Behemoth’s Nergal Speaks on Ban From Russia, Calls Vladimir Putin an ‘Idiot’
Earlier this year, Behemoth ran into serious issues while touring Russia. Out of a total 13 shows planned, Behemoth were only able to play four gigs before being detained and deported from the country. In a new interview, Behemoth frontman Nergal reveals the band is banned from Russia for the next five years.
Shortly after playing a May 17 gig in Krasnoyarsk, Behemoth were held overnight by the Russian Federal Migration Service. Behemoth endured detainment in a very small room smeared with feces, while the band members were denied bathroom facilities.
"We managed to play four shows out of thirteen shows, and there were so many forces struggling us and trying to stop us on our way to finish the tour that we had to give up, basically, when they put us behind bars and literally forced us to leave the country," Nergal tells Metal Hammer in the video above. "We couldn't hit that wall anymore, so we just gave up and came back to Poland, and we actually got banned for five years to enter Russia. But it was also a very important moment in the album cycle."
Nergal continues to speak on the issue, calling Russian President Vladimir Putin an "idiot" in the process. "I'm cooled down now and more relaxed about it, so I'm not as annoyed and infuriated as I was back then," says Nergal. "But, yeah, let's just wait for better times there, because I, honestly, love the people there. And it's good crowds and it's amazing people. I love Russians. It's just the little fact that they have an idiot as a leader of the country. But then, things don't last forever, so we should just wait for better times and eventually we're gonna make it back there even bigger than so far."
Marilyn Manson was also forced to cancel two Russian gigs this year after a Moscow bomb threat and Orthodox protestors picketing a Novosibirsk show. Cannibal Corpse were also barred from playing multiple Russian concerts thanks to more Orthodox protestors. Police even raided one Cannibal Corpse show mid-performance. Later on, Cannibal Corpse lyrics were banned from distribution in Russia.
Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse will team up for a co-headlining North American tour beginning Jan. 28 in New Orleans. For the full list of dates, click here.