Most metal fans are very familiar with the story of Mayhem, the Norwegian black metal group which briefly disbanded following the brutal 1993 murder of founding member Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth. Euronymous was murdered by bandmate Varg Vikernes, aka Count Grishnackh, who had also committed a string of arson attacks on medieval churches. In 1995, Mayhem co-founder Necrobutcher re-formed the group, which continues to release music. However, it wasn’t until the release of this year’s Lords Of Chaos, starring Rory Culkin as the ill-fated Euronymous, that the band’s story became more mainstream.
In a very interesting chat with Consequence Of Sound, Necrobutcher is finally addressing the tragedies that came to define Mayhem: The 1991 suicide of lead singer Per “Dead” Ohlin and the murder of Euronymous. The former became a sticking point in the band when Euronymous photographed Dead’s corpse, made necklaces using bits of his skull, and later used a gruesome photo from the suicide scene for the cover of Mayhem’s bootleg live album Dawn Of The Black Hearts. During the chat, Necrobutcher explains how angry he was with Euronymous for his behavior following Dead’s suicide and says he remains sad about the loss to this day.
Mayhem’s tumultuous history has been extensively covered in podcasts and a documentary (Until The Light Takes Us), but Necrobutcher has largely remained silent about the death of Dead and subsequent murder of Euronymous. Addressing the latter, Necrobutcher makes a particularly interesting admission, which is pretty shocking if true:
OK, I can tell it right now, because I’ve been holding it in for many years, but actually I was on my way down to kill him myself. And when it happened, I saw the morning paper, thinking ‘F**k, 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 going to be the No. 1 suspect for this.’
The bassist goes on to claim that the police were well-aware of Vikernes’ plan to murder Euronymous, and he has a fairly convincing theory about why they allowed it to happen:
Because they bugged his phone, and he actually talked about this killing before he went to Bergen so the cops already knew that he was coming, so they probably were thinking to themselves, ‘We didn’t nail this guy for the church burnings, so let’s nail him for murder, and get rid of this f–king guy in Oslo the same time.’ So that’s basically what happened.
Watch the full interview below.
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