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Old February 15th, 2005, 06:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
Opeth17
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Behemoth - No Sympathy for the Fools

By Josh Phillips

The extreme metal juggernaut known as Behemoth continues to roll on and with their latest release, Demigod, the band shows that they are one of metal's elite groups. I caught up with frontman Nergal on their North American tour for an enlightening conversation before the band hit the stage. Here's what unraveled:

Hello! How has the United States been treating Behemoth so far on this tour? How are the fans?


So far everything has been just great, I have no complaints really. We know our position here in the U.S., we are here to make a proper foundation. To make a home base for future albums and touring. I canít really complain with how we are treated on tours because we are a support band you know. But, the fans pay off any harsh conditions if there are any, so itís fine, Iím happy.

Demigod is now officially released in the United States and I think one of the first things people will notice when they get this album in their hands is the cover art. Could you speak a little bit about the concept and what it might represent?

The cover is supposed to be very dominative in its form, very expressive. There are different references, different caricatures and philosophies. Behemoth has always been very multi-dimensional and so is the cover of the new record. As a matter of fact, there are pieces of all of our bodies, of the band members, sewn together into one person. So this kind of symbolizes the unity of this band, that itís stronger than ever. I like that idea, I think its cool, itís a very strong, expressive cover. As I say, it might refer to different figures from history, like Christ for instance. Many people when they see the cover, they see Christ. The posture refers to Christ, but of course, this is not about Jesus Christ himself, itís about playing with different forms and making something our own out of it.



The new release, Demigod, is another solid chapter in the Behemoth catalogue and it sees the band continue to move in an epic, mystical direction without sacrificing the brutality of the last few records. Some of the songs and riffs have a decidedly eastern feel, especially the closer, "The Reign ov Shemsu-Hor". Can you explain some of the elements that influence you musically?

Itís a lot of different stuff really, you know I canít really name the elements because I donít know them. There are different things that inspire me, the main spirituality comes from myself. All that I can find, the world around, the universe. I just read books, I watch movies, I talk to people and listen to music. Itís pretty much from everywhere. I just remember one of the biggest motivations for me to write this record was the fact that I was so pissed off when I came back from a U.S. tour. I found myself in a very uncomfortable life situation, so that kind of pissed me off and I had enough anger to write those kind of furious riffs, unleash it and materialize it in the songs. That is one of the coolest things about this album, that I captured that feeling.



One of the elements of the new album that was especially pleasing was the inclusion of those acoustic intro/outro pieces that I believe Seth wrote. Is there a chance of seeing more of these appear on your future work?

I guess so, I like them a lot so lets see what the future brings, but so far Iím happy with it and we're going to explore these ideas more and more with every album. Demigod set the new standard and weíre going to use it as a base now and improve from this place to another. So, you can expect the unexpected.

[laughs]

I didnít think topping the last album, Zos Kia Cultus, would be possible, but Iím coming to the conclusion that you have achieved that goal. One of the things that I thought tipped the balance in favor of Demigod was the quality level of the solos/leads. The one towards the end of ďConquer AllĒ always sends a chill down my spine. How much time do you put into writing solos and implementing them into the music? Does it come naturally within the flow of writing the songs or do you set aside extra time and do that separately?

I do it separately, I want every solo to be very special. Behemoth is not a solo band if you know what I mean, itís not about shredding every second there is a free spot in a song. The solo is there to be an integral part of the song, but it has to add something extra. I like melodic solos, I like when it gives a certain mood or atmosphere and that is why we put them there. For this band it works, you know, but of course I work my ass off on the solos, Iím not the best guitar player around, just check out Suffocation, these guys just fuckiní rule you know. Some of the best instrumentalists Iíve seen around in a long time. There are always people and musicians to look up to and try to improve. I take it as a complement of course, but thereís so much work ahead that has to be done.



Speaking of ďConquer AllĒ, a video was created for that track and included on the U.S release of Demigod. Do you have plans to make videos for any of the other songs off the album?

Oh yeah, I just got a SMS from a label in Europe that they are really into doing this. This tour will end in June, then we are doing summer festivals and are coming back to the U.S this autumn. Weíre also going to assault Europe too and there will be twice as much touring as now. So, we need something extra, to keep interest in the band. We donít want to come back to the U.S. with nothing new. MTV will hopefully play another video, thatís the point, so yes weíre going to do this. Iím happy with this video weíve done so far, ďConquer AllĒ fucking rocks. Itís a high-budget video, there is no digital, all analog. Itís all very real and nicely made. It was a female producer from Poland who made it and she did really fine, it was like the first extreme metal band she had worked with. I wanted to work with someone who was more experienced with pop and rock bands you know. I didnít want to take an over-explored metal producer, I just wanted to do this with someone who was a fresh mind and she did an excellent job.



