Rock Has Become Too Safe Says Behemoth's Nergal

"If you don't want to be hurt, you should go listen to Justin Bieber…"

Rock Has Become Too Safe Says Behemoth's Nergal

The eagle-eyed among you might have already noticed that Polish blackened death metal sorts Behemoth have begun teasing something very intriguing indeed across their social media channels. You can check out the image the band have been posting below – more news on what that's all about when we get to the bottom of it. No better time, though, to remind the world what Nergal had to say to us about the state of the rock world as he saw it a little while ago…

“To me, rock’n’roll is freedom. It just means doing whatever the fuck you want. It feels like we might be losing sight of that. It feels like rock might be becoming too safe…

“I went to see Queens Of The Stone Age in Berlin recently – and they were fantastic. But then I’m browsing online a few days later and I see this drama all over the place that Josh Homme had kicked a photographer in the face [at the KROQ Acoustic Christmas show]. It seemed like all the world was against him; like he was dashed! On the one hand, of course I think that was a bad thing that he shouldn’t have done. But, on the other, I’m thinking, ‘Hey people, this is rock’n’roll!’ It can be dangerous. It can be chaotic. It can be stupid. It can get out of control. It has its own set of rights and rules!

“It seems that everything has gotten so [reactionary] and politically correct recently. Back in the day, people would OD all the time, people would die, people would kill each other. We’re a culture that’s always used drugs and alcohol, and you’ve got to accept that we can occasionally use them too much. You look at Sid Vicious wearing a swastika shirt and you need to understand that doesn’t mean the guy is actually a fascist. It means he’s pissed off, he’s probably on heroin and he’s out of control.

Behemoth, O Father O Satan O Sun!

“I’ve wound up in so many boycotts and legal battles in Poland [because I’ve torn a bible up onstage or dressed as the clergy, or made a T-shirt that too closely resembles Poland’s coat of arms]. Those jokes became front-page news, and I’ve ended up wasting so much because of them. I have no agenda. I’m not a politician, I’m a stage persona. I like to poke at things – it’s cool, it’s inspiring, it’s life. When people share views, the more radical they are the better the discussion is. But there is no discussion there.

“It’s not about provocation, either. It’s about honesty. I equally adore GG Allin and Jack White, but that doesn’t mean that Jack White needs to get his dick out onstage and cut himself. They’re both part of rock’s wider canon and I respect them both equally for who they are. Even [beyond conventional rock parameters] I look at bands like [San Diego synth-punks] Prayers whose members are ex-members of Latino gangs. There are some crazy stories in the closet and you can hear it in their music. They’re very credible to me, very honest – and I’m dying for that.

“We’ve got to remember that this genre is about that freedom, that honesty. Sometimes rock’n’roll can hurt you. If you don’t want to be hurt, you should go listen to Justin Bieber…”

Words: Sam Law
Photo: Oskar Szramka

Behemoth are on tour this summer. For more information click here. The band's latest live release Messe Noir is available now on Nuclear Blast. You can stream it below.

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