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Nergal - Evangelion ov Behemoth
All the questions have been answered by Nergal, face-to-face, in Helsinki, 2010
Band Homepage: Behemoth
Here it is Behemoth, the mighty Biblical monster that is nowadays impersonated by a blackened death metal band from Poland bearing the same name. The Behemoth guys are systematically and obstinately haunted by the Catholic Church but they just wouldnt stop troubling the trouble:
tearing the Bible on stage and making provocative videos in which church-related symbols and people look like the images of the worst nightmare. The last thing we heard from Behemoth was their 2009 album Evangelion. We managed to get together with Behemoth singer and the person behind most of the bands songs, Adam Darski a.k.a. Nergal, in the middle of the tour and had a talk about the new Evangelion ov Behemoth.
You started your Evangelion Tour already last year and still apparently 2010 wont 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 told you couldn't be any happier than after finishing the album recording in the studio because you felt it was very good and considered it to be the top of your music career so far. 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'm 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 realize there is no reason to continue. But I'm a pretty determined individual and Im 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 since you were in such high spirits and so positive 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 bands are you planning to cooperate with him again in future?
Oh, definitely I'm really happy with how he mixed Evangelion and I'm really hoping to work with him again. Bad mixing can totally destroy the album. You have to do it in a 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 get their meaning; so are you also trying to educate your fans by that?
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'm 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 dont have to read the whole text. I dont expect a 15-year old metal follower to do that and sometimes even we don't understand what we are singing about. It's just a stream of energy and 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 its 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 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 always had 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 to the same point - 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'm 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, your freedom. I know its very general, but its the way we feel.
So you are much more after Aleister Crowley and the power of will philosophy, arent you?
Well, its quite clear he means a lot to me and his writings are very inspirational... But I don't think I'm anyones or anything's follower. I just use my intuition that shows me a right path in my life.
You have had problems with Polish Church and the Conservative Party back in 2007 and now you were officially charged with insulting the Roman Catholic Church on March 8. How do you think what kind of danger do you constitute to the mighty church that it is so much 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 the things are very schematic and squareish, so they are afraid when anything stands out: people are going out of the way, its coming out of control their control. But you cannot control people. As Ive said, I will always be an individual, cause there is freedom within; you should be able to do whatever you want. Ill be facing a new court trial. I will stand for what I say and I will go to the court.
Having such things going on in Poland are you still comfortable with living and working there?
Yeah, kind of. I was born there, my family is there, my fiancée is there, my band is there, so its my place. I can see myself living outside of the country. I can see myself living in another country part-time. Well see, I dont know yet.
You sound like you are not afraid of anything in this life. Am I right?
Im not afraid of anything. I thought about it several times. I dont want to sound like a hero, its stupid. I dont know, maybe there is something I should be afraid of and Im just not aware about 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 youve got two legs, two hands and a brain you are pretty much able to get anywhere you want. Thats how I think.
And you obviously enjoy ruining a lot of metalhead stereotypes: you started dressing quite trendy, you keep healthy lifestyle and are dating a pop singer.
I dont give a fuck about others reaction. See, Im pretty sure there is not a single fucking person who left this venue unsatisfied (after the gig auth.). So this is my proof and my lifestyle has nothing to do with music. World is full of bullshit and shitty opinions anyway. So I dont give a fuck. What can I say, Im just doing what Im doing. Its the main principle of heavy music and black metal its all about being free and doing what you want. If people think that Im ruining pretty many of these rules, so thats their problem. Im not here for being a part of the society or a group of people. I dont really feel like looking like those guys. I have nothing against it, I just dont really like that look. Thats it.
You have always insisted on having make-up and costumes on stage. So you couldnt deliver the same message to the audience wearing 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 have never been to. I think it was very unique and original. Thats 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, last days were terribly intense for us and Im 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: Victoria Maksimovich | pictures: Xeniya Balsara
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