Behemoth’s Nergal Talks ‘The Satanist,’ Taking Breaks + ‘Sacrum Profanum’ Biography
Behemoth's Nergal was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's most recent weekend radio show. The frontman spoke about taking time between albums to live life and find inspiration, what he learned from The Satanist album cycle and also discussed a bit about the "Sacrum Profanum" biography on the band. Check out the chat below.
Thank you so much for taking the time.
Always a pleasure to be with you again.
Why is it important for you to take time before fully committing the follow up to The Satanist?
Well, it's all about the compression and just finding the right balance in mind. I mean I remember times and I remember them well because it wasn't that far ago where I would just jump from one cycle to another crazy cycle. You know tour-album-tour-album. We were one of these bands and we just never stop. What you are risking by never getting off of the tour bus and just going straight to the studio almost you’re risking that you're gonna miss out your life and missing out your life is missing out opportunities collecting miss opportunities to actually live your life and eventually get inspired by what you see, what you touch, what you eat, what you know, so on and so on.
That's why, I'm being pretty critical to bands that I listen to and I can hear that there's not much variety in them. I'm all about diversity and when we deliver every next record I really must make sure that it's a new chapter, something really refreshing, something redefining compared to what we've done before. So to me it just feels natural that a cycle is you just go as long as we can with The Satanist, just to reach its potential fully. And take time off take as much as we need to recover to get right perspective to get hungry again and then eventually come back and do another spectacular album.
What did the response to The Satanist tell you what people want from Behemoth?
You know what first of all I'm not here to satisfy people in the first place. I'm here to fulfill my egoistic needs. That's what art should be all about. We're not some social workers that are there to make other people happy. We are making other people happy eventually, but somewhere into the process we start from just fulfilling our own needs. So it's hard to say but then again, judging by what people what they used to say about The Satanist how well it was. I mean it was extremely well with both media and fans. It was amazing. It just proves that the truth and the synergy prevails regardless always and when we eventually meet again in the future to start working on our next record that's going to be my main focus to be who I am not to pretend and just go for what my gut feeling and go for my intuition and not what exceptions are and or what the current tendency in the music industry are.
An extensive Behemoth biography, "Sacrum Profanum," was just published. What's the most important part of the band's history that readers will learn from reading it?
Well, obviously every part is. I mean like you got a period that were a bit more intense and more groundbreaking for us and the other ones were just there because. It's hard to say but I always say like every moment in life every situation everything is like a brick in a huge wall and we're just building up this wall and this wall might be our care our history our whatever. In this particular case we are talking about Behemoth's career. So I don't want to compare these bricks. They're there for a reason. They're there to weight the building the wall the foundation that we are building up for Behemoth's history, so it's hard to say really -- I mean I don't know don't ask me the truth the most crucial one now.
How does having so many non-musical outlets help keep you creatively focused on music when you're making an album?
It's easy. When there's a creative process, I'm fully concentrated and fully focused on doing the record. There's nothing that exists for me. There are things still happening, but my full focus is on Behemoth and that's how my life was when I was writing The Satanist. I moved out and spent a couple of months living like a monk, almost in a flat my friend left for me. I would stay at his place and just hover there, spend in rehearsal and the other was read books, get inspiration, get my guitar, create something or not and then go back to the other place again. Then a couple of months same situation in the studio, just move out but to be out at the place where we recorded the record and we'd just live there, basically and just control the process from day one until the last day so you can see that not much of the other things are happening around at that time in my life. That basically proves why The Satanist is the crucial album. It's the pure essence of who we are. And we are in the fortunate position, as a band, we don't have daily work and don't need to work because it's our full time job. We can afford taking 6 or 12 months off and just live off what we've earned on tours and that's amazing. It's a great comfort.
What would you miss most if you weren't making music?
I occasionally think about, I know the band isn't going to be there forever. When I was 20 I didn't think that way because when you're 20 you think you're immortal. I had my reasons to realize that I'm not immortal, unfortunately. Every now and then I think, 'OK, the band will be over one day, what's next?' Adrenaline and the powerhouse that Behemoth is, it's something very addicting and I love it. I love that it's so much bigger than myself or my ego, than all four of us on stage. There's a lot of loving people, I'm talking fans especially that truly embrace us and truly embrace the nature of Behemoth. I know for a fact that it's no longer my child. I've made it other people's child, and people do care about it. This is something that I would miss the most, to inspire people.
Thank you so much for taking the time and we're looking forward to find out about this big news that'll come in the next month or so. Good luck with everything and thank you once again.
Thank you so much for calling, always a pleasure and all the best and see you in the USA in 2016.
Thanks to Behemoth's Nergal for the interview. Pick up The Satanist at Amazon and iTunes. Look for Behemoth on tour in Europe at these locations. Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.