11 Things We Learned From Nergal’s New Book

‘Confessions of a Heretic: The Sacred and the Profane: Behemoth and Beyond’ is a book featuring a series of in-depth interviews with Behemoth frontman Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski, conducted by author Mark Eglinton. From his first taste of extreme metal, to an unflinching account of his battle against leukaemia, there’s no stone left unturned within its 288 pages. Here’s 11 things we learned…

**1. THE FIRST POSTER HE HAD ON HIS WALL WAS OF… **“ZZ Top,” says Nergal. “It fitted nicely into the typical Polish bedroom of the 80s.”

**2. HE TOOK A WHILE GETTING INTO EXTREME METAL **“At first it was unbearable; it was too extreme. I had to take things slowly. Music was my life.”

**3. HIS PARENTS WERE VERY SUPPORTIVE **“My parents had to sit in the kitchen so I could play [guitar],” Nergal explains. “Only when I was finished could they could come back into the room and watch TV. They were very understanding.”

The book cover, designed by Maciej Szymanowicz and right, ZZ Top

**4. NERGAL HAS A CLEAR IDEA OF WHAT THE DEVIL MIGHT LOOK LIKE **“If I were to personify him, I would say he’s a handsome, middle-aged gentleman,” he says. “He wears great clothes, his manners are impeccable and he speaks many different languages.”

**5. AS A STUDENT, HE HAD A RUN-IN WITH A PIGEON **“I love animals, but pigeons are not animals – they’re like rats with wings,” he rages. “Those flying fuckers made a hiding place out of my balcony. They kept fucking cooing and waking me up. Once, I took my bloody revenge… I have no pangs of conscience about that.”

**6. IN 2011, HIS APPEARANCE AS A JUDGE ON THE POLISH VERSION OF ‘THE VOICE’ WOUND UP THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT **“My presence on the show turned out to be a thorn for a lot of people; it was like stirring up a hornet’s nest,” he remembers.

**Nergal on ‘The Voice’ in 2011, and right, Dimebag Darrell **Dimebag photo: Martyn Goodacre/Hulton Archive

**7. HE RESPECTS DIMEBAG’S CONTRIBUTION TO METAL **“My friends from God Forbid once admitted to Dimebag that they’re actually playing his riffs,” Nergal recalls. “He said, ‘Listen, we don’t steal riffs from each other, we just borrow them, bro.” He was a guy who really created something in metal; he’s a real guitar hero.”

**8. HE LOATHES JAZZ **“These songs have no point,” he reckons. “They never begin and they never end. I listen to jazz only when I’m staying in a hotel and I’m using an elevator to get to my floor…”

Hell Bath No Fury: Nergal and right, Behemoth

**9. HE FACED HIS GRUELLING CHEMOTHERAPY SESSIONS LIKE A HERO **“I didn’t want to die,” says Nergal. “That was my creed. I refused to accept the fact that my life would be aborted. I still had too much to do. Leukaemia attacked me fast and brutally, so I deemed it necessary to retaliate in the same way.”

**10. THE PAPARAZZI STALKED HIM WHILE HE WAS IN HOSPITAL **“They barged in there by force,” he reveals of his 2010 hospital treatment. “They insulted the nurses, a few of whom stood in their way, so they started struggling with them. I was so fucking pissed that I really wanted to get out of my room and just beat the shit out of them. I was on steroid therapy at the time, so my emotions were definitely heightened.”

**11. HE’S A BIT LIKE ROCKY BALBOA **“I’ve always been fond of movies where the protagonist gets really fucked in life, then gets a grip, gets up from his knees and moves towards life’s adversities with his eyes open. That is what really impresses me about American culture – programming yourself to win.”

Confessions of a Heretic: The Sacred and the Profane: Behemoth and Beyond will be published on March 19 through Jawbone. For more information, visit Nergal’s official site.

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.