INTERVIEW – NERGAL (BEHEMOTH, ME AND THAT MAN) “I am the master of my decisions and my creativity and I need that to keep my balance”. Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski

Posted on by Oran

The steady rise of Behemoth’s global popularity has to date, seen the band become a major player in the world of heavy/extreme music and with one, Adam Darski (aka ‘Nergal’) as the creative driving force behind the wheel, you can expect things to get even bigger. 

© Grupa 13 2020

With the sophomore release date of Darski’s side project ‘Me and That Man’ set for March 27th, Overdrive managed to grab some time with the man himself.

Speaking from his hotel room somewhere in Scandinavia, Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski is juggling his many artistic and business endeavours with a calmness that even political leaders struggle to find at times.

The current global success of his day job, (as the controversial frontman of extreme metal titans Behemoth), is today, cross-pollinating with press duties for his solo project, sophomore album “New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol. 1“, and as we suggested earlier, it’s just another day in the life of the charismatic author, composer, businessman and globally-recognised frontman.

OD – A lot has been going on in your world over the last few years. The release of the new Behemoth album, relentless touring, and now, you’re preparing to release the sophomore studio album from your side project “Me and That Man”. At what point did the music for this album come together?

NERGAL –  It really differs. Some songs have been sitting there for like, three years and other songs that were written and recorded continuingly over a period of down-time between Behemoth duties. Then some other songs were brought in by some other people so, that’s kind of a difficult question to answer. It wasn’t like we just sat down and wrote the album if you know what I mean.

It was a very scattered process. For example, the track ‘Coming Home‘, I wrote that back in the first album. So, it just kind of hard to say really. It’s been a process of about three years in total.

OD – Would you agree that you were carrying on the concept of the first ‘Me and that Man‘ album?

NERGAL – Yeah, that’s one way of looking at it. I mean obviously, it’s the same music style in some ways but there is more of a landscape on this album. Also, more guests on this album that have brought their own unique feel to the sound and diversity to the creative process. It’s very exciting and I’m super happy that I managed to pull it off. On the one hand, it’s the same deal as the first album, but on the other hand, it brings it to the next level.

I really want this to be a kind of ‘open formula‘ of sorts. Just to let it grow naturally. This album definitely delivers more flavours and that’s what really excites me.

I definitely think there is more confidence in this project this time around. The last album was me trying to test myself on this new ground and on this LP, I really know the animal that I’m dealing with and have a better scope of what I’m doing with ‘Me and That Man‘. It’s a nice place to be considering it’s just the second release from this project.

OD – There is quite a list of guest artists on this album, did you manage to secure everyone that you approached, or were there a few musicians that for one reason or another, didn’t come to fruition?

NERGAL – Yes, there were some people that just bailed on me for some reason. Initial ideas for songs changed over time and other opportunities presented themselves, so it was a very balanced process.

OD – When the music for “New Man…” was coming together, did you have a concept in your head based on the voices you wanted on each track?

NERGAL – When I heard some of the music, I was thinking to myself of what kind of vocal would sound good and different names were coming into my head. For instance, I just knew that Corey (Taylor, Slipknot/Stone Sour) was going to be fucking great on the track, “How Come?” and then there’s that track ‘Run With The Devil‘ featuring Jørgen (Munkeby, Shining).

At first, I didn’t know how that track was going to play out then when it started coming together I was just blown away by how awesome his [Jørgen] vocals sounded.

Then I was thinking, about Siver Høyem (Madrugada). I wanted to get him to sing on the album and I would send him over a song here and a song there and he was unsure with some of it and then I was like; “Hey you should sing on “Coming Home” and he was like; “Oh yeah, that’s it!“.

There wasn’t one pattern that we were following for this album. It was a very complex process for each of the tracks to become what they are today.

OD – Will there be a Vol.2 and if so, was all of this recorded during the same period and is already locked in ready for a release date?

NERGAL – There’s already some material recorded for the next album. Stuff that just wasn’t right for this one. That’s kind of like the way that it has been with this. So yes, Vol. 2 is already in the creative process and I’m guessing that will come out in about a year or two from now.

OD – How do you find the dichotomy between Behemoth and Me and That Man, do they both fulfil a creative itch for you in the same context; or do you feel that there is a different feeling for you with each project?

NERGAL – There is. Of course. Yes, that’s how I see it. I’m not going to come up with any stereotypical bullshit about ‘yin and yang‘ or ‘day and night‘ when it comes to explaining the separation between the two creative worlds. [Laughing]

Photo – Down the Barrel Photography © 2020

I am the master of my decisions and my creativity and I need that to keep my balance. I need it to keep my shit together. So, whether it’s about Behemoth, which is an ever-growing fucking entity with bigger shows, becoming more high-profile as each year goes by, or on the other hand, having a low-key, niche, but very exciting project on the side with Me and That Man,  with no metal, just a stripped down to just 3 or 4 chord songs, that is just so liberating for me personally and artistically.

OD – With regards to all of your interests that we know of, is there anything that you have a yearning to achieve over the next decade, something different new and out of your comfort zone?

© Down The Barrel Photography 2020

NERGAL – Well, I think I’m ready to die now. [Laughing]. No, I’m joking. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve achieved to date and I’m still hungry for more! I’ve still got ideas to work on and things to keep me interested in moving forward.

There is still a lot of personal goals that I would like to achieve, but they are more down to earth type things.  At the moment these seem quite difficult to nail down, but let’s just put that aside for now.

When it comes to things that on my bucket list that I know is going to become a reality. First, I’m going to see Morrisey in London. I’ve never seen him live and I’m a very big fan, so I can’t wait for that. And the second thing is I’m going to see Bauhaus in London in April.

