BEHEMOTH front man Adam "Nergal" Darski recently spoke with Mark Strigl of the "Talking Metal" podcast. The full conversation can be streamed below (interview starts at the 20:06 mark). A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On initially feeling that 2014's "The Satanist" might be the final BEHEMOTH album:
Nergal: "At that time, I was completely blank. I was out of any ideas. I had no idea which direction, which way I would or should go. On one hand, it felt like we can go anywhere, but at that time, I was in oblivion. There was nothing there. I just decided to take it day by day and tour the record and see what happens, just go with the flow. In the meantime, I did [the] ME AND THAT MAN album, which I guess kind of helped to revive myself and come back to the BEHEMOTH camp super-excited and passionate about making new music."
On how ME AND THAT MAN influenced BEHEMOTH's new album, "I Loved You At Your Darkest":
Nergal: "I remember when we did 'The Satanist', in 'O Father O Satan O Sun!', there's this singing part in the background — a male choir in the very background of the verse. I didn't do it myself. I just asked a friend of mine to sing it for me, because I wouldn't even dare to do that. This time, I was like, 'Okay.' There's parts that require semi-singing, semi-choirs and stuff, and I just decided to do it myself. I think I pulled it off pretty good. Songs like 'Bartzabel' belong to my all-time favorites from [the] BEHEMOTH roster, so I guess the job was done well."
On using a children's choir on several songs on the record:
Nergal: "We had the whole kids' choir being part of that experiment. I should go back to ME AND THAT MAN, because that's exactly where I did that for the first time. I used kids for the song 'Cross My Heart And Hope To Die', and I really loved that experiment. As much as it fit the aesthetics of ME AND THAT MAN, I was, like, 'With BEHEMOTH, it might not work. It might sound very disturbing,' which is actually the point why we play radical extreme music, because we want to disturb people. The reason why we're playing this is not to make people feel comfortable. It should be the very source of every extreme art-making. The main motif should be that. We need to shake the world. We need to make people uncomfortable and make them think and smack their faces."
On whether he believes in forgiveness:
Nergal: "[Laughs] That's a tricky question. The reason I wrote ['God=Dog', which includes the lyrical refrain, 'I shall not forgive'], it's a very subversive statement that goes literally against the Christian dogma. In my daily life... I don't really want to use this Christian terminology. If you really want to live a good life, you just let it go. You have to let go. If you want to fly, if you want to go further, you don't need that extra baggage... There must be like a lot of people that are hurt, and have this immense pain within themselves and problems and issues that they try to project on other people. In most cases, people who have problems with you, it's not that you are the problem; it's that people have problems, and they project [them] on you. What you can do is try to understand them, and I don't want use the term 'forgive' — just be sympathetic. In most cases, [you end up] thinking, 'You know what? You're a fool, but so am I, and we're just part of this universe — we're just part of this life [for] maybe 50 or 80 years, and then we die, and we both suffer.'"
On his philosophy of self-reliance:
Nergal: "These days, we live in an era of populists... It proves again that people will just easily follow, and they want to hear what they want to hear. If you're a good manipulator, you can easily trick them and make them follow. I don't think that people really change much throughout the years. I think people are pretty much the same; it's just the circumstances are changing and [they] think, 'The world is getting worse,' and 'The world is getting this.' I honestly think the world remains the same. Things change; the tools change; times change; but the same things happen, basically. If you look at history and the wider picture, you see that, like, wars, it's on repeat — wars, death, plagues, disasters, people are born, people die. This never changes. The aesthetics change; the circumstances change; [but] I don't think it's different from, like, 600 years ago. That's one of the main reasons why I'd never say to [a] BEHEMOTH crowd, 'Follow me.' I tell them, 'Think for yourself. You have your own brain. Be your best friend, and don't even trust me, because I'm no role model here. I'm just trying to make my living, and I'm just trying to stay as free [and] as independent in this world full of slavery. It's very difficult, and I struggle, so what I'd advise you [is], think for yourself and find your own way. Don't follow me.'"
"I Loved You At Your Darkest" was released on October 5 via Metal Blade Records in North America and Nuclear Blast in Europe.
BEHEMOTH's current North American tour with AT THE GATES and WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM will wrap up November 24 in Los Angeles.