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Varg Vikernes
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Submitted by level 17 GloomingOldGuy
Last modified by level 21 Eagles

Varg Vikernes

a.k.a.Count Grishnackh, Greven, ex-Kristian Vikernes
Birth nameLouis Cachet
BornFebruary 11, 1973, Bergen, Norway (age 46)
Member ofOld Funeral  (1990-1991)
Burzum  (1991-2000, 2009-present)
Mayhem  (1992-1993)
OccupationsMusician, Singer-songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, Bass, Drums, Synthesizer, Keyboards, Vocals
GenresBlack Metal, Death Metal, Ambient
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Varg Vikernes was born Kristian Vikernes on February 11, 1973 at 21:58 in Bergen, Norway. In early 1993, he legally changed his first name from "Kristian" to "Varg" and later started to use the name Varg Qisling Larssøn Vikernes (and spelling variations thereof) as his pen-name/artist name. Varg, which means "wolf," claims to be related to Vidkun Quisling, a Norwegian fascist political leader during World War II who founded a collaborationist pro-Nazi government. One side of Vikernes' family used the name Qisling, without the "u".

Vikernes had been learning the guitar since he was 14. His first band was known as Uruk-Hai, formed around 1988-89. In mid-1990 he took a one-year break, which he spent playing in Old Funeral, and later in Satanel, which he formed with Abbath Doom Occulta of Immortal.

In 1991, when Satanel disbanded, Vikernes revived his project, changing the name to Burzum ("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 fast pace.

According to Vikernes, because Euronymous was too incompetent to release Burzum albums on Deathlike Silence Productions Records, he decided to start his own label called Burznazg (which translates to "Dark Ring" in Black Speech), which was changed in 1993 to Cymophane Records (Greek: "Wave to appear", the name of a gem that is shaped like an eye).

He considered signing to Earache Records to release his fourth album who at the time wanted to try having a black metal act on their roster. Earache hesitated to sign him, partly due to his highly racist views and also because at that time they were a death metal/grindcore label. Eventually Vikernes would be arrested for church burning and the murder of Euronymous.

In late January 1993, he was interviewed by a journalist from Bergens Tidende. Vikernes had requested the interview in order to gain publicity for the black metal scene and for Euronymous record store Helvete. However, the interview led to a police investigation. Arson attacks had occurred on at least seven major stave churches, including the Fantoft stave church, one of Norway's architectural treasures dating from the 12th century. After the investigation, Vikernes was found guilty of several of these cases.

Euronymous decided to close his record store due to this negative attention. Tension between Euronymous and Vikernes increased, which culminated in murder of the former by the latter. After a confrontation, Vikernes fatally stabbed Euronymous - his body was found outside the apartment with many wounds inflicted by a knife.

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 at the time infamously proclaiming all rock and metal-based music to be culturally alien and "non-Aryan" in origin, he chose to continue Burzum in a keyboard-based, ambient vein for the two albums that followed.

Vikernes chose to end Burzum in late 2000, disappointed that fans were still connecting the band with Satanism, despite his allegiance to Paganism and pro-right politics.

While in prison, he published three books mostly relating to the history of Norway, Norse mythology and philosophy: "Vargsmål", "Irminsul" and "Germansk Mytologi Og Verdensanskuelse." He continued to publish books and articles, most of which relate to politics and religion.

In October 2003, he had a weekend leave from jail, which he failed to return from - only to be caught later the same day by police. During this escape he hijacked/stole a car from a family he encountered. He was sentenced to an additional 14 months in prison for this.

A June 2008 newspaper article mentions that Vikernes is married and has a daughter, born in 1993 (actually born in 1992), and a son, born 2007. In an interview made in 2004, Vikernes said that he has a daughter and that he had "never been married". In a 2008 interview, he referred to his two children as well as an expected third child. As of 2014 he has four children in addition to his adult daughter from a previous relationship.

Vikernes applied for parole in spring 2008 after serving 15 years in prison, but his application was denied. It wasn't until March of 2009 that it was announced that he 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. He has since claimed to distance himself from right wing politics and declared a non-political way of life.

In connection with his parole in March 2009, Vikernes announced that he would be settling on a small farm in Telemark with his family. Burzum was reactivated at this point in the familiar black metal style of his earlier works.

In 2008, Varg Vikernes again changed his legal name, to Louis Cachet. He currently (since 2010) resides in France with his wife and their children.

On July 16th, 2013 Vikernes and his wife were arrested by French Police on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack. Charges were soon dropped against the both of them, but Vikernes was later charged for spreading "racism, antisemitism and apology of war crimes and crimes against humanity” via his blog. He was convicted of this on July 8th, 2014, and sentenced to a six-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay a fine of € 8000,-. He said beforehand that he would appeal, if convicted.

Changed his legal name to Louis Cachet in 2008 after marrying a French woman, Marie Dominique France Cachet. He still uses "Varg Vikernes" as an artist name for his music, movies and books, as well as in everyday life, and only uses the name "Louis Cachet" when he has to (i. e. for signing things, legal documents etc.).

Abbath Doom Occulta of Immortal was the person who introduced Vikernes to black metal. Ironically, it was Euronymous who introduced Abbath to black metal in the first place.

Grishnackh contributed lyrics for the Darkthrone albums "Transilvanian Hunger" and "Panzerfaust".

He was extensively interviewed for the documentary "Until the Light Takes Us", where he gives his own account of the events leading to his incarceration.

Used to run Cymophane Records (via his mother Helene Bore while he was in prison) and nowadays runs Byelobog Productions (via his wife).
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