The almighty Behemoth just kicked off their “Blasfemia Amerika” tour, and put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen this past Saturday night in New York City. The metal giants took the stage in front of a packed Webster Hall, and unleashed pure hell from the first note to the last. They not only perform “The Satanist” in it’s entirety (perfectly), but their selection of songs to end the night were just as powerful. This was my twelfth time seeing Behemoth live, and without a doubt, it’s the best I’ve ever seen them. They proved, once again, that this band is truly an unstoppable force.
I got to sit down with Orion before their mind blowing set to talk about “The Satanist” album, new material, future plans with the band, and more! Enjoy the chat below!
Mark: Orion, thank you for taking out the time before the show. You guys kicked off this “Blasfemia Amerika” tour in Philadelphia the other night. How was the opening gig for you?
Orion: It was a powerful show for us, and a welcome return to the States. We were itching to bring this tour to the States, so to get the first show under our belts was huge, and now we are ready to bring the chaos here in New York City. To be honest, this is probably going to be the last time we will tour here in the States for a few years, so we are enjoying every moment, and bringing it like never before on stage.
Mark: Hell yes, that’s always good to hear. You guys already performed “The Satanist” in it’s entirety in Europe, and from the footage I saw, the shows were bigger than ever. Is that what fans can expect on this North American run?
Orion: It will be similar, but I don’t believe any Behemoth show is ever the same. Whether it’s the energy of the fans or us on stage, there’s a different vibe and power every night, but the structure is similar. We are playing “The Satanist” from start to finish, as you know, and then we end the night with a special selection of songs from throughout our career. We’ve also brought new production with us that we’ve never used in the States, so fans are definitely in for a spectacle on this run.
Mark: Hearing “The Satanist” in it’s entirety is the big draw on this tour, but with your extensive catalog, how hard was it to choose the songs that you’re playing every night?
Orion: Well you are correct. “The Satanist” is what people are coming to hear, it’s our best record, so our main focus was on that originally. Once we started thinking about what songs to play after, it did get a little difficult. Obviously fans have songs they want to hear, but again, we wanted to do something different than the States has ever seen, so we put that into the set list as well. We’re playing “Chant for Eschaton 2000” and “Conquer All” of course, but then we are also playing a song called “Pure Evil And Hate” too, which is over twenty years old. The fans are definitely getting their money’s worth, and for us, it’s exciting to switch the set list up a bit. Again, we won’t be back for a while, so we wanted the show to be extra special.
Mark: Obviously “The Satanist” was loved by basically everyone in the metal community. In my opinion, the record is flawless. Did you guys know that you were writing something this special in the studio or did it take hearing it in full to finally understand what you’ve come up with?
Orion: Thank you for the “flawless” comment. It’s definitely cool that our tenth album is thought of as our best, and it is our best if you ask me. It’s truly a record. You can listen to it from start to finish, and it flows so well. For us a band, we always have a desire to create the perfect record. You always want to make something special, but sometimes you have to push that back for a while, and get back to what you know. There were times in the studio, yes, where I was like holy shit this is powerful, but once I heard the final product, I knew we had created what people call a masterpiece. Behemoth is a band who puts an incredible amount of thought into every little thing, whether it’s in the studio or on stage, so when we knew there was nothing more we could do on the record, we knew it was done. We had no idea how people would receive it, of course, but the response has been absolutely amazing all over the world. It’s one thing to feel that this record is special, but the overwhelming response solidified it, and we are beyond proud of it. We went through hell recording and writing it, but it was all worth it in the end.
Mark: You joined the band back in 2003, and have been a part of the biggest records, and to finally create the “masterpiece” had to feel good. There are a million genres in metal now, but I think there is only one Behemoth. You guys have become something larger, and it’s quite amazing.
Orion: Thank you for that. We get roped into this genre or that genre, but I agree with you. We are Behemoth. There is no other band like us and it’s because we stay true to ourselves and truly believe and care about what we do. We have high standards for ourselves and when we reach them we realize we aren’t satisfied, and then the process begins again.
Mark: Speaking of the “process,” Nergal said last year he didn’t know if a new Behemoth album would happen, but then we saw a few months ago that the “process” had begun again. What’s the latest?
Orion: People freaked out over that statement, but it’s not as serious as people took it. If you read the whole article, he was just saying nothing is promised. We may not have a tomorrow, you may not have a tomorrow, so that’s all he was saying. We were talking about the next record when he made that statement, so that was blown way out of proportion. Do we want to make another Behemoth record? Of course we do. This is our life, but we will need some time before we begin that whole process over again. This is why we decided to finish “The Satanist” tour by the end of this year, and then we’ll probably take four or five months off from anything revolving around Behemoth. That’s just our mindset now, but the reality is, it could change tomorrow. There will be new music. It’s actually happening right now on the road. When we have time, we put our ideas together, but we are not just going to make a record because we “have” to. The timing for all of us has to be right, but there will be new music.
Mark: That’s good to hear, because a world without Behemoth isn’t one I want to live in.
Orion: Me neither! (laughs)
Mark: You mentioned the four or five months off, which will obviously give everyone time to breathe and work on their other projects as well. We known Nergal has his acoustic project in the works, will you work with Vesania more, or what do you have planned?
Orion: We all have projects on the side honestly. Nergal has a lot going on, I have a lot going on, we all do. Behemoth has given us the opportunity to have that freedom, so I’m sure we will work on some side stuff, but we are involved in other stuff as well. We like to keep busy. Life is too short to waste a day, so we try and cherish every moment like I said earlier. We’ve learned how important that is over the years, so we will stay busy in those four months off for sure. We aren’t going anywhere.
Mark: Very cool. Thanks again for taking out the time today, do you have anything else you’d like to say to the fans?
Orion: Thank you for the interview, and for the fans, thank you for the support. Behemoth has become something bigger than we ever thought, and it’s because of you we can do it, so we are very grateful. If you are in the States, come see these shows, because it will be a while before we are back, and we promise that you won’t be disappointed. Cheers!