Karl Sanders of Nile made a guest appearance on this album and youíll also be touring with them later this year, a show I hope to catch. What was it like working with him?

It was great, but it was all correspondence. We did it by e-mail, I sent him a song and he put it on a server and I downloaded it and it took us a few hours maybe, so it was really a quick job, he did great. Actually, when you listen to his solo, you can feel his fingers were bleeding when he was playing it. Thatís what I like the most about his guitar playing, itís so emotional. Itís not just about technique, itís more about feeling. Itís not always so tight and itís kind of somehow sloppy. Itís so emotional and you can get the feeling of what he had in mind doing this solo. I love it, one of the best moments of this album for me.

I watched your latest DVD (Crush.Fukk.Create) and on the second disc, we get a closer view of what Behemoth is like on the road. Judging from that, there have to be some crazy stories you have from touring. Would you mind telling about one of your favorites?

I canít really recall any, there have been too many to just pick out one. There are many crazy things going on and many crazy people who kind of stick to the band. Different people, nice girls around, you never know what happens after a show. [laugh] I donít know man, it seems like weíve kind of cooled down now and arenít so crazy anymore, so when we put out the next DVD, itís not going to be as crazy as this one. But you never know, with us, as I said, expect the unexpected. But, I think this DVD is highly entertaining.

If you had to pick one place out of everywhere youíve toured, what would be your favorite place that Behemoth has played? Whether it was because of the history of the area, the bands you played with or the energy of the fans.

I love playing in Israel you know because itís so exotic. Itís so special on the map of the world because of its history, itís a cradle of civilization so itís kind of inspiring playing for these people and going to Jerusalem. South America was just amazing, we were there for the first time ever just a few months back. Everything was just perfect there, I love it. Many good places you know, I pretty much enjoy playing everywhere. I try to get inspired by different crowds, for me there is no rule like ďOk, you need to go like this or thatĒ, every town and country has a different temperament, so you canít expect everyone to be down for you everywhere, but its all about winning your fans and doing your best. I love to play live in general, any place is good.



ďAs Above, So BelowĒ from Zos Kia Cultus is one of my all time favorite songs from any artist, it has such a great groove. As the creator of the music do you tend to pick favorites from your own catalogue of songs and if so what are some of your personal favorite Behemoth songs and why?

I think the new songs are my favorite ones. Most of them from the new record are great you know, ďSlaves Shall ServeĒ, ďDemigodĒ, ďConquer AllĒ, ďSculpting the Throne of SethĒ, you know, a few more. There are other cool songs too, I love ďChristians to the LionsĒ because of its title and its fury, you know, weíve got some good songs and I like them.

When listening to an album, I donít always read along with a bandís lyrics, but with this release I was compelled to do so. The comments included to help explain the lyrics and your point of view on some things were particularly interesting and I found that some of the values you hold are also some of mine. In the description of the song ďDemigodĒ you listed individuality, life affirmation, ambition, determination and vitality as some of the things you hold important and I thought that was very refreshing. Can you describe what influences you the most lyrically and what goals you hope to achieve within them?

Well, thatís what I said, I was kind of angry you know. On one side itís hate and anger and on the other side its love and passion and more positive. But, I see pretty much everything as a positive, even if Iím pissed so bad, itís very positive, as long as I can take something good out of it, itís all positive. Thatís how I look at life, thatís the basic principle for me, to go through life and see positives. Enjoy it, donít sit there and cry that itís so bad, just fuckiní rule.



In the notes for ďSculpting the Throne ov SethĒ you also described your no compromise and no surrender attitude. Behemoth is certainly one of the hardest working bands out there in touring and album production, so what drives you to be such a force?

Iím that kind of character. I think it just comes from within and Iíve tried to explain it several times, but the only explanation I get is that Iím just that kind of person. I can never just sit there and wait for 20 minutes for things to come, Iím always up front, always just go out and face things, work hard and be very active and alert.

Behemoth is also widely regarded as one of the best live bands on the planet. What do you do to make your shows so intense and what should a newcomer expect from their first live Behemoth experience?

