The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




It wasn't too long ago that Australia was hit by Polish extreme metal band Behemoth when they toured the country and now they have just released their latest critically acclaimed album "The Satanist" which is their most interesting and unique album yet. We caught up with bass guitarist "Orion" to discuss the new album and how some of the recent events in the band's personal life affected the songwriting.

Andrew: Hi it's Andrew from the Rockpit, hows it going?


Orion: Good thank you! We are just in the middle of a tour, all's fine!


Andrew: Hows the tour going?


Orion: So far so good! We've been waiting for this tour for quite some time because of the album and everything. We are happy to be on the road, it's all good.


Andrew: You guys were just in Australia a few months ago back in October. How was that tour for you guys?


Orion: I think that was the best Australian gigs we had. That went pretty well, the shows were great and we ended up signing a new contract with an Australian distributor (EVP Recordings) so we're happy it all happened. It was good timing with EVP actually.


Andrew: How do you find Australian crowds compared to other countries?


Orion: It's hard to compare crowds in different countries a little bit. We enjoy staying there and we enjoy talking to people because they seem happy in Australia and that's a good thing about them. Seeing some of the people at the shows, there is no big significant difference between Australians and Europeans. You can see the difference when you come to, let's say South America, a place we haven't done too many shows at. But Australia is good but not very different.


Andrew: I wanted to ask you about your new album "The Satanist". I have heard the album and it sounds really good, I probably consider it one of the best albums you have put out actually. Can you tell us a bit about how the album came together and what this album is all about?


Orion: Well first of all, we had a very long break between "Evangelion" and this one. And in that break a lot happens. Some of the things that happened were not really good and all this story with Nergal (vocals, guitars) being hospitalized and a lot of changes in our private life all led to this new album. I think we've changed our approach to everything in our lives during this whole period. That's why the music on this album is a little different. Somehow we have learnt to listen to each other and to work with each other on a different level and made working on this album just a different process. We decided to add all the artistry for this thing because we decided that's what we need now so we started on some covers and graphics and everything. It's the 10th album in the band's history and there's this feeling listening to it that it could be the end of a cycle for the band but at the same time, it's a great new opening so let's see what the future brings with it.

Andrew: As you mentioned before, Nergal had his experience with leukemia. How did that affect the writing for this album?


Orion: It affected the way we were thinking and I think we have learned to appreciate everything we have much more. So during the writing process I think we just quit competing with everything, with every other band and also with each other. So it was just smooth and very fluent. We thought that every instrument is a complimentary part of what's happening, that's why the mixing of the album is so different than the other ones. There's not too much editing on it, it's very natural and very organic.


Andrew: Some of the songs on there like "Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer" which I believe means pray for us seems to relate to what you guys have gone through. What's the story behind that song?


Orion: Not really. Speaking about lyrics, it's like a painting or something. Obviously that's one of many interpretations but we rather keep lyrics for the people who just want to read through them and try to find meaning by themselves. I don't really find it good to speak about what we meant by this or that.


Andrew: So it's open to interpretion.


Orion: Yeah.


Andrew: And the song "The Absence Ov Light" features a saxophone in there. How did that come about?


Orion: It started from a quote from a polish writer named Gombrowicz. We were looking through the quotes because we had this great kind of song that we need to fill it in with something and Nergal was getting tons of ideas for it and was reading through everything and just found this one and realized it was the perfect fitting for this song. But all the arrangements that goes around it, the guitar and the saxophone, we were brainstorming and discussing all the ideas in the studio and we just picked the ones that we liked and that's it.


Andrew: In the extreme metal world I guess having a saxophone is pretty extreme in itself!


Orion: Maybe it is, maybe it's not! I remember bands with saxophones, extreme metal bands with saxophones back in the 90's I guess. There was a band from Greece, I'm not sure I remember the name of it. We are not trying to be anything that will be super original or something, we just heard the solo melody and we were thinking about what instrument should be playing it. We were thinking maybe a violin or saxophone or something and then we invited a saxophone player to do it and he just played it and we were like 'Hell yeah!'. That was it, we didn't want anything different there.

Andrew: Did you try different instruments or was it just the saxophone only?


Orion: We had some ideas for different instruments. We were thinking violin or piano but the saxophone was the first try and it just stayed there.


Andrew: Yeah it just works. And it sounds amazing but does the band strive for a certain sound everytime you enter the studio or does it change from album to album?


Orion: It does change a lot. "Evangelion" is as much as we could obtain with very, let's say extreme and pure and very death metal sound I guess. It's very well produced and very edited, it almost sounds inhuman. And in this one the way we approached the whole writing process in the studio, it was all in order to achieve this different, organic, darker sound. We didn't try to make every instrument to it's best, what we were trying to have was the overall sound and that was the way were working on it. So I guess sound-wise these last 2 albums differ a lot and it's always good to have an idea for the sounds from the very beginning because that's programming the way of thinking to make it cohesive to everyone working on the album. And what we're doing, we slowly start recording single notes, we talk to everyone and just share the ideas so everyone knows which way we are going.


Andrew: Well the album sounds amazing, it's one of the best ones you have put out. What's next for Behemoth? Obviously you are on tour at the moment but will you come back to Australia soon?


Orion: We are going to stay on tour for I would say the next 2 years I think. We just started the European one and then going to the U.S., going to Russia, doing all the summer festivals then onto South America, probably South Africa and coming back to UK and that's all in this year. Next year probably another European tour, another U.S. tour, most likely Australia and Asia but that's in 2015.


Andrew: Well it's been a pleasure speaking to you and congratulations on the new album, it sounds fantastic so thanks again!


Orion: Thank you! Good talking to you as well.



Orion spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe March 2014





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