BEHEMOTH – Way too complexed
BEHEMOTH er et band jeg har fulgt utviklingen til lenge og vi har et par intervjuer her på Eternal Terror fra før av. Denne gangen fikk jeg muligheten til å ta en prat med Nergal i litt stille omstendigheter og fikk også tildelt ganske bra med tid. For å gjøre dette til et annerledes intervju, fokuserte vi denne gangen mer på de små tingene rundt Behemoth og Nergal spesielt. Det var en til dels følsom Nergal jeg fikk møte denne gangen.
ET – Hi Nergal. This is our third annual face to face interview and they have been taken in three different cities here in Norway; not bad, is it, hehe?
NERGAL – Yes, that’s true. We have been here so many times, so it’s cool to meet people and talk with them from time to time. To pretty much every show we go to, I meet people and think; “Shit, I know these people”, hehe. But there is so many of you and I get confused and it’s a bit difficult to place every one of you, hehe.
ET – This time I will do a little different interview. I will focus mostly on the little things around Behemoth and you as a person. And let’s start with your belief. What do you believe in?
NERGAL – Oh man, that’s a tough one. Some days I like to keep it very simple; I believe in lives and death, black and white and stuff like that. But then the next day I get more sophisticated, so it’s so difficult to say and I can’t give you one proper answer because I am way too complexed as a person. I do exist on several levels and I try to deal with people who are on the same level as me when I am there. Every situation is different, every person is different and everything is so diffuse, so I can’t just put me on one level. No fucking way man, hehe. In each country I have been in, I get different reflections and it all influenced me very much, so I cannot say. It all depends on the rules here and the rules there, so……. But that is what the Catholics have tried to force us to do for years now. I think they are pretty much confused about it and I think that some of them may have figured out that man is way more complex than most of them think, so I’m sorry man, but I can’t give you one proper answer to that question.
ET – When you started Behemoth, the style was black metal, but the death metal elements have been become more and more important in your music.
NERGAL – It’s been years since I stopped saying things like that. It’s journalists like you that put us in the black metal periods and the death metal periods. I don’t see it like that anymore, but I used too. I did see Behemoth as a black metal band in the beginning, but these days; just look at our show. This is so much black metal, but it is so subjective. I stopped seeing things in black and white so for me it is difficult to say if we are more this and that. I put so much of me and so much effort in the music. I like that you all have your opinion on our music, but I don’t have my own, hehe. Every opinion is good, I appreciate it and I respect it. But I do care about the quality of the music we deliver to the people. I can say that I am more conscious and self confident now than I ever been with the music I made. You can see it easily on stage that we can’t fool people. On stage you get the picture of 4 angry fuckers who deliver the music they love and who are very passionate about it. That’s the things that are important for me.
ET – But you have to admit that there are more death metal in your music today.
NERGAL – If you try to analyze it, then maybe yes. But we doesn’t sound like Cannibal Corpse or Obituary, we are nothing like that. I would very much like to get people confused with our music: “Where should we put Behemoth nowadays?”
When you think of Slayer, you never try to categorize a band like them. Slayer is Slayer, and that’s it. The same thing goes for Metallica and other bands as well.
ET – Well, enough about that. Behemoth is true to the face painting. Have you ever been thinking about playing a gig without it?
NERGAL – We did once. I even got some pictures of that one, but they will never been shown to the public. It were somewhere in the US and we left the stage 20 minutes before the show was over because the whole thing sucked. Everything was very bad arranged and I was so pissed off, you can’t imagine. When we are entering the stage, we are ready for war with full armor and everything, that’s how I see it, but we didn’t have the chance to do that that specific time, so I don’t think it will ever happen again.
ET – What do you do when you’re not on tour or in the studio?
NERGAL – I am working almost all the time and it’s not healthy at all, hehe. This is how I am. I am working almost 24 hours a day for Behemoth and this pretty much consumes all of my time. I don’t have any private life, but I have never been happier in my life so no regrets, no complains, it’s all cool. I do like to do something else beside the band, maybe a few hours a day where I can take a ride on my bike. I also love driving my car, meeting friends and having dinner or coffee with them. These are the small things that shill me out.
