The People vs Nergal: “When are you going to stop being an emo?”

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From unleashing grandiose latest album I Loved You At Your Darkest to propping up the final ever Slayer world tour, 2018 was a standout year for Behemoth. As the next phase of their global domination continues apace, we grill frontman Nergal using the most savage weaponry in our arsenal: you lot.

If you were throwing a dinner party, which celebrities (dead or alive) would you invite and why? Ben Coles (via email)

“The model Irina Shayk would be more than welcome because she’s one of the most gorgeous human creatures walking this earth. I don’t know her so I hope she’d be a great talker, too. She needs some male company so I would love to have my metal hero Rob Halford there. Rob would be the one to watch to make sure he’s not hitting on Irina too much…”

Besides making some of the most badass albums around, what else do you do in your spare time? Nelis Van Wieren (via Facebook)

“I read a lot and I’m devoted to watching series on Netflix. I do a lot of sports like kite-surfing – I’m going to Maui after this tour to hopefully catch some good surfing winds and have some cool sessions. I’m pretty busy opening up the fifth location of my barber shop, Barberian, which is more of a men’s bar than a regular barber shop. I love working and keeping myself busy – there’s a lot that occupies my brain and keeps it excited, but I really need my leisure time, like going to the movies. When I’m in action mode, though, I’m fucking fearless and I kill it!”

Would Behemoth ever do a Kiss and drop the makeup? Russell McClarken (via email)

“We don’t really need to do that because bands like Ghost, Kiss and Slipknot have all unmasked themselves, and it was too late for me to unmask myself because I exposed myself ages ago. There’s no need for me to hide from the public because that’s not in my nature; I’m very outgoing to show people I have an onstage and offstage persona and both are very genuine. These days, with social networks, you can’t keep the mystique going for long. It’s a sign of the times but a lot of bands unmask themselves thinking they’re mature and grown up now but I don’t see it that way; we’ll go with whatever suits the concept and higher vision. Maybe one day the higher vision will be determined by the record we’re going to make, maybe it will force us to change or find an equivalent to the masks, but I love how it is now. We’re always experimenting with our masks and costume changes, so we’re still really varied.”

What’s your favourite Katy Perry song? Midhun Nair (via Facebook)

I Kissed A Girl, of course! I definitely stand behind the lyrics…”

I know that you loved me at my darkest, but why did my wife decide to leave me at that point in my life? Raven O Mara (Facebook)

“People are people, they’re predictable. As much as I like to submit myself to somebody, I always like to keep hold of my independence. There’s a saying that you should always rely on yourself, don’t ever totally give yourself away to a person, a political party or a religion or whatever. There’s nothing wrong with saving some for yourself so if something falls apart, you keep your integrity and you’re still the same person.”

Behemoth

Who’d win in a fight between Behemoth and Cradle Of Filth? Jack Wallgrove (via email)

“You know the answer, Jack! Obviously we’re just messing around: we’re all friends and Dani Filth has always been a good person to me. I remember when we were doing a photoshoot back in the day when we were a growing band but Cradle were really established. Dani was very cool, down to earth and really nice to me and I’ve thought of him like that ever since.”

When are you gonna stop being an edgy emo kid that still thinks trashing religion is cool? Justin Griffin (via Facebook)

“Justin, keep in mind that I never attack people. I always attack doctrines and ideals that I think are dangerous to someone’s freedom. I cannot agree with North Korean policy and I say it’s bullshit, don’t go there and get imprisoned, and if you live there, get the fuck out of there – is it weird when I say that? I hope not. The same goes for religion, especially monotheistic religions because to me, they’re like modern slavery. Most people don’t see it but you think you’re free, yet you’re bound to these numerous rules you must obey. To me, any religion is like North Korea. If you can think for yourself, confront that and get the fuck away from that because I don’t see how people can find happiness in being slaves. That’s just me, you can’t ask me not to be myself. What you can do is stop following me, reading my interviews and listening to my music, then you won’t have that problem anymore because that’s your own free will. You are you and I am me, focus on your own garden and keep it clean instead of spitting on someone else’s.”

Why are you on Instagram all the time? Dannii Morlam (via email)

“I’m not. Dannii, here’s one thing: I’m not on Instagram, I am Instagram.”

Is there a particular album of yours that was received in a different way than you expected? Gregor Barr (via Facebook)

“I was very proud of The Satanist and I wasn’t expecting it to be that huge; it hit people and they loved it from the minute they heard it. I Loved You At Your Darkest is a grower and I’m happy to see people are so confused by it. I think that may be a guarantee that the album will survive longer. One of my biggest artistic goals is to make records that will remain after I’m gone. I’d love people to remember as ‘this guy from Poland who’s in charge of this band Behemoth and they made music that was timeless to us.’”

Do you have any phobias? Ed Copeson (via email)

“It’s not big but I do have some claustrophobia issues. I confronted them when I was in a lift while skiing two years ago – I had a panic attack which was pretty dangerous and super-uncomfortable for me.”

What was the writing process behind Demigod? Ian Baer (via Facebook)

“That record came out of a very difficult period in my life. I was going through 

a breakup that struck me very hard. Then our guitarist Havoc left the band while we were working on the record, he just wasn’t present. Then Orion came in as the new guy, he’s a bassist as you know but we didn’t need much bass back then, so people don’t know that he was handling guitarist duties for a short period of time. I felt I needed to prove something and outdo myself and you can hear it in the intensity of the record, it’s very punchy and totally relentless. It’s a raging force.”

Would you and the band ever consider doing a Greatest Hits tour? Jason Carter (via Facebook)

“I don’t know, we’re not the kind of band that you can say have ‘hits’ and when we tour, we play the same songs as Behemoth ever brings. The word ‘hit’ sounds super-pretentious; we play stuff that we think is worth playing. There’s always a good balance of what makes Behemoth so unique.”

I Loved You At Your Darkest is out now via Nuclear Blast.