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Nergal Behemoth - Interview
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In what is billed as one of the top extreme metal tours of 2015, Behemoth will be touring Australia in September/October with Watain and Bolzer and we were lucky enough to catch up with Behemoth frontman Nergal to discuss the tour. We also talk about the band's latest album "The Satanist" which the band plan on performing in it's entirety next year so here's what went down in our interview. Also read our 10 questions with Erik Danielsson from Watain HERE.



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Andrew: We'll start off with the tour that you are doing in Australia coming up at the end of the month, we are really looking forward to seeing you guys back again!

Nergal: Yeah man, it's going to be amazing!

Andrew: Yeah and you guys were only here about 2 years ago I think.

Nergal: We come back with every album cycle so it's kind of a tradition coming to Australia. The good thing is that we have a great company that stands behind us, we've got this live set that did well and we have a decent following and we've been working on that for a year now or so it's good to be coming back again.

Andrew: Yeah it's always good to see you come to Australia and this time you are coming with Watain and Bolzer who are two great bands in the extreme metal world. Have you guys done tours with them before?

Nergal: Yeah we've done a couple of tours with each one of them, we're good friends. I can guarantee you that there's a lot of quality on the bill this time.

Andrew: Absolutely! I'm a fan of both Behemoth and Watain and Bolzer is a great band as well so it's going to be a phenomenal tour. What can we expect on the setlists? Are you playing a lot of stuff off "The Satanist"?

Nergal: Yeah it's going to be all kinds of stuff really. Obviously we're supporting the new record but we are just shifting around songs so it's going to be about 70-80 minutes of music, some stuff off "The Satanist" and older stuff and the middle section. All kinds of stuff so people should be really happy although you can't satisfy everyone right?

Andrew: Yeah that's right. I mean is that becoming more difficult as the years go on, to create a setlist that will satisfy not only the fans but yourselves as well?

Nergal: Yeah man totally! It's not an easy task I can assure you.

Andrew: [laughs] I can imagine so! How are the new songs going with the crowds on tour so far? Are the fans responding to them well?

Nergal: So far I believe this has been the most enthusiastic reaction to any of our songs. The tracks from "The Satanist" were meant to be played live, we didn't realize it until we played them for the first time and we saw the crowd went completely berserk and we were like, 'Wow something serious is happening here!' I can tell you, we have played 150 or more shows for "The Satanist" already so you guys can be sure that when we come there, we just know all the songs by heart and we really know how to play the shit out of them and make the best performance.

Andrew: Yeah "The Satanist" is such a great album as well. You mentioned that the album is going over very well live and it's kinda surprised you a little bit so when you wrote those songs, did you ever think about how they would translate to the live setting at all?

Nergal: Well I try not to but then probably in the background I was thinking of the stage and how we were going to perform it but usually it's not like that. I just go for the song and do everything that I can possibly do to make the song with the vision that I have in my mind and then eventually try to pull it off live as much as we can to be honest. There are songs in our roster that we never play live because there's too much for us probably to do that so the songs that we manage to play live are not as complicated. But "The Satanist" as a whole I think is a very complex record and next year we are playing selected shows where we play "The Satanist" in full.

Andrew: Yeah I had read recently that at Bloodstock festival next year you will be playing the whole album in it's entirety so this will obviously be a very big challenge for you guys.

Nergal: Yeah the February tour with Abbath and Inquisition will pretty much be the same formula where we are playing the whole record from start to finish.

Andrew: Have you ever played an entire record in full before?

Nergal: No, like I said, there's always songs that I would rather not play live and this album is quite the opposite. I really feel that this record is meant to be played live in it's entirety so this will be the first time, I'm really excited about it because we've never done it before.

Andrew: Yeah it should be very cool and interesting to see how a lot of those songs will play out live. Which songs are you playing live on tour at the moment and which ones will you be bringing to Australia?

Nergal: We haven't decided on the setlist yet so how about a surprise? We definitely won't let you down but then again I'm so up on the fact that whenever we play, there is always people complaining on why we didn't play that one or this song so everyone has their favorites. When it comes to the show, I think conceptual and it's not just a bunch of songs that we just throw in like a big deal, it's 70 minutes. Like let's do a greatest hits and make everyone happy, no. I'm thinking of a spectacle, I'm thinking of a show and thinking of these catagories and that we choose the setlist and the right songs for the right spot. So it's a bit more complex than some people may think.

Andrew: Yeah because coming to a Behemoth show, you are not just getting a few guys on stage performing some songs, you are getting a stage show and a performance which is like entertainment for everyone I guess.

Nergal: Yeah I like what we do where it's something more than just a rock n' roll show and I guess how we setup our full stage show, it is more theatrical and directed and I like that. I don't really talk much to people, I'm just kinda bored and it doesn't feel right to be screaming stuff like, 'Hey how are you!', do you know what I mean? It just doesn't feel right, not this time. This time it's more like a show and a spectacle where it has a start, a mid-section and the ending and everything is well planned.

Andrew: Well as I said, we are looking forward to seeing you guys in I think only 3 weeks so thanks again for your time and we will see you in Perth at the first show!

Nergal: Right on man! Can't wait, thank you so much!


September 29th - Capitol, Perth 18+
October 1st - Max Watts, Brisbane 18+
October 2nd - Fowler's Live, Adelaide ALL AGES
October 3rd - The Metro Theatre, Sydney 18+
October 4th - 170 Russell, Melbourne 18+

Tickets and tour details can be found at Soundworks Touring.

Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on September 7th 2015