1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the solo project since the recording of the new album?
I only finished the recording a few weeks ago, so I haven’t done much since.
2.You have a new album coming out in October, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
That’s hard to say as I haven’t made any conscious effort to do anything vastly different musically. I suppose if compared with my first album from around 2007, the biggest difference will be the quality of the production since Risci Bita Wudu was recorded with better equipment and instruments, and not mixed in Audacity! Whether the music itself is better or worse is not for me to say, however.
3.Thnis is also your first release of new material in 8 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
For the most part I was trying to finish the album, however, indecisiveness and other more personal setbacks have delayed me. I’ve been working on some of these tracks, and others I eventually decided not to use, since at least 2009. I really needed a kick up the arse to get it finished so I could move on.
4.On the new album you also explore the relationship between Pagans in Christians in the conversion period, can you tell us a little bit more about the research you put into the songwriting?
All of my music is currently focussed around the very broad topic of ‘Anglo-Saxon paganism(s)’ as this is my primary interest. A lot of the textual evidence that has survived of pre-Christian English beliefs is due to the Christian literary tradition, so it’s impossible to conduct any meaningful research into those beliefs without coming up against the Christian context of the sources. The conversion was a hegemonic process, so early Germanic Christianity was heavily influenced by those heathen cultures it sought to supplant which adds an even greater layer of complexity. That hegemony is the theme of the album, but in no way should that be considered a celebration of Christianity. It’s very much a lament.
5.A lot of t=your lyrics also deal with Anglo Saxon and Norse Paganism, can you tell us a little bti more about your interest in the Heathen Path?
I’ve been interested in Heathenry as a New Religious Movement for a long time, both as a practicer but also academically. For a decade or more I’ve developed a keener interest in Anglo-Saxon forms of Heathenry, with the goal of developing an even more locally-focussed religion. Back when I was a teenager, I found the relationship between this modern religion and identity interesting. After reading about David Lane in Gods of the Blood (Gardell) I found copies of some of his publications, along with lots of other ‘Wotanist’ texts that are likely considered ‘red flags’ nowadays. Back then, I was very much into Nationalism, White Identity/Separatism and now, of course, Odinism. I was inspired by a story I read about Guido von List, where he was taken by his father to the remains of a Germanic worship site, and proclaimed that when he was older he would build a temple to Wotan. Reading the essay Wotan by Karl Jung (which was fundamental to Lane’s Wotanism) and some works by later ‘Esoteric Hitlerists’ (Devi, etc) I came to believe that Hitler’s rise to power had been the work of Wotan, an archetypal deity long-suppressed in the blood of the Germanic people. I felt that by writing music about ‘Norse mythology’ (avoiding overt Nationalism), it might help others have their own ‘racial awakening’ in the same way I perceived myself to have had, and this Germanic god, Wotan, may awaken once more. I eventually joined the Odinic Rite, a U.K.-based Odinist society that was racially-aware (known as ‘folkish’ in Heathen subculture), and through them I met other Heathens living locally. None of the Heathens I met during my time in the Odinic Rite shared my ultra-Nationalistic views or held any kind of racist beliefs. To be honest, I didn’t even consider myself a racist - I believed all races were spiritually different, and this was reflected in incompatible cultures, and that to mix racially confused these folk-souls, allowing a race that kept its soul purer to ascend to dominance. Of course, this was a thinly-veiled anti-Semitic belief, which seems obvious when viewed from the outside. Meeting and talking to other Heathens gave me a much more level-headed view over time. Through my Heathen contacts and my own research I became far more interested in English pre-Christian history and identity than the notion of a pan-Germanic ‘Nation of Wotan’. I came to realise that if there had ever been a ‘Germanic’ identity, it was long-since lost to prehistory as tribes fractured, warred, acculturated with other tribes, etc. Even the concept of an Anglo-Saxon identity is absurd, and simply a notion of convenience for historians, or a way for rulers to justify their control.
6.On the website you also mentioned studies in Nazi Occultism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic and also has it led to any confrontations with the left leaning people involed with black metal these days that are out to cancel anything that has the word Nazi in it?
I’ve not had any great trouble with anyone. My interest in Esoteric Hitlerism evolved into my active pursuit of pre-Christian Germanic religion. It has been a long time since I was involved with any political movements. It isn’t something I’ve reflected on much.
7.On some of the early albums there where references to the Qlipthoth, Satan and Lucifer, do you also have an interest in te left hand Path?
I think these were pathway interests, certainly. I couldn’t tell you the first thing about most of these topics today! I’ve never really understood Satanism and have little to no interest in Eastern philosophies and religions except where they may intersect with my own.
8.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Æþelruna '?
Originally I released music as Adalruna. Æþelruna is simply Adalruna translated into Old English. It means ‘noble runes’. A long time ago I had a CD by a band called Shadowseeds and contacted one of the members who kindly sent me their last EP, Der Mitternacht Löwe, which was about a Swedish runologist named Johannes Bureus. I had previously read a book by Stephen Flowers (AKA Edred Thorsson), called Adalruna, on the same topic. This culmination inspired my first demo, Rediviva, and what I decided to name my project. Adalruna was a hypothetical runic system developed by Bureus back in the 17th Century. Beyond the book by Flowers, there isn’t much about him in the English language that I’m aware of.
9.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The layout of the album is by the incredibly talented Will Helm (https://www.will-helm.com). It depicts a scene from one side of the ‘Franks Casket’, an 8th-century reliquary, wherein Ertæ (we may assume) approaches Hos, sitting upon the ‘sorrow-mound’. The imagery and characters are totally unique to this one item, presenting one frame from an otherwise lost English myth. What relevance it had to the original artist or owners of the casket is unknown. Other scenes on the reliquary are from wider Germanic, Roman and Christian mythology. What relevance these scenes have with one another is unknown. This riddle is a microcosm of the frustrations associated with the reconstruction of English pagan culture.
10.With this project you have always worked solo, do you prefer recording by yourself instead of working with other musicians?
I like to be in control as I tend to have a strict vision for my releases. I couldn’t see myself as part of a band for that reason - I would be too dictatorial for others to tolerate for long. That being said, I really enjoy having guests featured on my tracks. They usually add something I didn’t know I wanted.
11.The new album is going to be self released but you have worked with labels before in the past, are you open to working with another label gain in the future?
I would be open to working with a label again, but right now I’m able to do most of this by myself.
12.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of pagan black metal?
It’s been indifferent overall, as far as I know.
13.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
I have a few more ideas for Æþelruna. I’m currently writing an album adapting the first part of the epic poem Beowulf which will form the basis of the next album. I’m also planning to re-record some older tracks from 2007-9. I’m too slow as a musician to have lots of side-projects and collaborations, or to plan too far ahead, so I will likely soldier on with Æþelruna for the foreseeable future.
14.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Burzum is easily the biggest influence on me in general, but right now I’m mostly listening to NWOBHM. I haven’t heard much new black metal for a while, except for some projects my contacts are involved with. I’m probably missing out on a lot.
15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the questions.