NERGAL On BEHEMOTH's Anti-Religious Imagery: 'It's My Art And My Temple, And If You Don't Want It, Stay Away'

NERGAL On BEHEMOTH's Anti-Religious Imagery: 'It's My Art And My Temple, And If You Don't Want It, Stay Away'

Finland's Kaaos TV recently conducted an interview with frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski of Polish black/death overlords BEHEMOTH about their forthcoming "I Loved You At Your Darkest" studio album. You can watch the entire chat in two parts below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On whether he felt any pressure during the writing process for "I Loved You At Your Darkest":

Nergal: "Honestly, no, because we took our time to write the record and to get the record to grow on us. When I was saying around 'The Satanist' release, I was saying it might be the last BEHEMOTH album. What I meant was there was no music left in me. I emptied my stock. There was nothing left. I was, like, 'I'm not sure if I can do another record like that. It cost me so much in energy and effort and everything.' I was, like, 'There's no more extreme metal within.' So, I decided to take my time. In the meantime, I went away to do the ME AND THAT MAN [folk side project], which was the opposite, style-wise, like a whole new world for me. But, all this and the time that we took and my musical adventures, they got me inspired, very much again. When I came back to my black metal 'cave,' so to say, I was bursting out with ideas. I couldn't stop writing. Every new rehearsal I brought ideas for a new song, a new song, a new song. We ended up making too many songs, but we recorded more material than we needed that will eventually see the light of day."

On using a children's choir for album opener "Solve":

Nergal: "The initial idea, I didn't include the kids in the intro. The intro was just standing alone, so to say. The kids were meant to be only in 'God = Dog', which is the third song on the record. When I did that, I told my engineer, 'You know what? Before the intro comes and we do the tour, I want just to take the kids and I want kids to be chanting this verse. Then I want the intro to pop up.' Saying that, I was, like, 'Why won't we try to squeeze this in? Incorporate the kids' choir into the intro?' He was like, 'Okay, let's try it.' And we did, then the tempo and everything, it was perfect. We put it together and I was, like, 'Holy fuck. It does work. Let's leave it like that.' It wasn't really planned. It was one of the spontaneous moments where you work on your music. There's something that's planned and something strictly arranged and mathematically put together and there's a whole world where you're working spontaneously where you let yourself drift away. This was one of those moments. I'm happy it turned out that way. People dig it."

On whether he's trying to "piss people off" with BEHEMOTH's anti-religious imagery and lyrics:

Nergal: "I don't need to try. [Laughs] Some people think that I just sit there in my house and I'm just thinking how to fucking poke Catholics and stuff. No. Everything I do, honestly, I do it with a huge fucking smile on my face and I'm inspired and passionate about what I do. I'm, like, 'Hey, guys, what about this and that idea? It's going to be awesome.' Then they look at me, like, 'Seriously. You want to do it?' It puts me back on the ground. 'What?' 'We're going to get a shitstorm for that.' 'But it's in my system and I need to get it out.' I cannot take any responsibility for the system because if the system and other people's emotions have problems with what I do, let them work on it. Because it's not my deal. My deal, in the first place, I'm not hurting people. I'm not molesting kids. I'm not stealing money. Fuck off. Other than that, it's my art and my temple and if you don't want it, stay away. If you don't want to get offended or whatever you call it, don't click on Instagram, don't click on Facebook, unfollow me, don't buy the record. There is no rule or nothing that forces you to do so. The show, you're entering with your free will and you must buy a ticket, so don't buy a ticket to get offended. Just be smart. Even if you're Catholic, be a little intelligent, okay? Don't do it. If you're an intelligent Catholic, you're going to come and enjoy the show and appreciate it regardless because I know people like that too. There's a lot of people on Instagram and social media who have different views, but they still understand what metaphor is, you know what I mean? I'm playing with metaphors. This is all metaphors. I've always underlined the fact that offstage, I'm a very friendly animal."

On whether "I Loved You At Your Darkest" is more layered and diverse than "The Satanist":

Nergal: "I started with not really a plan, but with the idea of the record being more rock-based. Keeping the rock, the ancient rock and roll formula of verse and chorus, but approaching it with intricate ways of playing things so it's not cheesy, so it's not easy. You can have an easy structure, but there's got to be something to it, like something in the beat. I call it a 'nerve.' Something extra. It's like the last MASTODON record ['Emperor Of Sand']. There's a lot of songs there. There are songs, but it's not easy listening. There are still songs, it's still catchy, but it's not easy listening. That's how I like to approach what we do. You can even hum some of the songs. You can go with the rhythm. It's rock and roll, but it's something extra to it, something more and something unpredictable, something against the current, I hope. I might be wrong. It's just my idea of what I want the record to be. But I'm super-proud and very happy of what it turned into. Honestly, I think I still haven't processed that yet. I'm in the middle of processing the record and until the record is not in my hands and I go through it, like through the final product, I can give you a final perspective on it. Then, some time ago, I stopped listening to it because I've been over-listening to it. I would really like to take a break now. I'll get away for a couple of weeks soon just to rest from all this media diarrhea and all that stuff. It's a lot of headache; it's a very intense time and touring and stuff. I just want to go back and hopefully the product is going to be on my desk in my apartment and I'm just going to go back into it and process it again more from the outsider point of view. Because, I'm still so much immersed by the record. I'm still in there, in the process. It's very difficult to distance yourself, but I know how to do it and I'd like to do it, so I'll do it. I know for a fact there's a lot of musicians and artists, musicians, especially, they never listen to their own music. They're always looking forward. I look forward, but I always look back and put on 'The Satanist' when I want to work out and shit like that. I really hope 'I Loved You At Your Darkest' is going to be another soundtrack to my life. For years, I still go back to 'The Satanist'. 'The Satanist' is my most-listened to record I've done. But, then I pick up other songs sometimes from the back catalog, but 'The Satanist' is still on, it's still spinning in my iPhone."

"I Loved You At Your Darkest" will be released on October 5 via Metal Blade Records in North America and Nuclear Blast in Europe.


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