These are two very important shows for me as a fan and I know some people have aspirations to climb Everest or something of that magnitude, but for me, I want to see Morrisey and Bauhaus. [Laughing]I fucking can’t wait for it.

I’m also going to see Mercyful Fate this year and that’s gonna be a personal highlight for me. They are playing with Judas Priest on June 1oth which is also my birthday, so I can’t fucking wait for that.

OD – Next year will see 30 years of Behemoth!. Are you thinking ahead for celebrating this in any way?

NERGAL – Yes, it will be 30 years of Behemoth. Holy Fuck!! [Laughing] Well, I’m going to be straight with you here. I’ve always mocked the fact that in Poland, they always book so many anniversary gigs. No one would give a fuck otherwise! It’s just one fucking anniversary show after another one, and I’m like; “So fucking what!

I mean no one really cares. I am aware that people are anticipating something from Behemoth on this one because we didn’t do anything for our 20th, or the 25th and honestly, I don’t see a reason why we should do something. I’m always too busy with the stuff that’s going on now, in present-day!

There is so much stuff happening at the moment, so for me, I’d rather just concentrate on the NOW. I’ve never been a fan of that stuff because it just shows how old we are! [Laughing].

I’d rather show you by my actions that I’m ever-inspired and I’m ever-driven and I have so much more to say other than just getting people to feed off my history for the sentiment of the fans.

Photo – Down the Barrel Photography, exclusively for © 2020

So, I really don’t know if we will do anything, but what I know for sure is that we’ll be coming back in 2021 with new Behemoth music. I’ve been very productive with both Behemoth and Me and That Man. When we’ve been on tour recently, I’ve been working on a lot of new ideas, so you can definitely expect new music as there’s just no time to stop now.

OD – Over Behemoth’s touring history, you’ve toured with many iconic, pioneering bands and are continuing to do so, for you personally, what has been the most enjoyable tour that comes to mind?

NERGAL – The most enjoyable tour for me? I would have to say Slayer tour in Australia because I’m a huge fan of that band. Also, we became good friends and I could fucking watch them every night which was incredible. They would help us out so much on that tour and also the US dates.

Also, I have to say the dates we just completed with Slipknot have been a game-changer. Because it’s been the biggest European Area tour we’ve ever done. We’ve never done an Arena tour in the EU before.

Night after night we are converting so many new fans to our music and they have let us use a pretty big production which is very cool of them. We were treated really well from all of the Slipknot people.

Honestly, (and this is not just me trying to be politically correct) this is one of the best tour supports I’ve done in my whole career.

OD – Of course, Behemoth is Saturday night headliners for this year at Bloodstock Open Air their 20th anniversary of the Festival. This will no doubt be a special occasion for you as well as Behemoth! fans. Already, the production that we’ve seen on this tour cycle has been fantastic, will there be a lot more added, seeing as it’s a very special show?

NERGAL – We are pretty relentless and I don’t see us just stopping by and doing a regular show. We stay fresh artistically and are very conscious of putting on a show that will be far beyond what people expect from us. We try to reinvent ourselves constantly, and this will give us an opportunity to do it again. As long as there is a hunger for more, we will keep on going with what we do and try to do it as best we can.

I remember Bloodstock gave us so much credit in the past and are one of the very few established festivals who supported us. When I was released from the hospital, they were the first festival that approached us and said; “Hey guys, you should headline Bloodstock” and I remember it was us and Alice Cooper and I was thinking to myself; “WOW!!!” It was a really big deal back then (2012).

It was a very big deal back then. I think Bloodstock and Behemoth have a great history together and it’s just great to see that festival become bigger and bigger and one of the biggest players in the UK along with Download etc. It’s an amazing festival that’s run by actual music fans and I’m also very good friends with them.

We care about the fans at Bloodstock and the people behind the scenes and you can be sure that we’re not just going to turn up ‘bare-handed‘.

Fans can expect the biggest production we’ve ever done in our career and I hope it has the ‘WOW‘ effect. We are definitely going to be thinking of additional stuff to add to the show as we are always challenging ourselves and you can be sure that Bloodstock Open Air will be no exception when it comes to our live show.

OD – Finally, we would like you to leave us with an album that has been an integral part of your life and one that means a great deal to you personally?

NERGALLet Love In by Nick Cave. That album is just fantastic.

OD – Any last words before you go?

NERGAL – Yes, and please make sure you publish this. The opening show we did back in January 2019 in Dublin was one of the top three best shows we did from that whole run of dates! It was very difficult to match that show afterwards. We owe so much to our Irish fans.

Dublin, Poland and France were the top three shows that just gave more than 100% and we’ll never forget it. Thank you to all our Irish fans. We’ll see you very soon.

Me and That Man new album New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol. 1 is released on March 27th. You can order your copy of the album here.

Catch Behemoth headline Saturday night at this year’s Bloodstock Festival alongside Devin Townsend, Judas Priest, and loads more. Tickets are on sale NOW.

The full tracklisting is as follows:

1. Run With The Devil (feat. Jørgen Munkeby, Shining NO)
2. Coming Home (feat. Siver Høyem, Madrugada)
3. Burning Churches (feat. Mat McNerney, Grave Pleasures)
4. By The River (feat. Ihsahn, Emperor)
5. Męstwo
6. Surrender (feat. Rob Caggiano, Volbeat/Dead Soul)
7. Deep Down South (feat. Nicke Anderson, Entombed and Johanna Sadonis, Lucifer)
8. Man Of The Cross (feat. Jerome Reuter, Rome)
9. You Will Be Mine (feat. Matt Heafy, Trivium)
10. How Come? (feat. Corey Taylor, Slipknot/Stone Sour and Brent Hinds, Mastodon)
11. Confession (feat. Niklas Kvarforth, Shining SE)

Oran O’Beirne © 2020