Over the course of researching Norwegian black metal since November of last year, I kept coming across one name: Euronymous. Euronymous was the guitarist of the band Mayhem and was allegedly murdered by Burzum’s Varg Vikernes in 1993. However, I’ve discovered that Euronymous has a very active social media presence, which contradicts the idea that he is deceased. I’ve come to realize that his “death” and the “murder” sentence that Varg served in a Norwegian prison were almost definitely publicity stunts. I was able to make contact with one of Euronymous’ many Facebook profiles and he agreed to do an interview for Metal Matters via Facebook messenger. It was a revealing look at the sham that people call black metal and shows that the attitudes I thought were a thing of the past are still very common in so much of metal.
Thank you for doing this interview. Can you give me a description of your role in the Norwegian black metal scene?
ummmm i live in a town called brampton in ontario. it is probably as cold as norway in the winter but there is not a black metal scene here. i guess my role in the norwegian black metal scene is wearing shirts from bands in norway? idk
Does it bother you that Burzum receives so much attention?
no i guess it’s ok. i like burzum and other bands like that. mayhem is all right.
So you’ve heard the material they’ve released since 1993?
yeah it isn’t my thing. a lot of black metal bands sold out after they got famous. idk why. mayhem didn’t sell out but the new guitarist kinda fucked it up. the last album was ok though
Why haven’t you recorded anything since 1993?
well i only started playing guitar a couple of years ago so i don’t think i should really record anything until i know what i’m doing better, you know?
So you didn’t play guitar for Mayhem? What did you do for the band then?
lol no…i didn’t do anything in mayhem
Really? It was my understanding that you were the lead guitarist and songwriter from the 1980s until 1993.
no…not me. that was someone else with the same name…
So is Euronymous a shared pseudonym? Is it passed down from guitarist to guitarist?
maybe, i really don’t know. all i know is i have never been on a mayhem album and i don’t think i will be
Doesn’t that bother you? That people are using your name and getting famous off of it?
no not really…i mean i’m not the first person to have a Euronymous Facebook profile and i probably won’t be the last…
But we’re not talking about Facebook, we’re talking about your music.
i don’t have any music
So who played guitar on the early Mayhem releases?
Right. And that’s you.
i already said that wasn’t me lol…it’s like two bands having the same name but they aren’t the same band
Moving on, what are your thoughts on the current state of metal?
i think it was better a few years ago but you can’t live in the past…i listen to a lot of death metal but there aren’t a lot of bands today that are that interesting
Does the homophobia in metal bother you?
i don’t know what you mean
The way most metalheads seem to hate LGBTQIA+ people.
i’m not gay
Would it matter if you were?
idk??? i’m not gay
Varg Vikernes alleges that you were.
lmao well i’m not
So is that just more metal homophobia then?
Are you uncomfortable answering the question?
umm yeah lol
Ok, that’s fine. What do you think about the racism in metal?
umm i didn’t know it was
It is. Have you been to a metal show recently?
Did you see how white the audience was?
lol there are nothin but white people where i live
And was that an intentional move?
Did you move to Brampton because it’s so white?
i was born here
And you’ve stayed there because it’s so white?
no i go to school here
So you go to school in a place where it’s nothing but white people?
i have to go eat dinner now brb
Wow. Ok. Thanks for your time.
Euronymous terminated the interview at this point. It’s interesting to see the way that the metal patriarchy protects itself and its interests through shared pseudonyms. The fact that Euronymous couldn’t answer the questions about race or his own sexuality forthrightly tells me all I need to know about the genre. I will probably avoid black metal from now on.