BEHEMOTH frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski, who has carved out a reputation as one of the most overtly anti-religion figures in the extreme metal scene, was asked in a new interview with Graspop Metal Meeting what it was like for his band to perform in Israel this past February.
"Honestly, Israel is a very secular state, and people are not aware of that," Nergal responded (see video below). "They couldn't give less fuck about religion — honestly. And the cool part of Israel is because it's so multi[cultural], you do the show there and you see all these Hebrew people there, but there's also Muslim people in the crowd too. It's amazing. What you see on CNN, when they're just beating the shit out of each other, of course, there's a part that is a warzone and there's a part where they fucking coexist. And to me, it was proof that heavy metal, or music in general, or art, can really unite people, and they can commune together, and it doesn't need to be that they are battling or fighting. We can find a common ground that we can communicate even if we are different or from different camps. It's awesome. I like this."
Asked if BEHEMOTH got any flak from people for playing in Israel, Nergal said: "Of course. Of course. I remember attending a Nick Cave show in Berlin, and there was little [group] — there were only a few people — they were protesting in front: 'Ban Nick Cave for going to Israel' a few days later, and 'Free Palestine,' and shit.
"At the end of the day, we are not politicians — we re musicians; we are traveling artists," he continued. "And wherever we go, if there's feedback, if there's a potential fanbase there, why should I limit myself…?
"Hey, by touring the U.S., it doesn't mean… Do I support Trump? No, I'm no Trump supporter, but it's not gonna stop me from touring U.S. We should look beyond that.
"Politics is not really my energy," Nergal added. "People are my energy. Our fans are my energy. And the last thing I would care is where they come from, what's their skin color, what's their gender. It's their intimate business what they believe in, and so on and so on. It's none of my business. My business is, if we share the same energy and passion and love for heavy fucking music, let's commune, let's unite and let's celebrate together. The flag that is waving above, I don't give a fuck about that at this very moment."
BEHEMOTH's latest album, "I Loved You At Your Darkest", was released in October via Metal Blade Records in North America and Nuclear Blast in Europe.