinking, what with the diarrhea and constant nausea?

I think a lot of what he did was the result of his mental illness. But if you have a mental disorder, or if you're truly koo-koo in your head, 500 years ago they would be called saints. We had a truly weird woman in Sweden 300 years ago. She's the only saint we had in Sweden - the Holy Birgitta. If she would be alive today, she would be locked up somewhere.

There is thy video...

(laughs) You bastard! There's a love and hate thing going on there. I spent between $3,000 and $5,000 on that video out of my own money, and we had 16 hours of film. Once, the whole thing was supposedly mixed together. There was so little time because I was going on a promotion tour in Europe for six weeks. We had so little time to do the video properly before we went out. So I said, "O.K. Let's wait. I'll take care of all that when I get back to Stockholm." but sometime when I was out there, someone put the whole thing together and just started to distribute it - and it was not meant to be that way. I should say first that I have never seen the video myself. I refuse to see it. the guy who was filming that thing - six months after recording that video, nobody heard from him anymore. He owes us alot of money and all that. I spent two weeks organizing - renting horses, uniforms, armor, swords, people, food, driving people - everything. I paid a lot of money and I wasn't even allowed to be there when the whole thing was mixed. We had 16 hours of film, and I wasn't even allowed to see one second.

Thou art one who uses a drum machine.

It's 50/50. The snare drum, and I believe the "ride" is a drum machine. Then the drum rolls and some of the crashes on the high hat is the real thing. The reason you use most of the time a drum machine for the snare drum is - you never get a real good sound out of a real snare drum (ed. - Mercyful Fate's "Melissa" album has the best snare sound ever recorded). It's very hard. But I mean, everybody is working with sample technique today anyway. So...

I guess we shall end this with thy response to an editorial. In my last issue I interviewed someone who's been sentenced to 53 years in prison. He was part of the "diabolical skinhead," as the press referred to them. The reason I interviewed him was because of the coverage by the media of the black metal violence.

Everything does not have to be attached to the label "Black Metal violence." You cannot blame an entire genre for what a couple of people are doing. We're voting politicians into power for four or five years, and they're the guys who start world wars and build atomic bombs. I've yet to see a death metal fan start a world war or kill six million jews or pollute our oceans.

The thing that interests me in this person is, his group wasn't a band or anything that would be helped by this sort of publicity. Essentially what they did was kidnap christians and torture them. I have had quite a few reactions to this interview. Anyway, this person's name is "dean adams." he's the only surviving member. There was a suicide, et cetera. He wrote an editorial on "weeding out the black metal poseurs." he praises grishnakh for killing euronymous. But he did make some comments about thee and other bands. Since it is being printed in the issue with thy interview, I thought it would be appropriate and amusing what thou wouldst say in reaction.


So stop me at any time. Of course there is some material before this. But he wrote, "...these bands don't actually practice the rites of the left hand path, not at all. They just merely claim to so as to snare the uneducated child (who so desperately seeks an idol) into purchasing their fallacious cd release." now here is where thou come into play. "The band bathory comes to mind when thinking along these lines. Consider the many occult/pagan claims quarthon has made in the past, and the atheistic view he now holds, and the blonde hair dye, or is that really his natural hair color? Well, like his integrity, one never knows. Seemingly rock star jewelery, or shall we call it jew-ery? One can easily see the many transitions a poseur goes through when the poseur is tired of acting one way, so begins to act another way.

Well, as far as the blonde shit goes, my hair is "natural." Over there you'd probably call it "blonde." But over here, it's just natural, or golden brown, or whatever you want to call it. 99% of the city's population have golden brown hair. Actually, I used to dye my hair black because my jackets were black, and it makes a great outfit. I don't know about standing up, playing in a band, making statements to be some sort of "Look at me. I'm in the limelight. I have long hair. I play faster than everybody else." Do you fight all the guys who are doing exactly the same thing? If you are not able to change the information... I mean, we're all individuals. And if you read a lot of literature - books on religion, and scientific stuff and whatever - there is no such thing as a pattern for life, or mind. Does he anywhere explain what the right thing is? I mean, he was just pissing off a lot of people by saying they're wrong. What's HIS philosophy on life? What's the true way?

What I can do is immediately send thee the issue with his interview.

You said a "skinhead." Is he neo-Nazi or a Satanist or an anti-Jewish guy or what?

All of the above. His outlook is very mysterious. The only part of him that is skinhead is that he shaved his head. Buy his ideas and philosophies I have never encountered before.

Let me make a parallel here. When I was, shall we say, the cock-sucking slave of Satan 15 years back, I would fuck off bands like Celtic Frost and Voivod - Celtic Frost because I didn't like their sound or the way they looked. I didn't think they were enough Satanists, if you know what I mean. I thought that they were more into art and the academic way of it. I didn't like Voivod because they were doing the space shit thing. I was too ignorant. I didn't know shit. It wasn't until years later that I started to listen to Voivod as a professional, realizing that these guys really had something. they were pioneers. I still hate Celtic Frost. Nobody is allowed to mock anybody else down. I still hate them, and I stand for that. But I shouldn't mock down a band because I don't like them. I may not understand it. But there are people who are in love with Celtic Frost's music and people who like my music. There's just one planet, and there's room for everybody here. What goes on in your mind is ten million times bigger than the universe. And my political views and my religious views will not affect anybody as long as I keep it inside my head. But if I don't deal with my values and compare it to what man has achieved as far as science is concerned... and medicine - the way we progress as individual and as a species - all that pressure you have inside your head comes up in a truly weird soup - and one of these days, if you have an ounce of hate in you, all that shit will explode. If you put a bomb in a state building, if you kill a friend - as in Norway or whatever - kill a homosexual, or blow the brains out of a Jew - we shouldn't try to label all these actions as racism or an act of religious defiance. What we should label it as is purely "crime." We shouldn't label ourselves death metal bands, black metal gods, or rock idols wearing jewelry. We should just label ourselves as musicians and individuals. In ten years, nothing of this will even matter. so I think it's very pointless to make comments of something a person says, who, first of all, has never met me and probably never met any of the other people he was referring to. So it's just pointless. I will answer him in a letter or something, if that's what he wants. But if you make a comment to a person like that, you just give him too much importance.

There are some leaders of the occult who have made educated replies to his statements.

When we were kids, I grew up listening to KISS, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles. I didn't know shit - what kind of drugs these guys were taking, what it felt like to sit down on a motorcycle going down the highway, what it felt like to be fucking girls in a limousine. I've done all that now. I've fucked a girl in the lavatory of a 747. I made it with a girl in a limousing in L.A. I've done live radio interviews for the whole U.S. west coast, having thirty-million heavy metal fans listening. I've done all that, and it's not because I am the son of Satan. I didn't do it because I was the g reatest guitar player in the world, or I had the best face, or the longest hair, or whatever. I was able to be a part of something that just happened - the underground movement. Kids wanted a music for themselves. Then someone comes along 15 years later doing something and they lock him up away in jail for life, and he starts to make statements about something he's never been a part of and doesn't understand the situation of working-class kids in Europe. He should just shut up and not make any comments about anybody. And YOU shouldn't make comments about what he has to say about other people! You give him too much importance. The world is full of knuckle-heads anyway.

Silence breeds destruction faster than expression.

Interview from The Grimoire Of Exalted Deeds #7
Provided by Mike Ferguson.
Taken from Twilight web-site.

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