BEHEMOTH's NERGAL Opens Up About Realities Of Pandemic-Era Touring, Says Now Is Not Time To Start Any New Bands

November 10, 2022

In a new interview with Finland's Chaoszine, BEHEMOTH frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski was asked what advice he would give to a young heavy metal vocalist who is just starting out in the music business. He responded: "Don't start any bands. And I'm not even kidding here. Don't do it. The world is overwhelmed with bands, with records, with albums. There's really no space there for anything. There's only seven days a week. There's too many tours around. There's too many shows. People don't have, and will have less and less money. So all the tours are suffering. Do you really wanna put another song on another album that no one will pay attention to? No, you don't wanna do that. Go find yourself a proper job. Finish university, travel and enjoy life. Don't do this."

Two months ago, Nergal revealed to Forbes that BEHEMOTH's recent U.S. tour with ARCH ENEMY was a financial disappointment despite the fact that it was the band's "biggest headlining tour ever." "We're still struggling, really, and I know we're still coming out of this almost-three-year hiatus and I hope we're getting there, but ask me this question in six months or twelve months and I'll tell you if we got there," he said.

Nergal added that there were "a lot of extra costs" involved with the tour, because "the prices are just increasing drastically. I mean, when I saw a few days ago that ANTHRAX is canceling their European tour due to logistics and unexpected costs, I know what they're talking about," he said. "And some people want to go 'What!?' I mean, they find it weird, I don't find it weird. It's becoming more and more of a struggle to deliver production quality. And sorry, even if the tour is packed, you still need something extra to pull it off. Small-sized bands that go to two-, three- or four-[hundred]-cap rooms, which is not that small, but it's relatively small, they're in the safest position nowadays because they hardly bring any production. With BEHEMOTH, we're trying to make an Australian leg early next year, and so far it doesn't look like it's happening due to economics. And we are flying 12 or 13 people, and the flight prices are in-fucking-sane. I don't know — maybe at some point we need to cut down the production. I would fucking hate doing that because, obviously, we have to continue touring or otherwise we won't make any money, and if we don't make any money then we can't do this profession anymore."

He continued: "Don't get wrong, I'm not sitting here complaining and whining — no, I'm taking the bull by the horns and I'm going to make the best out of it, obviously, but again, it's a lot of uncertainty, so let's just cross our fingers for the best. For example, in the U.S. we're just crawling out of the whole COVID situation, so we skipped doing VIPs on our last tour, just in case. Of course it wouldn't prevent one of us or other bands who got sick but it would eventually spread. When we were on tour, we decided, 'Can you still stand? Can you still function? Yeah, okay can you go on stage and perform? Okay, then we're not canceling anything.' We're not announcing anything. Why? Because we can't afford it. Say we cancel the tour for a week until person 'x' and 'y' gets well and then we continue but we're buried financially. So if you're not dropping on your face and you're close to dying, just get medicine and we're going to go through it. And that's what happens. And that's what many bands won't tell you they're doing because they don't want to get bashed by people like 'it's unreasonable' or 'it's unsafe.' No, we can't afford to cancel the tour because someone got COVID. ARCH ENEMY was about to cancel, but they didn't, fortunately for the tour, and the person got well after three or four days and it all ended fine. If they would have canceled? That's it. So we had to be very careful with that and we decided to cut the VIP ticket option and now it's also a message for all the people out there. Just keep in mind that sometimes the tour is a little over even or maybe a little plus, but if you guys buy VIPs sometimes, it saves our ass on tour. VIP is a package. I mean, we're doing those in Europe. We still don't know how we're going to do it because people will meet us, probably it's going to be no hugging and maybe we should just keep distance but we must fucking do it because we need to pay our bills. Just for me, I'm single, I'm the only single one in the band, but all the rest have families, kids, mortgages, loans, bills, everything. We're exactly the same as other people — we have the same kind of obligations; it's no different. It's not a glamorous life. It's a struggle, and economically the whole world is fucked nowadays with war and recession."

BEHEMOTH's 12th studio album, "Opvs Contra Natvram", arrived in September.

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