Interview conducted July 15 2016
Interview published October 23 2016
Before the show at Gefle Metal
Festival, Metal Covenant got the chance to sit down with the mighty Behemoth's
bassist Orion. Being rather mighty physically
himself, the Pole gave a humble and wise impression in light of the band's
big success but also tough times.
Mozzy: I read on some social media that
you had some issues during your way here.
Orion: Yes. Our drummer (Inferno - real name
Zbigniew Robert Prominski) is not well, it's something a little more
He's considering not playing tonight, we'll see. He's
gone through everything he can to make it happen, but if not his drum
tech is going to play for him. But I believe he (Inferno) is going to
do it tonight. Then we'll see for the next festivals.
Mozzy: Ok. I guess the drum tech knows all
the songs but it must be a challenge.
Orion: It is a challenge. No matter if you know
the songs or not, drums is drums - it's very special. Even if you know
something by heart you need to practise, and he did not have time to
do it, so
We'll see what happens.
It will be fine I'm sure. I saw you at Graspop recently, actually. That
was an awesome show.
Orion: Oh? Thank you. I remember seeing Iron
Maiden, that was the same day wasn't it? That was so good.
Mozzy: Yes. The line-up was amazing, and
the festival too.
Orion: Oh yeah, that is one of the very best
festivals in Europe, for sure. Graspop and Hellfest, I love those two.
Mozzy: Your own live show, which I have
seen before, it impresses more and more I have to say. I guess you're
working on it all the time, the presentation and so on?
Orion: Every single piece is an important part
of the whole image. So we're trying, you know. We're adding little things
here and there and we're changing and replacing things. It depends on
what we're doing at the moment. If our drummer plays with us tonight,
we're going to do The Satanist setlist, playing the whole album, and
we have some extras for it.
Mozzy: You've done that set, with the whole
of The Satanist, quite often in recent times, and people seem to appreciate
Orion: Yes. The album has been out for two and
a half years, and we thought that something like this would be something
like the end of the cycle for us. We're planning to play shows up until
the end of this year, and then probably have a little break in 2017.
So that will be the end of The Satanist cycle.
Mozzy: You won the Metal Hammer Golden Gods
award (in 2014) for best album for The Satanist, even.
Orion: Yes. That was such a long time ago, but
it did happen. It's always a very pleasant thing that a lot of people
appreciate what you do. Plus, the Golden Gods is one big happening,
it's just a lot of fun and a big pleasure.
Mozzy: It's a great happening, I've attended
a couple of times. And Metal Hammer really know their stuff too, so if
they say you did the best album it's a big thing.
Orion: Cheers to them, then (laughs).
I saw you at Sweden Rock Festival back in 2005, at the smallest stage
Orion: Oh, yeah! That was for the Demigod cycle
I think. I remember the show very well, because I joined Behemoth in
2003. The festival made a big impression on me at the time, and it's
still a great festival.
Mozzy: Oh yes. And since then you've advanced
to bigger stages.
Orion: It has happened, yeah.
Mozzy: Behemoth is seen as a very hard-working,
professional band, with a strong work-ethic. I guess you've had that all
Orion: We do. Because we love what we do and
we live with it. It became a part of each of us at some point, and we
just care about it. I wouldn't be here if I didn't like what I'm doing.
I think this band became a unity a long time ago and we've had the same
line-up for thirteen years or something. So we enjoy working with each
other, you know. There are a lot of challenging moments but also a lot
of good times.
Mozzy: Great. In 2010, a colleague of mine
did an interview with you, at Sweden Rock Festival as well actually. You
said then that you wished to take it to the next level, to the level of
Dimmu Borgir for example.
Orion: Oh... (laughs). Did I say that? (laughs).
Mozzy: Yeah, that you were aiming for that,
sort of. Do you think you have succeeded?
Orion: This is not really the way I see things
today. I think we have succeeded and that we have achieved the level
that we were aiming for. I'm not sure if this is the level of certain
bands or not.
Mozzy: It's difficult to compare also.
Orion: Yes. But it was very difficult for us
after Evangelion (2009), which was very well received and was a big
thing and a big album for us. Then there was Nergal's leukaemia and
It was very hard to get back together after that. To
live through the stress and record the next album would be a lot worse
than the previous one.
So somehow we came to the point where we were
not thinking about it anymore; we just started to enjoy making music
and it just happened that with the 10th album of the band we achieved
the biggest goals ever. So what I see now
is our own path. We're walking it and every single step is higher than
the previous one, so that is what makes me happy. And if that's the
level of any other band, I wouldn't know. It's not the way I see things
About Nergal's sickness, that must have been a very tough time for you
other guys in the band too?
Orion: First of all, it was very tough for him.
We were sort of going with the flow for ten years before that happened.
You never think about things like these, and when everything is going
well you think that you're fucking immortal and that everything will
be great always. And then a thing like this happens and no-one has any
influence on it. You have to find a way for yourself
just to find
yourself in the situation and deal with it. The worst part of it is
to deal with it on a really simple level. This is life-changing, in
a way. It was a big lesson for him and for us as a band as well, and
for us as individuals.
But it was there for a reason, somehow. I mean,
we are not happy that it happened, but we learned a lesson. Whatever
we do today we just appreciate it more and we cherish these little moments
that we have and the point where we are at today - way, way more than
before, you know.
Mozzy: That would be a useful lesson for
everyone, for sure.
Orion: Yeah. Anything can happen, anytime. It
was frightening, but I'm glad it is behind us.
Mozzy: Speaking about ambition again, although
you don't compare yourselves to other bands, can you see Behemoth climbing
more to a headline status, at the big festivals for example?
Orion: We have already headlined a few. There
will always be bands like Maiden, Metallica, or Slayer, who headline
the biggest festivals and there is no competition for them. But we're
just trying to walk our path, you know, and if it happens then it happens.
As I said before, we're just really happy to be where we are at the
Mozzy: You should.
Orion: But we are ambitious as fuck, in the
matter of ourselves and our own music. So it's not about comparing and
competing, this is not the way we think.
Mozzy: That is very sensible. Well, that
was all I had, thank you!
Orion: Thank you, thanks for your time!
also: review of the
gig the same day