I donít know man it comes from here. [points to a certain area] Itís the testosterone that drives us. A few days ago we talked with Inferno and the guys within the band and we were like you know, you can have a shitty day and be pissed, then you get on stage and hear the first drum toms that go through ďAntichristian PhenomenonĒ and itís like the best cure for anything. You can be pissed or whatever and you hear these toms and all is gone. Your just there and that is how we see things, weíre in the music, you know, totally into the music, we love it and we feel very fortunate that we can do what we can do. We are happy with ourselves, weíre really happy.



Any final comments or anything youíd like to add that we didnít cover?

Thanks for support brother. Itís good that there are more and more people that want to interview us and stuff. Iím always here for you, Iím here to serve my people and youíre my people. Keep it Metal, support bands, attend shows, buy albums because this is pretty much what keeps bands alive. Itís not bad, Iím not complaining, but its cool that people support bands, so keep on doing this and weíll be there for you.

All right, thanks for taking the time to do this interview and good luck with the show tonight and the rest of the tour!



Official Behemoth Website
Official Century Media Website
Official Regain Records Website

Last edited by Opeth17 : August 29th, 2005 at 04:06 PM.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 08:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
Agalloch
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Behemoth rules.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 08:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
White Candle Expire
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The 16th of May is going to slay. 3 more months.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 04:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
MeltingSnowman
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The 21st of February is going to slay. 5 more days. Pwhahah.
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Old February 17th, 2005, 05:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
szedar
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Yeah Behemoth rules but Vader is the best
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Old February 17th, 2005, 07:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
DwnTurn
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Just saw them. But I was slightly late and they had a short set. I was really upset but I take solace knowing they will be back in a couple months with NILE and again later in the fall. These guys are good dudes. They came out into the venue after their set and spoke with their fans. Totally aproachable.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 07:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
dusk8
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Behemoth rulez.
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Old March 27th, 2005, 08:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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They rule

WHat more can you say they just fucking rule
 
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Old March 28th, 2005, 12:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
DeathMaster
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[b][i] Behemoth is a good band
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Old July 21st, 2005, 11:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
kenpierce
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I enjoyed Behemoth very much in concert and took some great pics of them as they performed. I posted them on my site so if fans wanna check please feel free. I am not sure how to actually share that stuff with this board yet, but I am enjoying the fact that its very diverse here.

Regards
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Old July 24th, 2005, 02:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
/Z/
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Ah, such an awesome band!
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 03:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
ironBIDDAF
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Behemoth fuckin' rulez!!!
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Old October 11th, 2005, 01:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
Alongside Death
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Nile and Behemoth would be a great hybrid , but individually these bands are virtuoso of metal. Their latest releases are the proof. \m/ \m/

(M)aggoT
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Old April 12th, 2006, 12:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
Verbannter
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Behemoth =

Keep it coming.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 05:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
son_of_northern_darkness
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They cancelled their show near me but hopefully one day I'll get to see them, they're one of my favourite metal acts.
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 10:54 AM   #16 (permalink)
666 i love this number
 
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i love black metal

Behemoth fucking rule the best hever fucking have...
 
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Old June 9th, 2006, 05:09 AM   #17 (permalink)
Metalpsycho1349
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Behemoth rules ass of course
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Old June 11th, 2006, 07:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
zombiepickle
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sick sick sick. behemoth owns. OOoooOO!

the singer's face doesnt fit his voice tho. oh well. they still dominate.

hails
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Old June 12th, 2006, 10:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
Thasis
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Behmoth... they just fucking rule... Demigod is by far there most well defined CD. Sooooo gooood.....
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Old June 21st, 2006, 04:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
Doll
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Hmm.. I respect Behemoth and all but in this interview, it seems like Adam Darski usually uses the word 'I' a lot rather than 'we', but then again he's the only original member of the band and created it.. But yeah, great band. =D I'm not much up for melody in death metal but the melody that is presented in Demigod.. is simply fantastic. Its just really catchy, so kudos!
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 05:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
CelticFlame*
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seeing them friday
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 02:15 PM   #22 (permalink)
stardrowned
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Behemoth went to Israel? Someone say something!
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Old March 4th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #23 (permalink)
HellWolf
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great shit, but the interview is long ass hell, took forever to read
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Old March 13th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #24 (permalink)
cryptice
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Behemoth Rules, I can't wait for them to come back on a Canadian tour with the release of "Apostasy"
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Old August 20th, 2007, 06:31 PM   #25 (permalink)
HerynGalueth
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Come to Greece pleaseeeeeeeeeee

I have never seen them on stage.....I cant wait...
I have heard really encomiastic critics for these guys...
They create such a beautiful, dark atmosphere in their music...
I would like to have your opinion about their best -according to you- album so far...
Take care my friends!
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