Mayhem’s Necrobutcher: “I Was on My Way to Kill Euronymous Myself”
Whhhhhooooaaaa: the absolutely bugnuts fucking crazy story of Mayhem’s early days somehow just got a little more bugnuts fucking crazier.
In a new interview with Consequence of Sound, Mayhem bassist Necrobutcher (né Jørn Stubberudt) reveals that “I was on my way down to kill [Euronymous] myself” when he found out that Varg Vikernes had beat him to it. He also believes that Norwegian authorities failed to prevent Vikernes from killing Euronymous because doing so allowed them to get rid of two perceived threats at the same time.
It’s never been a secret that Necrobutcher and Euronymous (born Øystein Aarseth) butted heads after Mayhem’s original frontman, Per “Dead” Ohlin, took his own life by slitting his wrists and shooting himself in the head with a shotgun. Euronymous, who was living with Dead at the time, famously took photos of the singer’s corpse and collected skull fragments before calling the authorities. The skull fragments were handed out as jewelry to those whom Euronymous deemed “true,” and the photograph was eventually used as the cover for the live bootleg Dawn of the Black Hearts. Necrobutcher, understandably, was upset by the way Euronymous handled the situation, accusing the guitarist of exploiting their friend’s death for his own gain. Consequently, he was replaced on Mayhem’s debut album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, by Vikernes, a.k.a. “Count Grishnackh.”
Now Necrobutcher has expanded upon the story we all know:
“In the middle of the process of the songwriting and stuff [for ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’], our buddy Per Ohlin decided to take his own life. I felt very sad about that and was struck by sorrow for a long time. Still actually feel sorrow about that. But the first year was particularly bad. Especially since my friend – ‘friend’ -Euronymous took fucking photos of [Ohlin’s] corpse. So that didn’t help much with the grief. I felt like I needed to go over and kill that Oyster Euronymous fucking backstabber. But y’know it’s funny with the karma, y’know, bad karma there… ’cause he went behind my back, called Varg Vikernes, got him to play bass on the album and then that was kinda bad karma I guess, because we all know what happened to him.
“Okay, I can just tell it now, [I’ve held] it in for many years, but actually I was on my way down to kill [Euronymous] myself. When it happened, I just saw the [news of his murder in the] morning paper, I’m thinking, ‘Fuck, I gotta get home to my place and get out all the weapons and drugs and shit I had in my house because they’re coming to my house because I’m probably gonna be the #1 suspect for this.’ But little did I know that the Norwegian police already knew that Count Grishnackh was going down to Oslo to kill [Euronymous], because they bugged [Varg’s] phone and they actually talked about this killing before… so the cops already knew that he was coming. So they’re probably thinking to themselves, ‘Okay, we didn’t nail this guy for church burning, so let’s nail him for murder and get rid of this fucking guy in Oslo at the same time.’ So that’s basically what happened.”
I’m not really sure what to make of Necrobutcher’s claims about his own intentions, other than “Insane band members were definitely insane.” I mean, all this violence! I know the earnestness with which the founders of Norwegian black metal enacted their beliefs is part of their appeal for some, but that seems, well, bonkers. Keep in mind, these young men weren’t exactly struggling to survive as oppressed kids on the mean streets of an inner city. Many of them came from monied families, and the Christian obligations of Norwegian citizens is actually pretty minor. So it’s hard not see their behavior as edge-lordism, and it’s hard to see edge-lordism as being sincere, which means people were doing all this crazy shit for no real good reason. I mean try making an argument that all this nutso shit somehow helped the music. It’s not a defensible stance.
(Also, Necrobutcher probably owes Vikernes a fruit basket or something. The card could read “Dear Varg, thanks for keeping me out prison! Love, Jørn.”)
Insofar as the accusation that Norwegian police allowed Euronymous to die, well, that’s not a new one. I have no idea if it’s true or not, but it doesn’t strike me as being all that far-fetched, unfortunately.
You can check out the entire interview below. Mayhem’s new album, Daemon, which comes out October 25 on Century Media. Pre-orders are here.