Interviews anglais

ME AND THAT MAN (17/01/17)

Version française

Adam “Nergal” Darski is the famous leader of the Polish Black Metal band Behemoth. It doesn’t stop him to make a very surprising side project, Me And That Man, with the rocker John Porter. RockUrLife had the chance to meet this atypical duo at the Gibson showroom in Paris. A perfect opportunity to talk about this record and this constant adventure of being a rockstar.

Hi guys! First, we’d like to know, who is “Me” and who is “That Man”?

(Each one showing the other at the same time)

John Porter: It was pretty obvious, no? (laughs)

We thought that this bandname means “Me and all the other guys inside me”.

Nergal: Oh it’s interesting.

John: Yes, that sounds good!

Nergal: You mean, something about duality of the human nature, right? Yes! It’s always about this guy we adore and this one we fucking hate, the one we’re always trying yo hide. Yeah, maybe, I like this idea.

What is your feeling about Paris? How do you feel when you’re here?

John: Liberated. I always feel really good in Paris. I love this city.

Nergal: My mother used to work in Pigalle. It was supposed to be a joke! (laughs) Seriously, I’ve been here a several times and I love it. First for the shows. One of the best crowd out there. French people, parisians, Hellfest… It’s always “wow!”. I remember our first show was at a venue called “Le Gibus”. We played very hard!

Do you have any crazy stories about the city?

John: Yes I have a lot. It’s called “The City Of Love” so.

Nergal: Yeah, I remember one time I was doing press for Behemoth in Paris. I checked the calendar and I saw that Nick Cave was playing at Le Zenith this particular night. The show was sold out but I find a guy who sold me two ticket, even if I was just alone. So, my plan was to watch the show and catch a cab to go back to the hotel. But there was no cab. They wouldn’t stop! I have wait one fucking hour but nobody would give a fuck about me. So I went to the bar, and I asked the guy “How can I get to that place?”. So he explained to me that I had to take the metro. But, I didn’t want because everything was in french and I was too tired. So, here I was, back in the street, trying to catch a cab again. It took me another 50 minutes so I said “Ok, fuck it, let’s do it”. I went to the metro. And obviously I lost my way. I ended up somewhere there was some kind of construction. And someone told me to go to some mystical doors, seriously. Then I saw this guys, he was like a homeless people or something, like in the movies. So, I went to him like “He is a musician, he might understand me, and maybe help me! But he isn’t maybe french!”. So I approach the guy and asked him in english “Excuse me, can you help me? I have to get to my hotel and I can’t catch a cab.” and he answered me in Polish “Are you Nergal?!”. Here we go buddy! And he was nice enough to escort me to my hotel through the metro. And when we went out the metro, he showed me my hotel and went somewhere else. It was my parisian story! (laughs)

Travelling is to get lost.

Nergal: Yes! We travel to get lost and eventually find ourselves, somewhere, somehow.

John: Or you can get a lot more lost. Deeper, and deeper in the jungle.



It’s a bit the story behind this record.

John: It’s a trip for sure, yes.

Nergal: Yeah it’s some kind of a journey. Being here, doing press is already a journey and we don’t even bring it to the stage. We like the reactions, the interactions. It’s becoming alive.

And when did the baby were conceived?

Nergal: Yes, I told him we were a couple. I reach out to John a couple years ago, asked him to join me in a restaurant. We talk and we decided to do something together. And we met, we played, some songs started to coming up. And then we continue through the months, I was busy with Behemoth and he was busy his solo thing so, finally we made it!

John, were you scared by Nergal?

John: No, why would I be scared of him? Because he’s playing his music? No, it was the main motivation! The sweetness of doing something else and meeting other people instead of me doing the same thing. I didn’t know what to expect, and it’s vice or versa so no, it was an exciting challenge. It’s the kind of fear where you feel you have to go for.



It’s being young musicians again maybe.

John: Yes, it’s a new beginning, a new something, a new chapter. And that’s exciting.

Nergal: To me, it’s a re definition of myself, in a way. A new very important element in my life. I just bringing it, bracing it and see how it goes.

Do you think being sick (ed. Nergal beat leukaemia in 2011) changed your view of the music?

Nergal: It changed my view of being alive! It’s being more aware of what I’m doing, being more present, being a better person.

What were your influences during the recording?

John: Oh it was just the all things that we had in mind at this time. Memories, movies, sounds, what we see, what we remember. And it’s alive in all the songs of this record.

Nergal: I think that some songs are unconsciously influenced by things pretty obvious. For exemple, I was watching “True Detective” and I fucking loved this show and the intro in particular. And some day I grabbed my guitar and just played something and that’s how “Voodoo Queen” came out, but fuck it! Some things are very direct inspiration and some other things are more cover. For John and I it’s the same. Guitar is like a real part of our body. We grab our guitar every time we’re thinking about something so, this is how inspiration comes! It’s a very natural way.



Were you aware when you played those songs together that it’s gonna become an album, then a tour, then a very serious project?

John: Personally, I think yes. Because, when we tried to play together, at the very beginning, we didn’t expect any songs. We were just messing around. And it’s only about three meetings that when we played, we could see that things coming together. And everybody involved in this project had other commitments so we didn’t want to fuck other’s time, so we had to make this record. There was a kind of a time lapse between those two times because he was touring a lot with Behemoth but I was pretty confident that the record going to be made. He is not the kind of guy that wastes people time.

Nergal: We took things days by days but we had our song goals. But we had no plan, no label, no touring project, there was nothing. So we went “OK, let’s make a record and see what’s next”. And it’s always to state of mind. We are waiting for the release day, than the tour and if things going cool, we’re going to see what’s next.

Do you think this record’s gonna influence the next Beheremoth’s record, in a musical way?

Nergal: Yeah, sure.

Is John’s going to be on it?


John: Yes I’m going to get a few tattoos before!

Nergal: I don’t want my ambitions to kill my freedom so I’m not really trying to keep things apart one from another. So, everything I did between “The Satanist” and the next one are gonna influence me, this record include. I don’t want to make a record to prove something to myself. I already did when I did “The Apostasy” for exemple.



Is that true that you have composed every single Behemoth song on an folk guitar?

Nergal: No! But, for example, I wrote the whole Satanist album with a Telecaster, and nothing else. At this time I was enjoying the feeling of a Telecaster and then I use other tools to built the Satanist’s sound but at the beginning it was just on my Telecaster, like Me And That Man was on my Gretsch!

John, what do you think about Nergal as a singer?

John: Man, I wouldn’t be on that record if I were thinking something negative about him and his voice. I’m gonna give him a compliment! (laughs)

Nergal: I never felt very confident with the fact of singing. I just learned to open my mouth and to sing the best I can for this record. I don’t want to offend singers, so I’m not going to say that I’m singer but, I hope I’m not that out of tune ! I hope I’m honest in my expression.

Last but not least, as our website is called “RockUrLife”, what rocks your life?

John: What rocks my life? This smart business! And you, what rocks your life?

Nergal: Just living!

John: Yeah living, doing what we’re doing today for example, meeting nice people, being in Paris.




Nathan Le Solliec