Behemoth Frontman Nergal Discusses New Album ‘The Satanist,’ 2014 Metal Alliance Tour + More
Behemoth leader Nergal was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. The frontman spoke about the band’s upcoming album, ‘The Satanist,’ their upcoming headlining spot on the 2014 Metal Alliance Tour and more. If you missed Jackie’s show, here’s her full interview with Behemoth’s Nergal.
It’s Full Metal Jackie bringing you two full hours of metal each and every week. On the show with us, happy to say we have Nergal from Behemoth. How are you, sir?
I am great. Thank you so much for calling.
Of course. Let’s talk about this new album, ‘The Satanist’ (due Feb. 4). Musically, Behemoth is always evolving from black metal to blackened death metal and now modern death metal. What has influenced your musical changes the most — especially with this new album?
Well, I remember I used to pay a lot of attention to what was going on in the music world around me, but some how we came to the point where the band, where Behemoth itself, we ourselves, we became our main inspiration. I know it may sound avant garde of me saying that, but we think that this is something very natural happening when music and lyrics and everything lives in your system in a very natural way and you don’t really need to get an inspiration from another band so to say. I mean obviously, you know music and like other bands’ music can be inspiring, but these days, it’s us inspiring us, life in general.
So I would say life has been the main inspiration to write this record. One of the interviews I did a couple of days ago, I said that it was life that drove the album, and we felt like tools in it’s hands, so, yeah. It feels very natural to write it’s sentiment. We came to the point where it was just the right time, right place and we had no contract obligations whatsoever. We were just free to go and in that sense, ‘The Satanist’ is probably the most liberating creative process in our careers.
‘Blow Your Trumpets, Gabrielle’ is a manifesto for cultural conditioning. Nergal, what social convention outrages you the most?
Well the fact that we are born to certain rules, and you know there are certain dogmas that decalogues and parties and rules that are forced upon us without even asking if it’s our will to accept them. So, for me it’s a very natural way of rebelling against things that I wasn’t asked for. To make a long story short, that’s what this band has been about, pretty much, since day one. It’s all different ways and different metaphors and different languages and so on and so on. You know, we tried to come across with this universal message, that one should really use their own brain and think for himself. You know, we’ve always, Behemoth stands for autonomy of every human being. It stands for intelligence of every human being. It stands for liberation and freedom. I can see the highest values that can be driving forces in our lives. You know, they can bring us anywhere that we want so why should we limit ourselves that way?
Nergal, if the purpose of music as an art form is to make people think, what do you hope your audience will understand better by listening to ‘The Satanist’?
I have no idea, honestly, I mean, in the first place I make music so that I can express myself, you know the most honest way I can and I’m the first person to be satisfied there, and I’ve never claimed otherwise. This is the most eccentric form of art. This Behemoth one, it’s very egocentric. We just make things, we materialize our vision and pass it over to other people. I may have some wishes, I really hope that people can read between the lines. I really hope they don’t take things in a very literal way. But this I can say, once the record is done and it goes to the people I have no control over it whatsoever. So, let them make up their minds and their own interpretations. Let freedom rule, you know?
Behemoth are headlining this year’s Metal Alliance Tour here in the States. That starts on April 4. Nergal, what aspects of package tours are most important to you as a musician?
Well, back in the day when we were small or a medium sized band we wouldn’t have much of an impact. There wasn’t much influence we could have — I mean, it was all very political. Either the label said OK this is the band you should tour with, we’ll give you support money and you’ll be exposed to a larger audience etc. We would just do it. I’m really happy that we finally reached this position of a band that we can pick up their favorite bands and open for them. That’s why you just witness us with Watain and Devil’s Blood last year, or two years. That’s why we’re touring with In Solitude and Inquisition in Europe. It was my personal choices.
When I got 1349 and Goatwhore and Inquisition for a U.S. tour, I said yes to this. These are the bands I’m proud of touring with. These are probably the most extreme metal bands that are out there. So, obviously I want it to be attractive to other people but it’s as important as ourselves sitting in a backstage room waiting for our stage time to come. We would love to hear the notes the bands, the riffs that we adorn ourselves. I can tell you it’s been many times we’d leave the venue because we couldn’t stand the music that was played before us. If you know what I’m trying to say. It’s good to be big enough and pick your own support.
Full Metal Jackie with Nergal from Behemoth, looking forward to the Metal Alliance Tour. This record, ‘The Satanist.’ Nergal, really appreciate you being on the show and we’re looking forward to seeing you soon.
Thanks for calling and thanks for all the support. I know you guys and us, we’ve got some nice history together. Let’s keep it going, right?
This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will welcome Slipknot / Stone Sour vocalist Corey Taylor on her show. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.