Interview with Behemoth: Strike It Hard

BehemothIn the oversaturated heavy metal market, it’s hard to stand out, let alone rise above the legions of bands trying to make a hardcore/metal salad, with songs comprised of parts, not sound composition, and yet still maintain a strong, even growing fan base. You’d pretty much have to reinvent the wheel or look to other sources for inspiration, rather than Gothenburg and Massachusetts.

Maybe Poland?

From the ancient city of Gdansk, Behemoth have been shaping a new standard for black and death metal, perhaps completing it with their recently released The Apostasy. The foursome of Nergal (guitars/vocals), Inferno (drums), Orion (bass) and live support Seth (guitar) are blazing new paths in the genre, commonly referred to as blackened death metal (a term which always makes me hungry) or simply black/death metal.

Whatever you call it, it rules. Thundering double bass, war cries, corpse paint and frenetic guitars with an archaic, anarchistic bent, it’s metal for a new aeon.

Now finding massive support, an Ozzfest slot, and a quickly growing following, Nergal and the band haven’t been kicking back and smiling. They’ve come to crush.

You were on Sounds Of The Underground last year, Ozzfest this year. Big difference?

You know, the funny thing is that I’m sitting exactly in the same spot in my bus as I was last year in San Francisco. I just woke up today, like ‘Wow, I played here last year.’ It’s a bit different, it seems Sounds Of The Underground is a bit more out of control, nothing bad about Sounds, it’s a great tour, very band- friendly tour. Ozzfest is more organized, everything is just more formal. It’s also a great tour. It’s fun, doing both things. It’s awesome.

You’re really taking every opportunity in the tour to get out there; you have an off-date almost every day.

Yeah, every second day. You know, we’re not one of the laziest bands around. We are fucking hard workers, that’s who we are, that’s what we are. I believe in a discipline of body and soul, and that’s what we do in this band. We fucking crush, you know, we just want to go on and tour our asses off. We want to get to every corner of this world and make sure every kid has a copy of The Apostasy. Within this genre, you just can’t stay home and hope that your albums will sell.

You know what’s the funny shit? People do appreciate what we do. I can tell you, everyone I know around is complaining, ‘Oh, the music industry is going in a downward spiral, the CDs are not selling very great anymore, and sales and everything are just going low and shit.’ And I’m like, ‘Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about, because when it comes to Behemoth, it’s opposite.’ Zos Kia was an okay seller, and then Demigod was a big seller for us. Actually, like a breakthrough record almost. And then, The Apostasy is already outselling everything we’ve done before, you know, and it seems people really appreciate what we do.

They are like, ‘Okay man, these are hard workers, these guys are fucking in there working their asses off.’ And people go and buy records, and that’s awesome. I love it. It proves the fact that it’s really worth doing what we are doing. It’s not for nothing.