BEHEMOTH Takes OZZFEST To The Extreme Dark Side

Aaron Yoxheimer of The Morning Call recently conducted an interview with BEHEMOTH mainman Nergal (a.k.a. Adam Darski). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

On being billed second only to HATEBREED on Ozzfest's second stage:

"We couldn't believe it. We are absolutely grateful for that. It was such an abstract, surreal feeling at first. We got the word that we'd be direct support for HATEBREED while we were making 'The Apostasy' and right away the press was asking me about it.

"I just wanted to go on stage and experience it and now that I've done that, I can tell you it's awesome. I know the guy who books the bands for the second stage is a big BEHEMOTH fan, so that probably had something to do with it. There are bands here that work even harder than us, so we never take things [like this] for granted."

On this year's Ozzfest being a "free" event:

"It's been going great, man. Any amount [of work] to do this is really worth it. I look at Ozzfest as a big party. It's a very band-friendly tour and everyone is having a great time. We're pretty much hanging with everyone. There are barbecues and booze everywhere, and occasionally it gets out of control, but it's fun. But on the other hand, I look at this as a long-term investment that'll pay off in the next decade or so. It's been really hectic, because we've got to get ourselves on stage and be done in 30 minutes. For us, Ozzfest is more like a way to reach a bigger audience, [but] I think it's a great promotion for us as well as everyone else on the bill."

"Ozzfest is more for the crowd who come to see OZZY, and now, well, now they're gonna see bands like BEHEMOTH. There's some BEHEMOTH fans, there's OZZY fans and there are death-metal fans here and that's great.

"But what really matters to me is that we can expose us to people that never heard bands like BEHEMOTH. Sounds of the Underground is for more extreme styles and for people who know what they're going for and just want to check out all these different bands, while Ozzfest is more for the mainstream crowd. I know metal isn't that mainstream, but the bands are bigger here."

On how the fans been reacting to seeing BEHEMOTH in all their corpse-painted glory:

"Well, with this type of extreme music — black metal, death metal, whatever you want to call it — it's not easy to win the crowd every day. A lot of these people probably never saw a band like us before. So for the majority of them a band like BEHEMOTH might be — well, [laughs], I don't know how to put it. But it's definitely not something they'd expect from this kind of tour. We go on stage spitting blood with the masks and the armor and we probably scare the [crap] out of a lot of these kids. But in the end, I see the kids chanting and singing along and getting into it."

"It's probably the peak of our career and hopefully this is a breakthrough moment for us. It hardly happens to any death-metal band, much less a Polish band. We feel we are in charge of introducing extreme metal to a new audience, and I feel like we're succeeding."

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