BEHEMOTH FRONTMAN ON RELIGIOUS CONTRADICTIONS OF POLAND
Adam Darski is not afraid of controversy and is always ready to speak his mind. In December 2007 during a concert in his home city of Gdynia, the frontman was said to have pronounced the Catholic Church as 'the most murderous cult on the planet', then called the Bible a pack of lies and tore it up on stage.
This was when the All-Polish Committee for Defence Against Sects, as well as the conservative political party Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc (Law and Justice) made a very public denouncement of Behemoth and even called for Darski's arrest. All this despite bassist Orion (Tomasz Wróblewski) stating that the band had been doing this for two years prior. After a formal complaint was lodged with Polish authorities, the case was dismissed two months later.
One man in particular, Ryszard Nowak, the leader of the All-Polish Committee for Defense Against Sects, has taken a very vocal interest in Darski. After calling Nergal a criminal in a public interview, he took Nowak to court over his statements and won. The court ruled that Nowak had to make a public apology for his remarks, and pay Darski an undisclosed sum which he directed be made to a local dog shelter.
But was it a surprise for Darski when the courts ruled in his favour?
"It was surprising on one hand, but you know what, the whole thing with Ryszard Nowak – the way I see it, and the way the majority of people who use their brains see it, it is no longer a clash of different religious sides – it's not a religious conflict – it's a war between stupidity and narrow mindedness and backwards thinking against the opposite. Obviously I represent the open mindedness and liberation. So that's the way the people saw that, that I'm not necessarily Satanic. They don't like the music – but I'm right. You know, things change and I think that we are on the right track to get to the right spot."
This wasn't the end of the attack on Behemoth however, with the case being reopened (this time by Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc) last month to investigate whether the tearing up of a bible constitutes a crime.
Darski recently won the Gdansk Young Culture Creators award, which recognises young people for their contribution to a country's culture - a far cry from the allegations that keep following Behemoth.
"It's funny – it's a big contradiction. On one hand there's all these accusations of us being Public Enemy Number 1, we should be in prison, we should be stabbed and burned. And then on the other hand we are winning everything on the way. It's crazy and awesome at the same time. On one hand we are doing something very artistic and it's always recognised and respected by a renowned group of people – the Behemoth fans.
"And now it seems like the big people in the mainstream media recognise that there is a band that does something for this country and it's good and quality – and it's art, and it's recognised in the world. And that's a good feeling; it's something that is in a way humorous.
"In one of the biggest polish magazines, The Activist, we picked up the award for the best band, and we picked up awards with all these big pop artists. It's awesome, it's good."