While at the Beyond The Gates festival, Behemoth frontman Nergal sat down with Metal Injection’s Frank Godla for a conversation. During that conversation, the two talked about Behemoth’s legacy, Nergal’s use of social media, and the Behemoth singer/guitarist reflected on the early days of the black metal scene.
At one point, the Behemoth frontman is asked if he has ever considered quitting music; while he does speak to some doubts he has had in the past, this question prompts Nergal to go off on a little bit of a rant. This rant involves him bringing up another interview where he was asked what advice he would give to younger artists looking to start a band today. This is what Nergal had to say (pertaining to his advice):
“I was giving an interview a few days ago […] And [the interviewer] asked me, ‘What advice would I give to a youngster [who] wanted to start a black metal band?’ And guys [Nergal speaking to the crowd], I don’t mean it, you can laugh, but I don’t mean [this] as a joke – [I said], ‘Don’t do it. Fuckin’ don’t start another black metal band. Don’t do it; go on Spotify, there’s millions of bands, with logos you can never fuckin’ read, with names you can never fuckin’ remember. Plus, Immortal, its already been done. Burzum, done. Mayhem, done. Behemoth, done. And so on. Don’t do it.’
“And then, I found justification to this… arguable comment, because maybe some of you want to start a black metal band. Fuckin’ do it – I’m not preaching here, I’m just sharing my opinion. But then, around the same time, I’ll be watching something on YouTube, and then I see Cliff Burton [… in an] interview [from] ’84 or something. [Nergal says that Cliff is asked in this interview], ‘What is your advice for other metal bands?’ [And Cliff’s] like, ‘Fuckin’ no, don’t do it. Just quit. There’s only this many Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays […].’ And I’m like, ‘Kindred spirit.'”
All that said, later on in his rant, Nergal speaks to his own artistic drive – how he is driven to create and share art with others.
He then goes on to say that, if folks also feel a similar drive, and that an individual feels they can bring something new to the table, they should go for it (in regards to starting a band).
He speaks to bands that are able to incorporate “traditional” elements of a genre (say black metal), but who also offer “something else.”
He shares, “When you listen to some band – okay they are black metal, okay they are death metal – but they are something else. There’s just something that sticks out, and I’m like, ‘Holy shit, that’s going to make me remember these bands in 10, 20, 30 years.'”