About Me

Interview with Varg

Varg are from Germany and their name, in Swedish, means “wolf”. His most recent original work, "Zeichen", was released on September 18th by Napalm Records.
Freki, vocalist, spoke to us about the new album, Vikings, Norse mythology and even Gods. Listen to the album and get ready for an epic battle!

M.I. -  Hi there. How are you? First things first, congratulations on the new album. Very amazing and beautiful.

Hey! Thanks for the compliments. We are ok. Really happy with the new album, but we miss playing shows a lot!

M.I. -  Your name means “wolf” in Swedish. Do people tend to commonly mistake you with Varg Vikernes?

Well, some random YouTube comments say: “Oh! I expected to see Varg Vikernes!”, but fortunately these are rare exceptions.

M.I. -  You are known for issuing a cease-and-desist letter to a Swedish techno artist of the same name, in 2019. What happened?

Some fans got confused by live concert dates of the wrong “VARG” being released and albums of the wrong “VARG” for preorder, at Amazon, for example. As we own all rights for “VARG” as trademark and also guaranteed that we are the only “VARG” to our record label in our contract, we first friendly asked and then forced him to change his project’s name. Imagine there would be a new Hip Hop artist, calling himself “Metallica” and releasing music albums with this name, confusing many people, what would the “real” Metallica do? (laughts)

M.I. -  “Zeichen” was released on the 18th September, via Napalm Records. Before this name for the record, did you have more names for it or was it your first choice?

It was the first choice and is the perfect name for this album name, in my opinion.

M.I. -  With this album, you’ve decided to enter into the Viking era. What new facts will we find in these warriors, that we haven’t known before? Will you talk about an historic figure? Did you have any help from an Historian, to learn more about the Viking’s habits and so on?

Well, if you know all the stories we tell or not, depends on how deep your Viking knowledge is. “Rán” from the song “Fara Til Ránar”, is not as popular as Odin, Thor and Freya, for example. My interest in Norse mythology and the Viking way of life, started more than 15 years ago, within this long period, you don't only scratch the surface but dig deeper and deeper into these themes and develop your own thoughts about how the Vikings felt and what they might have thought. The lyrics are for sure interesting for people that are interested in these Nordic themes.

M.I. -  Ten tracks of pure epic. How hard was it to write them, musically and lyrically speaking? How many did you write?

Thanks a lot. Lyrically, I wrote them all with the help of Fylgja, at “Fara Til Ránar”. Musically, for this album, only one song is written by me, as our two new guitar players are gods at their instruments. So, I focused on the lyrical side and let them do the main guitarwork for “Zeichen”.

M.I. -  When did you decide to start working on the new album?

Back in 2018, we've been on tour and our guitar player Morkai played the acoustic intro riff for the song “Zeichen” at our backstage room. I got goosebumps instantly and asked him: “What song is this?”. That was the first riff written for the new album.

M.I. -  Who was responsible for the sound and the album cover? Was it difficult to find someone with the same interest as you?

The album was recorded by our long-time sound engineer and friend, André Hofmann, at Hofmann Studios, in Germany. The album cover concept was done by me, the wolf rune was drawn for us, by Roberto Toderico, who is also responsible for many of our shirt designs.

M.I. -  Was it difficult to put together modern elements, lifted vocals, melody and musical hardness into this History era?

No, it fits perfectly. The Viking era was hard and brutal as our music, as well as their glorious and mystical themes, just like our melodies.

M.I. -  You decided to release the self-titled track: “Zeichen”, which means in English: “Signs” as the first single. What signs are we talking about? Where did you film the video?

With “Zeichen”, we mean the old runes the Vikings used as their alphabet. The video has been shot at different locations in Germany, including old ritual places that have been used by the Celts, for example.

M.I. -  “Auf die Götter”, like the previous one, was shot and directed by Oliver König. How did you meet and how amazed are you by his talent?

We are stunned by his talent and how good he realized our vision of the “Zeichen” video. With his band “Firtan”, he has played at our own “Wolfszeit Festival” in the past. That's how we got in contact.

M.I. -  Before Christianization, the Nordic mythology had a dominant impact on Viking culture. Gods as Odin, Thor, Loki and Freya embodied the center of belief. in your own opinion, how important were they? Are there any more Gods that you think they are as important as these ones?

The Gods in north mythology have different personalities and values. Back in the Viking age, Thor was known as friend of the humans. So, I think he might have been the most important god for the people. But of course, it depends on your own values, thoughts and life, which of these old gods is the central point of your belief.

M.I. -  Will you release another video? Which song and why that one?

We just released a third video, called “Fara Til Ránar”. You should check it out now!

M.I. -  Your new merch is quite remarkable. How did you decide for the wood on the box set and its design?

Thanks a lot! The blackened wood with the golden wolf rune on it is the perfect design for the special edition, in my opinion. It combines glory, darkness and strength. It doesn't need many words, if your words are powerful – you know?

M.I. -  Nine studio albums, three EPs and one demo. Can we say that this might be your best album?

For me, it definitely is the best VARG album so far and it is the first album on our new Viking path!

M.I. -  October will be your headlining touring spree (mainly in Germany). “Wolfsfest Tour” is the name of this tour and Wolfchant, Debauchery's Balgeroth and Finsterforst will be taken on this journey. Which cities will you visit? Do you think it will extend to more countries, outside Germany?

Sadly, the tour needed to be postponed to 2021, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Let's see what will be possible next year.

M.I. -  How do you prepare for a tour? Do you have a ritual?

VARG is a strongly connected wolfpack and we have our very own rituals, but we don't talk about them.

M.I. -  The German Pagan Metal festival, Wolfszeit, is very important in Germany. Name such as Korpiklaani and Batushka will take part in it. Will you add more names? Any surprises for the fans?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we needed to replace Korpiklaani with Equilibrium and we added Belphegor to finalize the billing. Wolfszeit Festival 2020 was the biggest Metal Open Air in Germany this year. We are really happy that we could set a sign for the live event scene, that it is possible to do events with strict rules and good concepts.

M.I. -  Which bands and singers have you been listening to?

At the moment, I am inspired by bands like Wardruna and Heilung.

M.I. -  Thanks so much for answering the questions and I hope to see you someday in Portugal. Any final words for Portugal and the Portuguese Metalheads?

Thank you too. Portuguese Metalheads, stay safe, stay healthy and check out our new album “Zeichen” right now!
For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Raquel Miranda