ET – Some people say that Behemoth is your band. Do you see it this way yourself?
NERGAL – Well, I think its right. I feel that this is my family, but if you ask our drummer or guitarist, they will tell you the same. We do have different roles in the band and each of us is aware of each others roles. But I am the only remaining founding member of the band and I give the final touch to the music and the lyrics, and also to the visual around us. See it as a family and you know what I mean. The four of us is a happy family, hehe.
ET – What do you think you would have been without Behemoth?
NERGAL – Probably doing some crazy stuff, I don’t know. Maybe been some professional sportsman or something like that; climbing, rafting or maybe even a writer or a painter. I used to paint a lot when I was a kid, but then I saw a guitar and that took over, hehe. I am into so many different things but lately I realized that it is just the music that I really can dedicate myself to. I am almost 30 now and I do see Behemoth for yet another 10 years. But there is no reason for me to think about it now. But there is some stuff that I want to do or could do, and maybe it will happen.
ET – The symbols around Behemoth.
NERGAL – Ohhh, there is so many of them. I just came back from Nepal I rediscovered some symbols there. I knew about them from earlier, but guess I forgot about them. There are symbols in Europe and in Asia who can have the totally opposite meaning. We are just using the symbols to make us all use our imagination, because the symbols can mean something different to us all. We are changing them every then and now; never stick to the same symbols too long. I hope this makes the band special because we do make original music and we do use all these symbols. They are very important to me and for Behemoth and they reflect the Behemoth music. They are here to make our lives more colorful. Så slengte Nergal på veldig ironisk “There you have a real black metal word, hehehe”.
ET – Last time we met, we talked a little bit about your Behemoth collection.
NERGAL – Yes, I collect everything I can find with Behemoth. When we are visiting different cities and countries, I use to go in the streets looking for Behemoth shirts before the show. I have over 50 different Behemoth shirts, including the ones we make ourselves of course. In South America I found some nice ones. Also I found some cups with the Behemoth logo on. I have pictures and paintings and of course a lot of records. It’s almost impossible to collect them all, but I try and I have a nice collection, yes. For you and for the other ones who collect Behemoth, we have a nice thing coming up. We are releasing the demos again. It’s going to be with a 40 pages ticket book with the story behind Behemoth; how we all got together the first time. Our co writer of the lyrics, Kristopher has some sort of witnessed everything about the band because he has always been my friend. He is writing his version of the Behemoth story and there will be all demo tapes in there with some studio songs never been released before. There are some songs from Grom and And the Forests Dream Eternally that we recorded during the Demigod sessions with the new line up. The release will come as a double digipack, limited of course and it will be so nice. And this will be for all the die hards fans or for those who wanna find out what the band was in the beginning. Of course our demos sucked big time, we could hardly handle our instruments, but there are so many who loves the music, including myself.
ET – Well, that sounds nice. I have to tell you that I recently got hold of both the black and blue version of the Beherit/Behemoth split bootleg LP.
NERGAL – Oh, really? I have heard of it, but didn’t know it came in two colors. Shit, I have to look for that one. Maybe I can bring a copy of the Antichristian Phenomenon picture disc 7 inch and we can trade, cuz I know you miss that one, hahaha.
ET – Do you have any new material written?
NERGAL – I have some stuff written from the experience with Nepal. I have some song titles in my head. I have this digital recorder with me when traveling and I taped some new riffs with my voice doing na-na-na-na, you know, hehe. I have some cool ideas coming and I am also thinking of the front cover for the next record. I always have the front cover made in my head before we go out to the studio, because there is so much work coming up after the recording session with heavy touring in the following months. I have also read some cool Spartan stuff lately which I might wanna use the next time. I can’t really see the whole picture of the next record yet, but I do have some small pieces ready, so it’s coming, it’s coming.
Og der avsluttet vi samtalen for denne gang. Hva vi finner på til neste gang er det vel ingen som helt vet, men det blir helt sikkert flere samtaler med Nergal og Behemoth.