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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

BEHEMOTH: Exclusive interview with Nergal

Hailing out of Poland, the land of beautiful women and tremendous Vodka, Behemoth has quickly become their finest musical export in decades. Unfortunately, the motor behind Behemoth, Mr. Adam Darski( A.K.A. Nergal) is currently facing some major health issues. We wish him the best and hope to have him destroying stages with Behemoth very soon. Here is an interview that our partners in musical crime (Music Photocalypse) recently conducted with him.

You started your “Evangelion” Tour last year and apparently 2010 won’t be the last year of your tour.

Actually, this tour is different. We used to tour more intensely in the past. We are planning to tour in support of “Evangelion” for the next two years, 300 shows more or less is the plan. 300 shows in 3 years are not the same as 300 shows in 18 months. This time we just want to make sure there is a break for us: like playing a few shows in Australia and then having a week off; then – some more shows in Japan and then again time off. We just want to keep it that way. We want to have time to recover and recharge batteries, and so on. So yes, this is how we do it.

Immediately after releasing “Evangelion” you said you couldn't be any happier of having completed the recording process because you felt it was very good and considered it to be the climax of your music career. Usually when one feels like reaching the top in any sphere of life, one gets to the natural question: “What's next?”

I can't really tell you now. I am just taking it as it is, day by day. We are touring for this record now. We are trying to make sure we show that “Evangelion” is the biggest and the most splendid record and once we are done with the project, we'll take a sit and have some time off. Maybe then we will realize that there is no reason to continue. But I am a pretty determined individual and I am very ambitious too, so I guess I will at least give it a shot.

The album is quite angry, so where did you take all that anger from? The reason why I ask is because you were in such high spirits and so positive while recording it.

Well, I was mostly happy with the recording process. But it doesn't mean I didn't struggle in my personal life. When I was doing the record I was just going up and down. There were some bad things happening... But all this was pretty motivating too. So, as long as I can find motivation I don't give a fuck. And if you want you can turn such things into the worst experience but you can turn them into a driving force too.

After recording “Evangelion” with British recording engineer Colin Richardson famous for his work with Slipknot, Carcass, Fear Factory, Cannibal Corpse and many other top Heavy Metal bands, are you planning to work with him again in future?

Oh, definitely I am really happy with how he mixed “Evangelion” and I am really hoping to work with him again. Bad mixing can totally destroy the album. You have to do it the right way: to have right taste and balance and everything.

Your lyrics have always been full of symbols and allusions and one has to dig through a lot of books to understand their meaning; are you trying to educate your fans?

I know, you have to read a lot to understand ... But then again, no. It's like yes and no. Let me give you an example: I am a Rammstein fan but I don't know a shit in German but for some reason I sense the spirit, I can feel it. I don't know the lyrics but I know what they are singing about. And I hope I get the right feeling - it is just my interpretation of it. So, I mean you don’t have to read the whole text. I don’t expect a 15-year old Metal head to do that and sometimes we don't understand what we are singing about. It's just a stream of energy with words and actions. We just put it in a very poetic way. Sometimes these are only various impressions. It's not mathematics. It's feelings, it's emotions. Remember we speak about feelings here so it’s really easy to make up wrong interpretations.

You have a picture of the Harlot of Babylon on the cover of “Evangelion”. She is stepping on broken stone tablets containing the 10 commandments. Do you want to say that you offer new commandments and new evangel A.K.A. “Evangelion”?

This image is a universal message which we have always conveyed – it tells to stand out from the crowd, to get your own gods; staying truthful and faithful to your own spirit. So, anything we use in our graphics or our lyrics it all pretty much gets the same point across - the theme of freedom and liberty. The Harlot stepping on the broken commandment stones is not about winning a fight with God. It's the manifestation of our attitude, freedom, philosophy… and that's it. It's just my opinion and I am not really trying to force it upon anyone.

If we speak about you and your attitude to religion, what is the thing that you are fighting with? Are you more anti-Pope, anti-Church or anti-Christianity in general?

We are anti-stupidity; we are against any kind of limitations. Just be yourself, show yourself, just fucking fly! Just drift away from anything that holds you down and limits you and suppresses your abilities, your potential, and your freedom. I know it’s very general, but it’s the way we feel.

So you are much more after Aleister Crowley and the power of will philosophy, aren’t you?

Well it’s quite clear that he means a lot to me and his writings are very inspirational... But I don't think I am anyone’s or anything's follower. I just use my intuition and that shows me the right path in my life.

You had problems with the Polish Church and the Conservative Party back in 2007 and now you were officially charged with insulting the Roman Catholic Church on March 8. What kind of danger do you think you constitute to the mighty church that makes them be after you?

It is all just about keeping people in control. Poland has been enslaved by regimes for decades. So for us gaining democracy is something totally new. Some people just freak out when they see that the individuals can go out and speak out for themselves, just being who they are... In Poland things are very schematic and square’ish, so they are afraid when anything stands out: people are going out of the way, it’s getting out of control – their control. But you cannot control people. As I’ve said, I will always be an individual, because there is freedom within; you should be able to do whatever you want. I’ll be facing a new court trial. I will stand for what I say and I will go to court.

Having such things going on in Poland are you still comfortable living and working there?

Yeah, kind of. I was born there, my family is there, my fiancée is there, my band is there, so it’s my place. I can see myself living outside of the country. I can see myself living in another country part-time. We will see, I don’t know yet.
You sound like you are not afraid of anything in this life. Am I right?

I am not afraid of anything. I thought about it several times. I don’t want to sound like a hero, it’s stupid. I don’t know, maybe there is something I should be afraid of and I am just not aware of it. Some people are afraid of solitude, of loneliness. I just know that in our lives we get what we deserve. As long as you are not disabled and you’ve got two legs, two hands and a brain, you are pretty much able to get anywhere you want. That’s how I think.

And you obviously enjoy ruining a lot of Metal head stereotypes: you started dressing quite trendy, you keep a healthy lifestyle and are dating a pop singer.
I don’t give a fuck about other people’s reaction. See, I am pretty sure there is not a single fucking person who left this venue unsatisfied. So this is my proof, and my lifestyle has nothing to do with music. The world is full of bullshit and shitty opinions anyway. So… I don’t give a fuck. What can I say; I am just doing what I am doing. It’s the main principle of Heavy Music and Black Metal – it’s all about being free and doing what you want. If people think that I am breaking many of these rules, that is their problem. I am not here for to be part of society or a group of people. I don’t really feel like looking like those guys. I have nothing against it, I just don’t really like that look. That’s it.

You have always insisted on having make-up and costumes on stage. So you couldn’t deliver the same message to the audience wearing a pair of jeans and a T-shirt?
We have been doing that pretty much since day one, we just developed, evolved. We got to the place we had never been to. I think it was very unique and original. That’s what I think about what we do with Behemoth, we are not like any other band. And the passion, the passion about what we do is the key to success. And it keeps us going, for example, the last few days were terribly intense for us and I am just hoping for a few hours of sleep tonight. And we will have to wake up around 4:30 to catch our plane. But when we go on stage we just try to give our fucking best, and make that show the greatest ever and just be passionate about it.

Interview courtesy of: Music Photocalypse
Interviewer: Victoria Maksimovich
Photographer: Xeniya Balsara

Related links:
Official Behemoth Site
Music Photocalypse

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