Behemoth... I guess almost everyone has read or
even heard something from that band, as they seem to be one of the most known
Black metal bands coming from Poland (besides Graveland)! Due to the fact that
their two demo-releases and their mini-cd sold very good, and the long awaited
full-lenght album has been released now, I took the change and send my
questions to Nergal, the
vocalist/guitarist/bassist/ of the band... Some of the questions may be a bit outdated, as the interview isn't that fresh anymore, but I hope you'll forgive me this time... Anyway, the final result can be read on this page!
Nergal, how has been the respnse concerning your second demo-effort, "...from the pagan Vastlands" so far?
"Hi Stefan. The responses were very good I guess. But you must ask for it Tomasz, 'coz he promotes and distrubutes Behemoth at most. I got a lot of letters with really great opinions about our second demotape..."
Are you personally satisfied with the final resust?
"Yeah, I'm really satisfied with those new ones. Especially with our newest release, the mini-lp "And the forest dream eternally", which is more raw and burtal than our demos. It makes our music more heathen and barbaric, also vocals are progressed, matured. I'm really surprised with our great evolution in such a little time, it's satisfying..."
I guess there have been a lot of differences between "The return of the northern moon" and your latest demo. The debut wasn't that fast, without a synth and so on, but it seemed if "...from the pagan vastlands" sounds much more different, showing us a lot of improvement. Do you agree?
"Of course, you're right. There's a lot of differences between "The return..." demo and "..from the pagan vastlands" stuff. Especially vocals, I put more hate and evilness in my singing style, also accoustic and solo guitar-parts were quite different than in other Black metal bands. Now I make a lot of those parts 'coz I play very well on my instrument (would be bad if not.. -ed.) and try to do music the best I can! I think that Baal also made a great progress in his drums playing style!"
I heard that there might be a full-length cd release somewhere in 1995...
"Yessss, we have a deal with mighty Pagan Records to record our full lenght cd that will be entitled "Sventevith: storming near the baltic" (Out now! -ed.), we're planning the studio session in the end of this year (1994), and it will be avaible in early '95 I guess. Write to Pagen Records and ask for prices. Also, if you're interested in t-shirts (out soon), demo I & II and all other stuff of Behemoth, write to Tomasz!!!"
Getting back to your second demo, which includes a cover of Mayhem, "Deathcrush" ... are Behemoth influenced by them... and others?
"We are very influenced my mighty Mayhem and other ancient Black metal forces like Venom, Bathory, Mercyful Fate, Kat, Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, old Sodom, old Destruction, Kreator, Manowar, Running Wild and some other heavy metal hordes..."
A lot of influences... speaking about music, I'd like to take a look at the polish scene. It seems as if there are a lot of new Black metal bands coming from your country... jusy followers/"trendys" only being interested in earning money?
"I can proudly say that we have one of the strongest Black metal scenes ever! The strongest are Behemoth and Graveland. There are also: Infernum, North, Mysteries, Sacrilegium, Mastiphal (the danzig one) are the truest forces of Poland! But I must warn you before you some trendy shits like: Necrochrist, Arcone, Thirst, Hazael (profanators of norse tradition!) and masg that just follow the disgusting trend and start to "promote" so-called "Black metal bands"... eh, I'm really tired with fighting with this shit! I'm sure that they finnish existence when popularity of Black metal go away (Hopefully soon... -ed.)! Support only pure evil hordes in my country, if you want some news please write to Capricornus from Graveland/The temples of fullmoon organisation..."
About the person itself... who is Nergal, master of war summonings, mayhemic rythm guitar, witching bass and sword pagan whispers?
"Me, Nergal... black emperor of Behemoth, ruler of the underground kingdom. Some of the myths say that Nergal is babylon god of the sun and pestilence, worship under the form of fire... fire is the sign of revelation, sign of forever burning pagan flames, fire as a symbol of rebirth of old traditions... The pagan earth!"
So... are you interested in religious stuff, cultures or something else?
"I'm a satanist. I call myself as pure satanism worshiper and it's nothing to do with that I write pagan lyrics. I'm a polish thus I'm a pagan. I want to make my culture beauty and I proudly follow the paths of my forefathers. I've also satanist feelings... it's very personal subject and it's really hard to explain what I feel."
Back to the most important point, the music, again. What inspires Nergal personally when writting the lyrics for a song?
"Everything, but especially the dark side of my life, the side which I don't show very often (Everyone has it's secret... -ed.). It's my personal life, I unleash the true war inside, full of mystic symbols, old traditions... I'm deeply inspired by ancient pagan gods, heathen culture, magic of the nature, night/day, moon/sun, planets, men/women... the pure feelings existing deep in my heathen spirit... musically I'm inspired by old Black metal masters!"
Got some flyers lately "speaking" about a european cd-release of your second demo by Nazgul's Eyrie Productions (which has been released a while ago)...
"Yes, we have a deal with Nazgul's Eyrie with the re-edition of our second demo on cd. We have also the same deal with Wild Rags in the U.S.A. I think taht it's good to have such good promotion all over the world to spread grain of war and lust!!!"
I guess these releases sold quite well... Changing the subject, I'd like to know what's your opinion about live-shows? Do you like to perform a gig with several other bands?
"If it will be a pure Black metal band, I think yes. I've some great ideas to make a great live-black-show with fire and mysticism on stage. But I'm sure that it's not really possible to do! First, no one from the Black metal scene wants to play in this trendy country, too much stupid kids around us... You can ask friends from great Bethlehem how the polish scene is (Jü told me... -ed.)? You can ask Funeral Winds the same! I don't want to satisfy all this trendu Black metal motherfuckers!"
Hmmm... which country "owes" the best scene, in your eyes?
"The polish, the norwegian and greek scenes are the best. I like the sound of these bands..."
A minor question... any activities besides Behemoth?
"I'm a college student. Read some books, watching video films... my beauty woman takes a lot of time. But Behemoth has all my heart and I love to write poems, take long walks in my local woods to find some inspirations and feed my spiritual form, mail is the thing that I don't like at most... (who really loves doing the mail every day...-ed.)"
To which bands/music do you listen in your free time (Ouh, a minor questions again...)?
"I listen to a lot of music, mostly Black metal bands but also some different stuff, for example: Manowar, Type-O-Negative, Bathory, Venom, Emperor, Behemoth, Enslaved, Mayhem, Bethlehem, Deicide (YEZ! -ed.), Satyricon, Gorgoroth, Agatus, R. Christ, Graveland, Infernum, Fields of the Nephilim, Sisters of Mercy, Love like Blood, Katatonia, Immortal, Burzum, Mortiis, Motörhead, Current, Diamanda Galas and a lot of others..."
AT LAST... you rfinal words can be laid down here...
just want to greet some of my friends from Germany, Jürgen and Andreas from
Bethlehem, Hendrik Möbus from Absurd (hail bruder!!!), a guy from No Colours
Records, and finally you Stefan, for great support for Behemoth (it was
pleasure for me! -ed.)!!!!!
Praise yourself thus Perun! God of thunder!"