Behemoth: Nergal's Guide To Life
The patron saint of Polish extreme metal and Behemoth frontman guides us through his opinions on romance, Donald Trump and religious protestors
Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski has a CV that’s unique among self-professed Satanists. As well as fronting Polish extreme metal heavyweights Behemoth since 1991, he has, at various points, been a presenter on reality TV show The Voice Of Poland, been the face of Demon Energy drinks, and owned both a nightclub and a chain of barbershops. This is his guide to life...
"I always look for darkness in music. We all have our dark side – that’s human nature. There’s no light without shadows. That’s why I perform extreme music and dark arts. Music is the perfect platform to get my own darkness out.
"When I was younger, Danzig and Fields Of The Nephilim were the only bands I would accept outside of the extreme metal genre. They weren’t metal, but they were dark and they were captivating. There was magic there. Meeting [Fields Of The Nephilim mainman] Carl McCoy years later and performing with him onstage was a big deal. It proves that life is full of surprises. It never stops surprising you. Even if nothing is happening today, wait until tomorrow because you’ll be surprised. There’ll be some crazy fucking miracle."
“I really hoped we'd piss off many people with The Satanist. And we're pretty good at doing that. Just watch and wait for our Polish tour and see how many shows are going to be boycotted by these idiots. But that's the tax we pay on who we are and what we do, that's the price of freedom, right? For me, being an artist is about being a free man and I'm just speaking out – that's who I am, deal with it. But if you can't deal with it and you try to stop the show, just find a good psychiatrist."
"Pretty much everything I do in life, whether it’s artistic or business, is driven by instinct. I don’t have business advisors, there’s no people on my back. There’s nothing wrong with spreading your energy on different things. Does that make me the Gene Simmons of extreme metal? Ha! Is that a compliment? No, I’m myself. Anything I’m involved in, you can be 100 per cent sure that I’m passionate about it and doing it for the right reason."
"I call the underground metal scene my ‘cave’ – I feel safe here. But there’s nothing wrong with going to different places in life, to explore them for fun or joy, or just to get some wisdom about other human beings or even yourself. That’s why I did The Voice Of Poland. I wanted to step out of my cave into the mainstream world, and deal with the people there as an equal and not an underdog. I wasn’t pretending to be someone else – I’m just being myself. Did I enjoy being followed down the street by the paparazzi? Yeah, I did. I guess I have this performer spirit."
"I’m close to my family as much as I can be, but I don’t know if it’s close enough. They’re super-proud of what I do, and they accept me as I am. They’re fans of what I do, even if they don’t understand it. My mum doesn’t call me Nergal, no. There's a nickname based on Adam, which she calls me, but it's feminine-sounding and kind of childish. Am I going to tell you what it is? Ha ha. No. I need to keep some stuff for myself."
"I’m super-romantic. Love makes you do lots of crazy shit. Love can make a metalhead sing a pop song, do all this cheesy stuff. But you do it for the right reason. Like yesterday, I was on the phone with my girlfriend, and I started humming the Stevie Wonder song I Just Called To Say I Love You. It made us both laugh. Would I sing it onstage? Absolutely not."
"Donald Trump is pretty fucking dangerous. It’s interesting to watch him, but it’s scary. He’s got millions of followers who believe what he says. That’s happened before in history, right? It’s cool to go see a movie about psychos, but in real life it’s terrifying.
"I have actually been offered lots of money by different Polish parties to get involved with them. It’s not where I want to put my energy. I have no space in my brain to be occupied by politics, and anyway I don’t trust them. Whoever it is, they’re going to ruin people’s lives. No, you won’t ever see me as a politician."