Behemoth: A True Satanist

It's Crazier Now Than It Ever Was....

Now let me quickly explain something; there is only one thing better than chatting to Nergal of Polish blackened death metal colossus Behemoth; and that is chatting to him twice. After several horrid transcontinental connections we were finally chatting….

“Hello, hello, hello”!  We are travelling at the moment it’s all going really good, we are heading to the warmer places so we can’t wait for the heat, so let’s talk”. Well, as you know I recently visited Poland and it was very apparent that Catholicism is a big player in the country, now picking up where we left off last week we were discussing how you were raised a catholic growing up in Poland, now for all those who are aware of the manner of Behemoth – how was it for you at the beginning of Behemoth to be on a perpetual forefront of this negative media hype?… “Raised as Catholics in a conservative country; and I mean it’s crazier now than it ever was, in the beginning we had to cross these boundaries in order to liberate ourselves. We have a loyal fan base, and our fans are content with waiting for our honesty and quality in a Behemoth album. In the beginning it was difficult times for us; We [Poland] were a fresh democracy, we were just teenagers, it was hard for us to get even the simplest of equipment you know, we used all the means we could to break through, it’s all good though it helped us find what true determination is. It made us more determined and more passionate and more modulated. It’s amazing that it’s possible that I am talking to someone across the other side of the world about my music, and I know it’s my job but even after all this time it is still so surreal for us. Its fucking amazing, I made it this far and I managed to create ten albums and the 11th is about to be released, we are travelling across the globe”!

Absolutely! Well regardless of the prosecutions both Behemoth (and many other bands in the genre have unfortunately had to endure) how important is it for you to promote your message and to express your opinions? “It’s everything. It’s essential; it’s the reason why we started playing extreme music. Extreme music demands an extreme message, its rebellious, its liberating, its ground breaking – and I can’t imagine playing this kind of music and singing about something that’s not important to our lives. It’s pretty much essential”.

The band continues to hone the craft even after all these years; each album exploring numerous philosophies and ideologies – where does your passion and focus currently lie with this new album? “I am just using different tools to express the subjective views that I have. I’ve always tried to maintain the same statement – the statement is to think for yourself and to liberate yourself from life’s limitations, to think outside the box and to just create yourself from a stretch even though the circumstances may be difficult, and may put you in chains or a label. This music is always anarchistic and has a rebellious foundation and that’s what I’ve always stuck to; it’s really summoning the antics of human nature and who you are at the end of the day”.

The latest album is named Satanist; this title pricked my ears – the definition of a Satanist has been thrown around for many years with everyone having a different take on it, I was curious as to what your perspective on this term is “Well, I’m pretty flexible on this matter. The fact that we make such a statement and that book is so black and white and obvious – Satanism however is not obvious and takes courage to embrace. Satanism is a metaphor for freedom and for saying No to the present reality and the reality is that we don’t belong to it, that’s it you know. It’s a rebel who says no. It’s a strong weapon in order to break down walls and to choose your own path, and to always follow your intuition!”. The album Satanist is an extremely personal album this time around, encompassing all your ideologies and perspectives. What challenges did you face while writing? “Yeah, it’s always very challenging, it’s never an easy process, id even say that creating Satanist consumed the most time and energy, there was also a lot of conflict and communication to try to create it. It was very demanding. Although we are much more mature than we were. It requires so much patience and it increases our pride, our passion and our caution. We are very proud, it’s a very adventurous record, it’s definitely what we have done in the past and we are finding ourselves again. It’s much more personal than before, I am usually emotional with my music and my lyrics yet this time it’s just to the bone and more to the core, I really hope people appreciate that fact you know, it’s very raw”

Satanist is doing what all the great albums of Behemoth have done in the past and that is taking you all around the world. The band are hitting Australia very soon, what are your fondest memories of touring in Australia? [Mischievous laugh] “It’s cold here! The one thing we can’t wait for is the Australian summer, I mean it’s beautiful over here at the moment but it’s too cold. The one thing I can remember vividly from our last tour; we had some travel issues our first time around, we couldn’t get a flight out of Brisbane, we were stuck for a couple of days, but I mean it was great there while we were waiting [Laughs] I gave surfing a go [Laughs] I stayed and travelled to Perth and Tasmania, all that shit, it was great!”. We can’t wait to get back to Australia, trust me it’s going to be amazing, the venues will be packed I can’t wait to hang with our fans and band mates, so sit tight! I’m also glad this interview finally happened”. [Laughs]