The leader of the Polish metal group is ready to rekindle the flame with ink: “I am in contact with a Berlin tattooist”

In advance of a full interview (and a satisfying one too) in a future issue of the print version of Tattoo Life, here is a sneak preview of our chat with the leader of the increasingly popular Polish outfit Behemoth currently engaged in an extensive world tour to promote their latest album ‘I Loved You At Your Darkest’.

Nergal (aka Adam Darski) has deep roots in the black metal movement (as he so skilfully recounts in his autobiography ‘Confessions of a Heretic’ which first came out in 2015), but he also goes way back in tattoo art. And he makes no bones about it seeing as how his Instagram page often features odes to tattoo in the shape of photos of various inked Behemoth fans.

So let’s hear it from him. And make sure to catch his video message at the end of this article!

Tell me this: was it the music, like with many of your fellow musicians, that put you in the way of tattoo?
You could say so. When I was 17 I got my first tattoo on my left arm which, years later, I decided to have removed by laser…

Why was that?
Because it was that head of a satanic goat and it just didn’t do it for me any more. Over time it had lost its impact and so I preferred not to have it on my skin. On my right arm though I have a Baphomet taken from a piece by H.R. Giger and that one has stayed where it is. Simply because it still reflects my philosophical ideas.

And now what are you going to do with your lasered arm? Just leave it like that?
No, I’ll get something tattooed over it. I’m in touch with a good tattooist in Berlin, Neon Judas (alias David Rinklin, a specialist in Realism, ed.), and we’re coming up with some pretty interesting ideas. What’s that? You want to know the subject? No comment.

Behemoth, credit by Grzegorz Gołębiowski
Behemoth, credit by Grzegorz Gołębiowski

How would you describe your various tattoos?
As a mix of aesthetics and meaningful messages. You look at them and you can feel it that, one way or another, they’re telling you something. Personally, for me, they explain a lot (wry smile)

Do you consider yourself a testimonial of ink as well as, obviously, the music of Behemoth?
What do you mean by “testimonial”? I don’t understand what you’re getting at…

In the sense that you have considerable influence over your fans. Maybe one of them might be inspired to get tattooed after they’ve seen you onstage or in a photo somewhere…
Do you want to know the truth? Tattoos, for me, are still something really personal. I don’t think I am any kind of influencer in that sense, but at the same time, I like to reward the devotion that many fans have now to Behemoth. On my Instagram page I often post tattoos that these guys and girls send me from all over the world. And more often than not they are tattoos of logos, symbols or lyrics relating to the band. I think it’s beautiful, pure and I’m downright proud of it.

Behemoth, credit by Grzegorz Gołębiowski
Behemoth, credit by Grzegorz Gołębiowski

In your lengthy book-interview ‘Confessions of a Heretic’, written in 2015 in collaboration with Mark Eglinton, Krzysztof Azarewicz and Piotr Weltrowski ,you don’t talk much about tattoo: why?
Well, I don’t remember much of what I said in that book because it’s history of a few years back at this stage. But I do know that a lot of people liked it, even people outside of the metal scene. I think the main reason was my honest thinking and the fact that it is also an excellent piece of journalism, an intense ride from the first page to the last.

To be continued in a future issue of Tattoo Life…

Behemoth, cover Album

Follow Adam Nergal Darski on Instagram: @nergal69