I recently had the pleasure of accompanying
the SLAMtv crew to a show in Seattle, Washington while they collected
footage for their new cable program called "Plutonium U.H.A.".
Associate producer for SLAMtv Gina Dufrain
conducted this interview with Nergal from
Behemoth. The text included is used by permission from Stephen Austin
and the SLAMtv Broadcast Group. The pictures are courtesy of Kerry Simmons,
a local live photographer in Seattle specializing in metal. My thanks
to all involved for allowing me to compile and edit this material.
//Ogg The Barbarian
Gina: So how do you defy the boundaries
of death and black metal? How do you think you do?
I don't really care about all the definitions, really. I don't like
to label our music, to be honest. You know for me, it's all about
expression of certain kinds of feelings and just release of energy
and I like to call it just extreme metal music, extreme metal art
or whatever-you know black and death metal these days is just so mixed
up together, it's kind of difficult just to put the boundary in between
this and this genre, it's kind of difficult you know. And like the
tours this-bands like Suffocation, which is like pure death metal
and like Behemoth which is beyond anything, and then Cattle Decapitation
which is more avant garde kind of more grindcore music-whatever you
know-it's cool because it proves it's all about having fun you know,
just releasing the energy I was talking about-you will see tonight,
probably like every night so far, you know-people just enjoy every
band equally-it's good, it's good you know-there's a feeling, there's
an energy in the air you know, and it's all about this.
Gina: So what album do you think stands
out as your trademark?
Nergal: Oh, I don't know (chuckles) I'm the
wrong person to say if-um, I've never thought of us being an original
band or something,you know, all I do is just-I play my guitar, I just
play my riffs and just try to transform some feelings, you know, and
some emotions that are in me you know, into the music, and I feel
fortunate that people get it, that people buy it, you know, that people
attend the shows and just want to see us. I've never really thought
of Behemoth being something really special, it's people who judge
it, it's people who decide it, so it should be fans you ask this question.
So who are your influences, personally?
Nergal: Well, Slayer is probably like the best
band around, you know and Morbid Angel and all the thrash metal bands
from the eighties like Kreator, Destruction, Sodom-they were great,
you know, like forefathers of the music we play these days. There's
many great bands these days that come up with extreme metal, but do
it their own way like Nile, or like lately Mastodon, I've discovered
this band Mastodon--I've just found them very entertaining although
it's not really like the kind of stuff we play-it's great stuff.
Gina: How successful was your European tour?
Nergal: It was very successful, actually, especially
these days when there's so many bands touring-actually everybody's
just overtouring these days, you know-so in Europe there's just too
many of them, just too much of it, and people get like too many opporyunities
and not that much money to spend on it, so if you get like two-three
hundred people each night, it's already a success, so I must say that
our European tour was a success, it was a good one and yeah-the whole
tour our support has been like, really good you know and this U.S.
tour so far it's definitely the best one that we've done. And we did
like-the one on the east side was the first one and we did some shows
with Halford and Testament and we did Blackest of the Black with Danzig,
and we went out with Six Feet Under-but this tour is like-higher on
the bill, you know so we are like a bit more "important",
you know so people pay more attention to who we are and so we've built
some kind of foundation, I must say and it's great-it's the best U.S.
tour for us so far.
What would you say to those bands who are now the openers? What kind of
advice would you give them?
Nergal: Just keep on playing, keep on thrashing,
keep on-keep it metal you know, and never give in because you never
know-I mean the moment-it might just click one day, you know and you
might become like-huge. Just look back in the past at like-Guns n
Roses opening for The Cult and then Guns n Roses becoming like the
biggest band on the planet, and then Slayer opening for Venom and
then Slayer being like the biggest band of the genre-you never know,
the positions might switch. The bands that open for us in many places
have been just really good bands you know, I see so many talents around.
Gina: How's the reception been down in South
Nergal: It was great, it was nothing but great,
I mean-it was like the first experience for us, a life experience
and I'd never been there personally, so it was just great. It was
very exotic for us, we'd never met that kind of people, I mean it's
crazy fans, you know. Most of the shows-pretty much all of them were
just great, and we just want to come back there soon as possible,
'cuz it's just-it was just unbelievable, really. I mean-all the shows-Bogota
was just crazy, all the people running up to us-it was dangerous,
Gina: You were like The Beatles
Nergal: Yeah, almost, you know. It was good
to feel like that, it's a good experience-although it was dangerous.
But it's a pleasure, it's a pleasure to have that kind of people to
come to the shows and just treat you like gods, so-it's good, it's
good. And then you come back here and it's like-"er, can I get
some water?". It's great, I love it.
What band stands out to you that you have toured with?
Nergal: Um so far? Like the best bands we've
played with? Well my favorite bands-well like Danzig was probably
like the highlight of our career, to have shared a stage with Glenn
Danzig, I mean he's one of my like idols from when I was a kid and
I still admire his works, so it was great. Rob Halford, too you know
to meet that guy and he's just an amazing vocalist and what can I
say? Hmm-there's been many, actually, too many to mention.
Gina: So where do you see yourself in two
- Nergal: Um-in the U.S., again probably-with
the next album. I don't know, in two years-yeah in two years we might
be back with the next record, hopefully. It depends how much we-yeah
we'll see, we'll see-lets see how this album goes, you know. So far
it's going really good so I just can guess it's going to lead us higher
and higher, kinda step by step going somewhere.
a more recent interview with Behemoth »