Polish extreme metallers BEHEMOTH are planning to enter the studio by the end of the year to begin recording their new album for a tentative fall 2018 release. The follow-up to 2014's "The Satanist" will mark the band's first effort since frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski completed an LP and a short tour with ME AND THAT MAN, his blues, country and folk side project with British/Polish rock musician John Porter.
Asked by Terry "Beez" Bezer of BlackCraft cult clothing at last month's Chicago Open Air festival how doing ME AND THAT MAN affected the making of BEHEMOTH's next disc, Nergal said (see video below): "It's all about just leveling out my energies and balancing it. And it worked out great for the creative process for the next BEHEMOTH album, because when I came back from [doing] ME AND THAT MAN, I was literally bursting out with ideas every second day — I just had another song ready."
According to Nergal, BEHEMOTH has "a shitload of stuff written" for its next album. "I've never been that creative in years," he explained. "We've got ten or twelve songs nailed, pretty much, and there's a lot of [other] stuff written and I'm going through lyrics now. And, actually, [for the] first time ever in our history, in our career, we are working on tour. So we've got this mobile studio and we just fuck around with ideas, with the songs, we go through leads, we practice, we revisit old demos, we try to perfect it and just make it as supreme as we can."
Nergal said that BEHEMOTH never attempted to write music on the road before because "it never came from here," pointing to his chest. "And now I have the pleasure to just… Like midday, we just sit together, there's no stress, no tension — we just [say], 'Hey, guys, how about these ideas?' 'Let's try to play it that way.' 'Let's record it.' 'Let's go back to it tomorrow and see if we're right or maybe we're wrong.' You know what I mean? Just play with the formula… and just make this trip joyful [in] all the ways possible."
Nergal also spoke about "The Satanist"'s critical and commercial success, which evident in the fact that BEHEMOTH is still touring in support of it more than three years after the record's release.
"My plan for 'The Satanist' was to keep its life as long as we can and just keep it alive, so people can feed on it for not just one or two or three tours," he explained. "I really wanted to extend the touring cycle. I really wanted to do what bands used to do in '90s, like METALLICA or AC/DC or whoever. Big bands, when they released a record, they just hardly ever stopped touring for that, because they had that comfort. For most of extreme metal bands, they just bang, bang, bang, they need to produce records — fabricate records in most cases — just to stay alive, because they need to pay their bills. Where we are now as a band is that we don't need to do another record, because we can afford not doing another record. So the plan is to make a record that's gonna be significant to the genre and a record that people will remember twenty or thirty or fifty years down the road.
"I know it may sound arrogant of me saying that, but me, as a fanboy, I truly believe, as much as I worship [SLAYER's] 'Reign In Blood' or [AC/DC's] 'Back In Black' or… you name it… the classics — they're timeless — I really wanna make all the effort, I just wanna do everything that is humanly possible to make our albums monuments — not just another product in the market that we need to sell by doing three or five tours, get some cash, pay the bills and run to the studio again, because there's bills coming and there's contracts saying, 'And now you've gotta deliver the master,'" he continued. "Fuck that! We create our own history and we dictate it, basically. So there's no label, no managers, no mastermind behind BEHEMOTH other than ourselves that plan things out. And the fact that 'The Satanist' [is] so successful, I think that a huge part of that is that people see that it's all real, there is a hundred percent sincerity and honesty there, and there's no bullshit, no gimmicks, no pretending — it's all us and our heart and our passion and our love on that album, and you can't fucking fake it. It's there."
Asked if BEHEMOTH approaches the songwriting process with the intent to push the boundaries further after setting the bar higher with each album, Nergal said: "Yes. I mean, you've gotta do it. But I don't really see BEHEMOTH trying to race with itself. The thing is not really to jump over that bar now, it's just to set it somewhere else, in a different spot. It's like imagine eight-thousand-meter peaks, because there's no nine thousand meters; you've got like a few that are tops of the world, right? So imagine these few eight-thousand-meter tops. We climbed one of them and there's a few more left. So we won't be just trying to find another way to go the same way; we're gonna climb another one. We did Mount Everest; with the next album, we're gonna do K2, and so on and so on. But it's a whole new, different approach, it's a different mountain, it's a different challenge. So I don't wanna go back there, because I've already been there, I've already conquered that mountain. But there's a few more to conquer, so let the challenge begin, and let's fight for it. That's it."
Before the release of BEHEMOTH's next studio effort, fans will receive a "massive" concert DVD and album recorded during "The Satanist" tour, according to Nergal. There will also be a video for another track off "The Satanist", to be included with the DVD.
BEHEMOTH has tapped former JOB FOR A COWBOY and SCORPION CHILD drummer Jon Rice for its current North American tour with SLAYER and LAMB OF GOD. Rice is filling in for longtime BEHEMOTH drummer Inferno (real name: Zbigniew Robert Promiński), who stayed home in Poland in order to await the birth of his second child.
SLAYER's six-week expedition with LAMB OF GOD and BEHEMOTH kicked off on July 12 in Bemidji, Minnesota, and will conclude on August 20 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Last year, BEHEMOTH completed a North American tour where they played "The Satanist" in its entirety.